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FAS Awareness Day
September 9, 2004
by Patti Fay Hickox


September 02, 2004

On the ninth day, of the ninth month, communities around the world hold events to raise the awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). The original organizers of International FAS Awareness Day were the parents of children with these disorders. The special day continues, and helps to further an understanding of the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol and the resulting disabilities. The day is started with a "minute of reflection," defined by the ringing of bells throughout the world.

At the end of the "minute of reflection," perhaps a lullaby could be sung for those babies born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. If a lullaby does not come to mind, a wish for the future health and happiness of all our children would be in order, along with a wish that all children now living with FASD might receive the care, respect, love and support they need.

Those born with FASD present special challenges, which we are just beginning to understand. The consequence of not working effectively with children with FASD leads to higher school dropout and juvenile delinquency rates. For children who do not receive appropriate support, understanding and accommodations, their problems become more troubling and tragic in adolescence and adulthood. An early FASD diagnosis can lead to a better outcome, if the services and programs are in place to support these children and their families.

There is no cure for FASD, but FASD is preventable. The solutions are complex, but the cause is clear. FASD occurs only when developing babies are exposed to alcohol during pregnancy.

In Ketchikan at 9/9/04 at 9:00 AM we will have a movement of silence at the Men and Women Wellness Conference at Ted Ferry's. Noon at the conference a discussion on FASD.
The broken cord (symbol of FASD) will be distributed throughout the community and there will be a rally at the tunnel at 5:00 PM.


Patti Fay Hickox
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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