Rural FASD Support Network launches Caregiver Support Group

The Rural FASD Support Network is pleased to announce the launch of its Caregiver Support Group on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10:30 am at Calvary Bible Church 8 Beech St. Smiths Falls, ON.  Child care is being provided by Youth Alliance who specializes in providing respite to families with special needs children.  With members located in Almonte, Lanark, Perth, Smiths Falls, Merrickville, Brockville, Kemptville, and Winchester, the Network is thrilled to partner with Calvary Bible Church in Smiths Falls.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD is now the most common permanent brain-based disability among children today at a 3% prevalence rate or twice as much as Autism.  There are currently only four facilities in Ontario capable of properly diagnosing this complex disability which is why only 10% of the individuals living with this disability are currently diagnosed.  FASD can only be developed by the child through the consumption of alcohol during the pregnancy.  However, we also know FASD can be developed at any time in the pregnancy including within the first 21 days.  It can impact the brain in many ways but generally will create challenges with financial matters, time management, mental health, unusually strong reactions to environmental stimuli and assorted physical conditions.  These individuals can have amazing strengths but require support to live interdependent lives.  The province of Ontario, in the past year, has began to recognize the need for support and has now provided a part-time social worker for individuals living with FASD and their service providers in Lanark County through Kids Inclusive, Kingston.  The Rural FASD Support Network consists of individuals and caregivers with lived experience and is providing a monthly Caregiver Support Group which meets the third Saturday of the month starting on Sept 15.

If you would like to learn more or get involved, please contact us at ruralfasd@gmail.com or join us on our closed Facebook group @RuralFASDSupportNetwork.