EU FASD Australian and International News March 2021

Byline Times (UK) – Lack of Specialist Services is Failing Children with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Susan Nathan explains how children and young people with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder in the UK are not receiving adequate services due to the lack of understanding of their needs.

Express (UK) – Youngsters do not use contraception during sex because they are too drunk to remember
A fifth of young adults forget to use contraception at the height of passion because they are too drunk to remember when having sex, a study has found. Research among 1,200 16-25-year-olds revealed many are taking unforeseen risks due to a lack of knowledge, education – and intoxication.

Newstalk ZB (New Zealand) – Changes in KiwiSaver rules for those with congenital conditions announced
The Government has announced the four life-shortening conditions that will allow people impacted by them early access to their KiwiSaver funds.

CanFASD blog – Announcing the 2021 Sterling Clarren Award recipient!
We are excited to announce that this year’s recipient for the Dr. Sterling Clarren FASD Research Award is Dr. Brianne Redquest for her research on understanding and reducing stress in caregivers of individuals with FASD.

A Heart For All Students – Homeschooling FASD: Support Tips
11 years later, Natalie and John made the decision to homeschool him. They did so in an effort to save him from a constant barage of bullying. Additionally, they needed to provide him with the academic accommodations that homeschooling provides.

The following blog was written by Elizabeth Hannah of Black Horse Therapies. Her reflections on how we label therapeutic work with young people can be applied to all therapies, including therapy with animals, and may benefit many living with FASD.

National Organisation for FASD (UK) – Risky Behaviours
In February 2021 the National Organisation for FASD teamed up with OnePoll and 72Point to learn more about young people’s understanding of the risk of sex, alcohol and pregnancy. OnePoll polled 1200 16-25 year olds across the UK.

CTV News (Canada) – Prison experience for man with FASD led to decline in mental health: Manitoba judge
A Manitoba judge says an Indigenous man with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder had a “hellish” time at a correctional facility, where he alleged he was sexually assaulted by other inmates.

Government of Ontario News (Canada) – Ontario Expanding Diagnostic Services for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
The Ontario government is investing $2.8 million annually to expand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) diagnostic services by funding 12 new FASD clinics for a total of 21 funded FASD diagnostic clinics across the province.

Borgen Project (South Africa) – Challenging the Stigma Framing FASD in South Africa
South Africa has the highest rate of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the world, with some communities experiencing a prevalence of up to 28%. FASD encompasses a range of conditions that affect people who were exposed to alcohol before birth.

ABC News (Australia) – Researchers return to find out fate of children involved in landmark FASD study
Ten years after a groundbreaking study revealed record-high rates of FASD in outback Australia, researchers have returned to the Kimberley to see how the children are coping in adulthood.

ABC News (Australia) – Advocates of FASD students in Qld schools push for more support, prevent future ‘in correctional services’
The Queensland government is being called upon to better recognise fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) as a disability in schools by a passionate researcher, with the support of parents, caregivers, and experienced health practitioners.

Mirage News (Australia) – Community organisations welcome Senate Inquiry report into FASD
The final report from the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into Effective approaches to prevention and diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was handed down on Wednesday afternoon.

Fife Today (UK) – Fife launch of support group for little diagnosed lifelong disorder with no cure
Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder service. FASD is a result of pre-birth exposure to alcohol. Now, there is a new one-to-one service for parents and carers, run by Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS).

The Lawyers Daily (Canada) – Justice clinic improves outcomes for persons with developmental disabilities
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness month and an apt time to shed light on the unique challenges facing persons with developmental disabilities in the criminal justice system. A long-standing challenge has been the equitable and meaningful participation by persons with developmental disabilities in the court process.

Verywell Health (USA) – Substance Abuse among Pregnant Women on the Rise During COVID-19
The number of people struggling with substance use disorders has gone up during COVID-19, and a new study out of Washington State University COVID‑19 Infant, Maternal, and Family Health Research Collaborative suggests pregnant women are included in this group.

SHAAP (UK) – Developments in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – a UK perspective
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy, and is thought to be the most common neurodevelopmental condition in Scotland.

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EU FASD Australian and International News 17 April 2021

Maple Ridge News (Canada) – More supports ‘urgently’ needed for those living with FASD
Those living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, FASD, face a future with little support, and a lack of understanding that is rife with racist assumptions.

CBC (Canada) – Spike in young adult drinking raises alarm at N.B.’s fetal alcohol centre
Annette Cormier has a habit of thinking nine months out when she looks at behaviour patterns today. So when new research from UNB suggests a third of young adults in New Brunswick are drinking more during the pandemic, she asks herself: How many are women who don’t yet know they’re pregnant and the harm that can result?

Essential Baby – Why dads-to-be should put down the beer: Alcohol before conception found to increase birth defect risk
Bad news for men hoping to become dads: new research has found a potential link between paternal preconception drinking and a higher risk of birth defects.

New Era Newspaper (Namibia) – Dashed hopes, damaged lives … drinking while pregnant puts babies at risk
Of all children assessed for disability in the Erongo region, 25% were found with disabilities more likely related to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), a medical expert has said.

USA Today – Two or more of these risk factors during pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of mental health problems years later, study says
Doctors have long known that unplanned pregnancies in women with certain chronic health problems and exposure in the womb to substances like drugs and alcohol can lead to a child’s increased risk for psychiatric or behavioral problems.

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EU FASD Australian and International News 14 April 2021

The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) – ‘No intention’: Reynolds dumps draft proposals to cut diagnosis-based NDIS funding
New National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Linda Reynolds says she has “no intention of excluding Australians from the scheme” on the basis of their diagnosis, appearing to dump radical reforms drafted under the previous minister Stuart Robert.

Aldergrove Star (Canada) – Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder gets ‘meagre’ support compared to other conditions: B.C. report
Children and teens with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder need to be included in the Ministry of Children and Family Development program that helps support youth with special needs, according to a report released Thursday (April 15) by by the Representative for Children and Youth.

Representative for Children and Youth (Canada) – Excluded: Increasing Understanding, Support and Inclusion for Children with FASD and their Families
The provincial government should take both immediate and long-term action to improve supports and services to children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and their families, recommends a report released today by B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth.

We MUST meet our children where they’re at so they can explore the gifts in them. Learn their interests, support their interests, and nurture their growth.

CanFASD – Article Summary: Self Care for Caregivers
This is a summary of the recent article Self-care in caregivers of children with FASD: How do caregivers care for themselves, and what are the benefits and obstacles for doing so? that is featured in CanFASD’s Top FASD Articles of 2020. For a complete understanding of the subject matter, read the full paper (not available open access).

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YOUTH IN CARE CHRONICLES: Reflections on Growing Up in the Child Welfare System

Penny Frazier, Cody Murrell Murrel, Dorothy Badry, Megan Mierau (Editor), Theresa Tucker-Wright (Editor), Erin Leveque (Eds) (16 Nov 2020) YOUTH IN CARE CHRONICLES: Reflections on Growing Up in the Child Welfare System. Independently Published

The authors, for me, quietly honour the youth who still struggle, while still celebrating those that overcome tremendous odds and are able to control the pain rather than allowing the pain to control them. They are fighting back and giving hope to others”. Peter Smyth, Social Worker, Author, Advocate In Canada, youth from the child welfare system are 200 times more likely to become homeless, 60 times more likely to become victims of sex trafficking, and 5 times more likely to die before they are 30 years of age. Their uncommon lives require uncommon valour to rise above their complex adversities and break through the many barriers they face. These are the real-life stories of 18 former youth in care as told by them – in voices that are raw and honest and insightful and strong. The authors break down stereotypes and build up respect through sharing what they have survived and what their hopes for the future are. They want other youth to know that they know the struggle is real, that they are not alone, and that life can get better. It is their hope that this book will also serve to inform practice, act as a resource for those who work with children in care and influence meaningful change within the system. Storytelling is a pathway to healing.

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