Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness & Prevention month is taking place as Gov. DeWine has officially signed a proclamation.
The range of effects that babies who are exposed to alcohol in the womb may include physical, mental, behavioral, adaptive, social, or learning disabilities.
The proclamation describes that unfortunately, there are an estimated 1,193 babies born with FASD in Ohio every year.
Many families need to get early childhood intervention therapy to help. Help me Grow evaluates and treats infants through 3 years old and then the local school district will evaluate children to see if they need continued therapies. Therapies could include speech and language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, intervention specialists, or medical treatment.
The proclamation also explains that the cost to Ohio taxpayers for providing those special services and therapies for Kindergarten through 12th grade who have been diagnosed FASD each year is around $50,364,720.
Since this is a completely preventable situation a steering committee is meeting on September 17th 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The virtual webinar and panel discussion is entitled, “Ohio Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Steering Committee 5th Annual Forum: Taking the Next Step for Ohio’s Families” with keynote speaker Dr. Larry Burd. The public is may register and take part in this as well.
Young parents need to be reminded about the dangers of FASD and they are in control! Continued education that any amount of alcohol ingested while pregnant could lead to FASD developing in infants.
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services has an online toolkit and resources including fact sheets, powerpoints, and videos to help the public understand FASD.
NOFAS Policy Center.org has listed a thorough fact sheet about Ohio FASD as there is bipartisan support in passing the Respect Act bill (H.R. 4151 and S 2238):
- “According to the CDC, FASD impacts as many as 1 in 20 in the US – 2.5x more than autism
- Raising a child with FASD costs 30X more than the cost of successful prevention efforts
- Most people with FASD won’t qualify for disability services, even with a diagnosis
- Over 90% of individuals with FASD will develop co-morbid mental health conditions
- High rates of older youth and adults with FASD struggle with independent living and employment
- Individuals with FASD, with or without a diagnosis, face high rates of incarceration and recidivism
Take time to learn about FASD in order to kindly guide others to the topic and potentially help.