International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
(The following excerpt is taken from Health Canada's website on FAS/FAE)
A message from the Secretary of State for Children and Youth, the Honourable Ethel Blondin-Andrew:
Since 1999, September 9, International FAS Day, has been a day for bringing messages of compassion, hope, solidarity and understanding about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) to countries around the world. September is the ninth month, symbolic of the duration of pregnancy. Once again this year, we ask that at 9:09 AM on September 9, people take a moment of silence to reflect upon the significance of a healthy pregnancy.
Information, Organizations & Support
FAS/E Support Network of BC
Vancouver YWCA Crabtree Corner
Description: Located in Vancouvers downtown eastside, this centre sits in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the country. It provides advocacy, counseling and peer support to women parenting children with FAS/E. Staff provide information, resources, training, and workshops to a wide range of groups including parents, addictions workers, teachers, corrections workers, women in correctional facilities, high school students, Aboriginal Community Health Workers, and daycare workers.
Sheway provides services to pregnant women and those with infants under 18 months of age. Services include nutrition counseling, support to obtain medical care, housing and income assistance, prenatal and postnatal care from midwives, nurses and child development specialists, coupons for food and food bank hampers, parenting support, birth control and HIV counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, and referrals to other community resources.
Recommended Web Sites:
Resources and Publications
Books, Manuals & Reports
A Manual on Adolescents and
Adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with Special Reference to
For information, contact:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:
Aimed at professionals, families and communities, this book is readable and easy to understand. It conveys urgent information about medical and social issues surrounding FAS. It gives an overview of FAS, explains how to identify the disorder, how to work with children and adults who have it, how to talk to parents about it and how to prevent its occurrence through sensitive education of prospective mothers and society.
The Broken Cord
A deeply moving book about
a single Native father who must deal with his adoptive sons
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Throughout the book, we see Michael struggling
to understand his sons illness, unaware that he has FAS.
Michael Dorris, Sept. 24, 1996.
Reaching Out to Children with
A handbook for teachers, counselors and parents who live and work with children affected by FAS/E. It contains an overview of the causes, how it is diagnosed, and the common characteristics seen in these children. There are suggestions and techniques for establishing guidelines at home and school to deal effectively with appropriate and inappropriate behaviors.
A fictitious novel about students in an English boys school who learn about parenting by carrying around and writing about a flour baby, a six-pound bag of flour, over a three-week period. They must keep it clean and dry, maintain its weight and never, never leave its side. The consensus of one grade 8 class who took part in this activity is, If people were only aware of what a bother babies are, they would never have any.
The books listed below are
available at: Parentbooks*
*Parentbooks stocks many books of interest to families and professionals on topics ranging from childbirth and infant care to education and health, parenting skills and psychology. Book lists are available on Parenting (various age levels), Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Learning Disabilities, and Early Childhood Education.
Fantastic Antone Succeeds:
This book is full of true stories
about the children and families who must cope with the problems
of FAS/E. A must-read book to assist caregivers in understanding
how to relate to children with
Fantastic Antone Grows Up:
This is the sequel to Fantastic Antone Succeeds. Young people with FAS/E and their caregivers give accounts on their experiences coping with the problems of adolescence and young adulthood. This book contains hands-on, practical teaching methods, concrete communication, and visual-cuing strategies that work so well for individuals with these challenges.
Children with Prenatal Alcohol
and/or Other Drug Exposure: Weighing the Risks of Adoption
This book is designed primarily for professionals working with prospective parents considering adopting an infant or child who has been pre-natally exposed to alcohol and/or other drugs.
Parenting Children Affected
by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Daily Living
This book will help parents, teachers, social workers, doctors and other professionals obtain what they need: information & education, support and understanding, referrals & services, realistic expectations and commitment. Elspeth Ross, Parent and Researcher
7th Generation Fetal Alcohol
Syndrome Prevention Project
A video and curriculum guide developed to raise awareness and knowledge about FAS/E. The American Indian Institute has developed a learning module for classroom presentation to grades 6-8 Native students. Students will be active participants in the learning process.
It Takes a Community
Author and principal researcher: Marilyn Van Bibber
A resource manual for Community-based prevention of Fetal Alchol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects. Developed under the guidance of a national First Nations/Inuit Working Group within Canada, this manual includes the Framework for the First Nations and Inuit Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects Initiative."
For free copies, please contact:
Resource Guide for Aboriginal Community Workers
A guide has been developed by the B.C. Aboriginal Network on Disability Society to assist Aboriginal Community Workers in their work around FAS/FAE. It includes introductory information about FAS/FAE and describes eight main categories of resources.
To order: BCANDS, 1179 Kosapsum
Crescent, Victoria, BC V9A 7K7. Tel: (250) 381-7303;
Situational Analysis: FAS/FAE and the Effects of Other Substance Use During Pregnancy
This report provides an overview of FAS/FAE-related activities across Canada, based on the results of key informant interviews and a survey of programs by Health Canada.
To order: Health Canada Publications,
Tunneys Pasture, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9.
Available online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hppb/cds-sca/cds/pdf/
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and
the Criminal Justice System
Information about people with FAS and FAE in the criminal justice system. Judges, lawyers, probation and parole officers, those working within the legal system, individuals and their families will find this tool an excellent resource.
To purchase a copy, contact:
Pamphlets & Posters
Pregnant? No Alcohol.
Available in English and French
from Health Canada, there is both a pamphlet and poster advising
women not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
In addition, the following poster can be obtained at the same address mentioned above:
Healthy Parents, Healthy Babies, Alcohol and Pregnancy Dont Mix
This poster is available in English and French and is being released in November 2001.
What is FAS?
This educational video explores the effects of alcohol on the fetus, related birth defects, the characteristics of FAS children and adults, as well as the personal and social effects of this problem. It promotes prevention via public education, particularly of high-risk groups.
David with F.A.S.
Directed by Cree filmmaker
Focusing on the human experience
of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), this video centres around David
Vandenbrink, a 21-year-old victim of FAS and his adoptive mother,
Mary. Both are coping with the consequences of this difficult
syndrome; David struggles internally, while Mary reaches out
with teaching and advocacy. NFB Catalogue 2000
Frances and Irene
Two cases are presented whereby both women are referred to different agencies for help. Both agencies emphasize healthy lifestyle practices to help in recovery from substance abuse. One of these offers a six-week residential program incorporating some traditional Native beliefs.
Life Sentence Fetal Alcohol
FAS can lead to learning disabilities, poor judgment and antisocial behavior. New research suggests that Canadian prisons are full of victims of FAS, many of them undiagnosed. A study shows that 20-25 per cent of prison inmates have some degree of FAS.
A Mothers Choice
This video examines the root causes of FAS from the perspective of Native mothers. Focuses on FAS support group whose members provide strong messages about drinking while pregnant.
This video, for professionals in community development, education and health, looks at primary and secondary prevention of FAS. Primary prevention aims to reduce alcohol consumption generally and to raise public awareness of alcohol-related birth defects. Secondary prevention programs identify high-risk women, and help them to stop drinking.
Additional Video Resources:
Contact: FAS Bookshelf Inc.