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 I changed the focus for 2018 (and continued to use these in 2019) when I came across The Canada FASD Research Network’s CanFASD Common Messages document.

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 late 2018).

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 also released a Media Guide for FASDay which you can find on their resources page.

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 info graphics at:

Adults Alcohol Use in Ontario (former Day 82)

Binge Drinking on Campus (former Day 83)

Pregnancy and Alcohol Use (former Day 84)

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 from people with FASD, like we were reminded of by Katrina on Day 28 of 99 Days to FASDay: Nothing About Us Without Us.

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

To find the next 2018/2019 infographic in the journey, click here: Day 85 of 99 Days to FASDay: Pillars of Success

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