Today is world fetal alcohol spectrum disorder day, and to mark the occasion, the Metis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan (MACSI) brought people together to take part in a special event.
About 80 people participated in the 15th annual community walk in Saskatoon for families dealing with the disorder.
Shana Mohr’s eight-year-old daughter Keisha lives with the FASD.
“There is so much stigma associated with this disability,” she said. “This day is important so people help prevent FASD.”
“We need to celebrate all kids with FASD because they’re truly amazing individuals,” Mohr said.
We do not have national statistics on the rates of FASD in Canada although the Public Health Agency of Canada suggests that 9 in 1000 births are affected.
“We’re never going to get rid of FASD babies as long as alcohol is in society,” Mohr said. “What we need to do is just keep educating people to avoid drinking when you’re pregnant.”
Mohr said people need to stop ‘shaming and blaming’ mothers.
“It makes mothers not come forward to get help,” she said. “When they don’t come forward, the kids aren’t getting the support they need.”
Over 300,000 people are living with FASD in Canada.
— JT Marshall (@jtmarshallCKOM) September 9, 2016