BOTHELL, Wash., Sept. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) affect hundreds of thousands of children, yet public awareness and treatment options remain severely limited while stigma remains high.
One in 10 children are exposed to drugs and alcohol in utero, and 1 in 7 people reported drinking during pregnancy. FASD often occurs before a person knows they are pregnant. Research shows that children with FASD are significantly more likely to experience school expulsion, justice system involvement, and homelessness. Early intervention and proper diagnosis can positively impact life outcomes for individuals with FASD, yet there are just two FASD diagnostic clinics in the State of Washington. At one of these clinics, Hope RISING Clinic in Bothell, Washington, families are waiting 12 – 18 months for services.
Providing comprehensive information about FASD will help individuals, families, and communities understand this critical issue while reducing shame and stigma related to FASD.
Understanding FASD is crucial:
- Prevention: FASD is entirely preventable by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. Raising awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption during this period empowers expectant parents and families to make informed choices.
- Early Intervention: Early identification and therapies can significantly improve the outcomes for individuals with FASD. Recognizing the signs and providing appropriate support can help affected individuals reach their full potential.
- Support: Individuals with FASD and their families face unique challenges. Community understanding can make a significant difference in their lives.
Wonderland Child & Family Services, a Shoreline-based nonprofit serving children with disabilities, opened Hope RISING Clinic in Bothell to help meet the need for FASD services and diagnostics. Mary Kirchoff, Wonderland’s Executive Director, shared: “We were seeing more and more kids with prenatal substance exposure in our birth-to-three program, including FASD, and were unsure how to treat their unique needs. After extensive research and training, we opened Hope RISING Clinic because these kids and their families need tools and understanding to lead their best lives. We are honored to serve them but are severely limited by funding constraints. As a community, we have to invest in these kids, and so Wonderland and Hope RISING Clinic will continue to, despite the challenges.”.
Raising awareness about FASD is a collective responsibility. We can make a positive impact on the lives of those affected by understanding the risks, signs, and support available. For more detailed information about FASD, resources, and ways to support, please visit hoperisingclinic.org/get-involved/ or contact Claire Lee to talk to an expert representative.
SOURCE Wonderland Child & Family Services
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/addressing-the-gap-in-services-for-children-with-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorders-fasd-301916197.html
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