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International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day – September 9th 2014

Join us for a panel discussion on living with FASD


August 28, 2014 –The ninth day of the ninth month, chosen as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, represents the nine months of pregnancy that should be alcohol-free. Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (RHA) is recognizing this day by hosting a panel discussion that includes adults living with FASD. Through a program called Visions & Voices, these people are seeking to reduce the stigma of FASD, encourage healthy living and increase awareness of FASD. The public event will be held at Selkirk United Church, 202 McLean Avenue in Selkirk from 1 to 3 p.m. on September 9.


FASD diagnostic coordinator, Sherisse Picklyk Dear said preparations for the International FASD Awareness Day event are well underway.


“Three speakers from Visions & Voices will be sharing their personal stories. They are role models who each have unique struggles and accomplishments. We are very fortunate they are willing to share their experiences with us and answer questions,” Picklyk Dear said.


Along with the presenters from Visions & Voices, there will also be a community partners and services fair providing information on support services that are available across the region.


“Representatives from Growing Years, mental health, Behavioral Health Services and others will join us on September 9 to answer questions,  provide additional information on FASD and talk about what it can mean to live with an FASD diagnosis,” said Picklyk Dear.


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 any associated 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, managing a lot of different sensations at one time, learning life skills and forming and keeping healthy relationships.


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 mean 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.

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