Let’s Put An End To Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders | FASD Awareness Month

A child is born with an FASD every 4 and ½ minutes in the United States.

September is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month. Why September? It could be because the number that corresponds with September is nine. Nine is the number of months many women are pregnant before they give birth. I hope those are nine months of ZERO DRINKING.

September 9, 2016 is International FASD Awareness Day. There is that number nine again. The hope is that the number nine will resonate with those who are pregnant and remind them that they should abstain from drinking until their baby is born.

a·ware·ness

əˈwernəs/

noun

noun: awareness; plural noun: awarenesses

  1. knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.

None OneWhen I typed the title of this article, I began to ponder the word awareness. Since my diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 2014, I have become keenly aware of FASDs. I consider myself to be both knowledgeable and very perceptive of FASDs and the need to take action to curb them in the United States and other countries.

I have come to understand that some of my coworkers, friends, and family do have an awareness of FASDs. They will nod their head when asked if they are aware of what FASDs are. They will respond “yes” when asked if they know about the effects alcohol can have on an unborn baby. Their acknowledgement makes me smile, but it also makes me want to educate them more. Awareness is the first step to understanding an issue, but we need to deepen that understanding so that positive changes can be made.

Before my diagnosis, I was aware of FAS, and aware that alcohol could harm an unborn baby. I was NOT AWARE that FAS was under the umbrella term of FASD. I was NOT AWARE that NO AMOUNT of alcohol during a pregnancy is safe. My diagnosis led to my mind becoming a toolbox that would come to hold awareness of not only my diagnosis, but other diagnoses under FASD.  My diagnosis led to an increased awareness, which led to an insatiable desire to learn and educate to ERASE FASD.

I urge anyone who reads this article to tell one person that FASD CAN occur when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol. That one sentence spoken out loud, to just ONE PERSON, can start a chain of awareness. Awareness is the first step in making change happen. Let’s do this!    

From Darkness to Light

Impulsivity

Immaturity

Egotistical, like a child

Naïve at times

Forget reading a road map

Ut Oh when it comes to math problems

Physical and mental exhaustion can transpire when setting priorities

I went through 34 years; I had become the fun-loving “little sister” to everyone

I laughed with my peers and friends when I made the wrong turn going to the mall, or gave the wrong answer to a teacher

I was comfortable with who I was

I have been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Now tears fall

As I realize the Reason for me being fun-loving and young spirited is somewhat because of the disorder

I thought I was laughing with people

Now . . . I think I was being laughed at

A new start

Through 34 years of darkness

There is now light

Shadows are dancing and changing from uncertainty to hops

Through awareness, hope is born

Through hope, success begins and continues

Here’s to HOPE.

-Rebecca T