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Lakeland gets ready for International FASD Awareness Day

September 9th marks International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day and Lakeland Centre for FASD are raising awareness with fun activities across the Lakeland.

There are BBQs, A Mocktail Challenge in Cold Lake, and an Awareness Walk in Lac La Biche among many others events for everyone to take part in.

(Photo supplied by Lisa Murphy for Lakeland Centre for FASD)

Lisa Murphy executive director at the Lakeland center for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder says support and awareness are the two major objectives of the day.

“We take the time on this day to acknowledge and spread awareness for a healthy pregnancy.”

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and the body of people who are exposed to alcohol in the womb. Murphy says FASD affects roughly four percent of Canadians which is more than autism, cerebral palsy, and down syndrome combined.

“It is very important to know each person with FASD has both strengths and challenges and needs special support to help them succeed in many parts of their lives.”

Murphy says drinking alcohol during pregnancy continues to be the leading source of disability around the globe.

The Lakeland Centre has been operating and helping with diagnosis, intervention services, and support for 22 years.

September 9th was chosen back in 1999 as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day as it is the ninth day of the ninth month. The 9 repetition is intentional as it recognizes the 9 months of a healthy pregnancy.

Murphy mentioned that FASD is preventable and the biggest goal of all is to give support through fun alternatives to alcohol like a mocktail.

“You can still have a fun drink out with your friends or when you are out at parties. You can enjoy something fancy without having alcohol.”

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