You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder’ tag.
Since 1999, FASD activists have held World FASD Awareness Day events on 09/09 to represent the nine months of pregnancy, often highlighted with a bell ringing ceremony at 9:09 am. September 9, 2016 is approaching, and this year activists want to use social media because it provides a unique and far-reaching means of building awareness.
You can help build FASD awareness by posting a message, reposting theirs, or bringing attention to their events on your own social media accounts.
This year Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) is providing an online forum for organizations to post their initiatives on the CanFASD website. Include a description and a picture or video and they will re-post and Tweet it out to all of their followers. You can post using #FASDAwarenessDay #CanFASD and win prizes.
The Executive Director of CanFASD , Audrey McFarlane says “ CanFASD is very pleased to be able to highlight the fantastic work that the local communities are doing to raise awareness of FASD on September 9 as the local FASD service providers and caregivers are the hardworking folks that manage this work everyday.”
Their social media campaign includes:
- A Twitter Chat using the hashtag #FASDMonth as well as offering tweets you can use to send out to others.
- A one-time message commemorating FASD Awareness Day can be posted to your social media accounts using ThunderClap – a crowd-speaking platform using social media. Learn more here.
- A campaign to create a video that will feature an inflatable globe being “passed” around the world. Click here to learn more about the campaign.
The University of Auckland is hosting a FASD Policy and Research Forum starting at 9 a.m. on FASD Awareness Day. Find out more here. To find more information, links, and downloads from New Zealand, visit the Fetal Alcohol Network NZ and the Ako Aotearoa learning website for the Pregnancy and Alcohol Cessation Toolkit for providers.
To learn more about the history of FASD Awareness Day and get more ideas for events, click on FASD Awareness Day website.
Is your group, organization, or country planning a FASD Awareness Day event? Please share them in the Comments section below.
Previous postings about FASD Awareness Day
Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2015
Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2014
First Peoples Worldwide is an international organization dedicated to promoting Indigenous economic determination and strengthening Indigenous communities through asset control and the dissemination of knowledge. Britnae Purdy recently wrote an article on the organization’s blog called “Alcoholism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and the Native American Woman” (August 14, 2014).
The article discusses the introduction of alcohol in Native American communities, the prevalence of alcohol misuse in certain communities, the causes and effects of FASD, and approaches to intervention.
The article ends with a call for action and suggests some of the unique ways Native American women can be involved in supporting the health of their communities and preventing FASD.
Read the article here. For more on the role of indigenous women in FASD prevention, see earlier posts:
- Circle of Life Mentorship Program in Terrace, British Columbia (May 23, 2013)
- FASD Campaign from Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia (October 22, 2012)
- Grannies Group in South Australia addressing alcohol misuse (September 27, 2012)
- Yajilarra: the story of the women of Fitzroy Crossing (October 15, 2010)
The First International Conference on Prevention of FASD will be held on September 23-25, 2013 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Check out the conference website for more information about invited speakers and how to participate.
The conference is being held right after another major conference on FASD on September 18-20, 2013 on Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD. Both conferences are supported by the Institute of Health Economics and the government of Alberta.
It makes sense that the way we understand a problem shapes the solutions we develop. Gemma Hunting and Annette Browne have recently published an article in the journal Women’s Health and Urban Life (click here for free full-text) that looks at how issues related to alcohol use, mothering, and Aboriginal women are often understood.
Despite the growing discussion among researchers that Aboriginal communities may be no more affected by FASD than non-Aboriginal communities, Hunting and Browne argue that FASD continues to be perceived as an ‘Aboriginal issue.’ The problem with this is that, rather than paying attention to all women’s alcohol use, negative misperceptions about Aboriginal women, and Aboriginal health and social issues are perpetuated.
They address some key prevailing ideas (incorrect ideas!) such as:
- Aboriginal people have a genetic vulnerability to the effects of alcohol (despite compelling evidence that this is not true)
- Aboriginal women are not capable mothers (they connect this to policies that started in the 1960s and continue today in child welfare practices)
- Increased awareness about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy will lead to changes in behaviour (relates to the idea that health education is the primary solution to FASD)
Overall, Hunting and Browne show that the assumptions underlying FASD prevention policies and interventions, while well intentioned, can inadvertently contribute to racializing and stigmatizing Aboriginal people in Canada (and abroad for that matter). It also means that we continue to focus our energies and resources on who we think are “high risk groups” for FASD rather than on all women and on addressing the broad range of factors that influence their drinking.
For more on this topic, see previous posts:
- Cultural Safety and FASD Prevention (August 23, 2012)
- Aborignal midwifery and Poverty & Pregnancy in Aboriginal Communities (August 17, 2011)
- Alcohol and Colonization in Māori Society (December 8, 2010)
- Representations of Aboriginal Women in Canadian Pregnancy Information Sources (November 25, 2010)
- Postcolonial Theory for Beginners (September 1, 2010)
Hunting, G. and Browne, A. (2012). Decolonizing Policy Discourse: Reframing the ‘Problem’ of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Women’s Health and Urban Life, 11(1): 35-53. (Free full-text here).
Salmon, A. (2004). ‘It takes a community’: Constructing Aboriginal mothers and children with FAS/FAE as objects of moral panic in/through a FAS/FAE prevention policy. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 6(1), 112-123. (Free full-text here).
Tait, C. L. (2009). Disruptions in nature, disruptions in society: Indigenous peoples of Canada and the ‘making’ of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In L. J. Kirmayer & G. Valaskaki (Eds.). Healing traditions: The mental health of Aboriginal peoples in Canada (pp. 196-222).Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Wilson, S. A. & Martell, R. (2003, October). The story of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Canadian First Nation’s response. Women & Environments International Magazine, 60/61: 35-36.