Understanding Stigma to Improve the Lives of Families Affected by FASD

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

In recent years, legal and social challenges in different parts of the world have exposed some of the stigmatized reactions towards women who drink during pregnancy and their children who may suffer from FASD. Brought to the surface are negative public attitudes and prejudices about women who consume alcohol during pregnancy that, in turn, stereotype families and affected individuals. Consequently, those affected by FASD (children, adolescents, adults, and biological and non-biological families) may experience negative self-esteem, isolation, and reduced opportunities.

These effects reverberate throughout families and over the life course. We need a better picture of the stigma experienced by those affected by FASD, and opportunities to reflect on the messages about alcohol use and FASD that are communicated when we interact with pregnant women, children and their families.  We need others to understand the implications of alcohol use during pregnancy, especially on brain and behavior. This not only applies…

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