NELSON Bay Rotary hosted a presentation on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) by Jessica Hannan, National Projects Officer, NOFASD.
Her message was loud and clear, “There is no safe time and safe limit to consume alcohol during pregnancy, the tiny liver of an embryo cannot metabolise the smallest amount of alcohol (ethanol) in a mother’s blood stream.”
“Both neuro and physical development is affected, FADS is the term used to cover both and to date there is no cure for damage sustained through prenatal alcohol exposure.”
FASD is the leading preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia, (O’Leary, 2002).
Consuming alcohol whilst pregnant is a gamble, as not all babies who have been exposed to alcohol during gestation will be born with FASD, there are other factors involved such as genetics, health status of the mother, timing during pregnancy and how much is consumed, binge drinking is worse.
It was also presented that FASD is not the result of an uncaring act, no one intentionally harms their child, no one causes FASD on purpose.
FASD is the by-product of trauma, addictions and/or lack of information.
Geoff Diemar, NB Rotary, told News Of The Area, “After becoming aware of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) through a hearing for youth program with Associate Professor Kelvin Kong and being concerned about the rapid increase in requirement for special education support for youth with learning difficulties, many groups setting up to raise funds to assist with behavioural, impulsivity, cognitive and other mental disorders, the Rotary Club of Nelson Bay feel that public awareness and education is essential for this preventable life-long irreversible disability.”