FASD: Common Messaging

Over the last few months, the 99 Days to 9/9 FASDay series of infographics created in 2017 has been re-shared on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Some updates were made along the way, but for Days 82, 83 and 84 the focus was changed in 2018 when I came across The Canada FASD Research Network’s Common Messages document. The graphics below represent a few examples from the updates in 2022 that CanFASD made to the Guide.

According to CanFASD:

The purpose of this document is to assist those writing and talking about people with FASD or the issues related to the disability to use the same statistics, framing of topics, and language. The outcome over time will be an improved understanding by the reader/listener with consistently using these suggestions. This is a living document and areas will be updates as it is informed by the research. (Note: There were updates in 2022).

If you are looking for suggestions on how to write about FASD, I encourage you to have a look (link above). It contains sections on:

  • Prevalence
  • Statistics
  • Terminology and Language
  • Legal Issues and
  • Emerging Research.

While some information is specific to Canada, there is a lot of general information that can be used in different countries.

In 2019 CanFASD released an FASD Media Guide toolkit intended for health care professionals, service providers, journalists or anyone who might speak to the media about FASD. People are encouraged to use the resource to help guide how to speak to the media about FASD or how to run a media campaign on FASD/alcohol and pregnancy, ensuring that the language used is informed, inclusive and non-stigmatizing.

The FASD Language Guide

Another great resource when talking about FASD is the Language Guide created by a working group from the Manitoba FASD Coalition called Looking After Each Other. You can download a copy of the guide, or check out the days it was featured:

Day 21 of 99 Days to FASDay: FASD Language Guide

Day 22 of 99 Days to FASDay: No More External Brains Please!

Day 23 of 99 Days to FASDay: Promote Dignity

Day 24 of 99 Days to FASDay: Change our Language


One important thing to remember when talking about FASD is to include the perspectives of people with FASD, which we shared on Days 27-30 and 92-98.

Do you have any comments on the language we use or changes we should make?

Former Day 82, 83, 84 Infographics

The information shared in 2017 for Days 82, 83 and 84 is still relevant, I just felt this information was important, leading up to International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day. You can still find the original 2017 infographics at:

Adults Alcohol Use in Ontario (former Day 82)

Binge Drinking on Campus (former Day 83)

Pregnancy and Alcohol Use (former Day 84)

To find the next infographic on our 99 Day Journey, click below:

Day 85 of 99 Days: What We Need to Address FASD: Pillars of Success