FASD: An Invisible Disability

Not thrilled with the stigma language but great article.

Ottawa Citizen

Before Isaiah Boylan emerged from his mother’s womb he was damaged for life. His mother drank a lot and didn’t think or know what the alcohol might do to the developing brain of the baby she was carrying.

Maybe she didn’t immediately realize she was pregnant — fifty per cent of Canadian pregnancies are unplanned — and had already inflicted brain damage on her unborn son during the critical first trimester.

Researchers know that a pregnant woman who drinks heavily can impose a life sentence of disability on her child. But they are also discovering that a woman who enjoys a few glasses of wine a week can do the same. It’s often more about timing than quantity.

From left, Brenda Boylan, her daughter Ireland, husband Chris and son Isaiah. Isaiah and Ireland have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. From left, Brenda Boylan, her daughter Ireland, husband Chris and son Isaiah. Isaiah and Ireland have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Health Canada estimates that about nine in 1,000 Canadian babies are born alcohol affected…

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