Small Text Large Text Print
Building Circles of Support across Interlake-Eastern RHA

Sessions will be held weekly via Telehealth in Gimli, Selkirk, Beausejour and Pine Falls

March 24, 2014 Selkirk, MB – Next month, Interlake-Eastern RHA’s fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) diagnostic coordinators are offering Building Circles of Support an educational series for parents, caregivers, family members and professionals who support children and youth diagnosed with FASD. 

FASD Diagnostic Coordinators, Sherisse Picklyk Dear and Devon Ungurain who work with families with children/youth exposed to prenatal alcohol, have worked to make the sessions available in Gimli, Selkirk, Beasuejour and Pine Falls. 

“Building Circles of Support is an eight week series that provides an opportunity to learn about FASD,” Picklyk Dear said. “It also gives people a chance to connect and network with other families in the same situation. We have received some very positive feedback from people who have attended this series and found the information provided to be really valuable.”  

Starting April 10, Building Circles of Support sessions will be held weekly via Telehealth across Manitoba. Facilities in Gimli, Selkirk, Beausejour and Pine Falls will broadcast the sessions for easier access to local residents. For more information or to register for the upcoming series in Gimli or Selkirk call Sherisse Picklyk Dear at 204-785-7789. To register in Beausejour or Pine Falls, contact Devon Ungurain at 204-753-5245.

FASD is the leading known cause of developmental disability among Canadians. Approximately one per cent of all babies born in Canada each year have FASD. This means there are about 130 FASD related births each year in Manitoba. The Interlake-Eastern region is one of the top three regions for women who reported drinking while pregnant and for the number of children diagnosed with FASD.

FASD refers to the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol while pregnant. The Province of Manitoba advises that there is no known safe amount of alcohol that can be used while pregnant, so it is best to avoid alcohol when pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Current research shows that about 15 per cent of Manitoban women consume alcohol while pregnant.

“There are lots of reasons why a woman might drink during pregnancy, including lack of information, peer pressure, poverty, violence, trauma, isolation, mental health, addiction, lack of support and community resources,” stated Picklyk Dear. “Fifty to 75 per cent of pregnancies are unplanned. Several weeks of pregnancy may have passed prior to a woman recognizing that she is even pregnant and some women may not even know they are pregnant for a longer period of time. In Canada, 79 per cent of women report drinking alcohol.”

FASD is a lifelong disability that impacts individuals, their families and society. Effects can vary from mild to severe and may include a range of physical, brain and central nervous system disabilities, as well as cognitive, behavioral and emotional issues.

FASD is often called a “hidden” or “invisible” disability because most people affected do not have noticeable physical features. While individuals may share common characteristics, every individual is unique with their own strengths and challenges.  Individuals with FASD are more likely to have trouble with memory, understanding cause and effect (consequences), getting used to changes in routines, sensory stimulation - managing a lot of different sensations at one time, learning life skills and forming and keeping healthy relationships.  
Footer Line
Footer Divide French Logo Footer Divide Canada Logo Footer Divide Aboriginal Logo Footer Divide Manitoba Logo Footer Divide
Footer Line
TWITTER Facebook