Stade et al published a Canadian study on health and quality of life outcomes of children with FASD. This study provided direct evidence for the devastating impact on child outcomes. A questionnaire measuring health-related quality of life was completed by children with FASD (eight to 21 years of age) and their parents. These children displayed significantly poorer health-related quality of life scores compared with the norm sample, and these impairments were most notable on cognitive and emotional variables. When compared with other published data using the same questionnaire, children with FASD had lower mean health-related quality of life scores than children with significant disabilities (ie, blindness, cerebral palsy, deafness and cognitive impairment) and those who were survivors of childhood cancers.
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is recognized as one of the leading known causes of developmental disability in the western world.
- Compared with other common disabilities, at an estimated prevalence of 4%, FASD is: 2.5x more common than Autism (1.52%), 19x more common than Cerebral Palsy (0.21%), 28x more common than Down’s Syndrome (0.14%) and 40x more common than Tourette’s Syndrome (0.10%). [The Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (July 2018) Canada FASD Research Network].
- Using a 4% prevalence rate (CanFASD) means there are 537,939 people (including 120,785 children) with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in Ontario.
- Although the types of cost vary for children versus adults, FASD carries average costs of more than $23,000 per person per year, according to the analysis by Larry Burd, PhD, and colleagues of University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Grand Fork. (2018)
- Streissguth et al identified five protective factors that resulted in lower rates of secondary disabilities which included: living in a good quality stable home environment; infrequent changes in living arrangements; not being exposed to violence; receiving services for developmental disabilities; and being diagnosed before six years of age.
- Having less physical features, and a higher rather than lower IQ were associated with a higher rate of secondary disabilities and adverse outcomes. (Streissguth)
- In addition to school disruptions, 90% of these children will have a mental health illness in their lifetime, many may be homeless, many enter the justice system. The cost of FASD in Canada is $9.8 billion (Thanah & Jonsson 2015)
- Why does the Province not have an Alcohol Strategy? (Addressing not only FASD but the addiction and social issues caused by alcohol)
- Why is FASD, as the leading developmental disability, ignored?
- Why do you accept $2.12 billion from the LCBO yet direct none of that to FASD?
- Would it not be more cost effective to put money into proactive measures rather than reactive measures?
- Why are none of the suggestions from the FASD Roundtable Report prepared in 2015 with consultations from across the FASD community being implemented?
- When will more FASD Key Workers be introduced? With likely over 100,000 children with FASD, the 50 workers see 2,500. Is it not a crisis the other 98,000+ are without service?
- When will more diagnostic clinics be opened so that children can be seen earlier, and interventions put in place to prevent secondary or adverse outcomes?
- Why will this government not provide a financial means (like a basic income) for parents to be able to stay home to manage and care for their children – until they are developmentally ready for interdependence – it is more cost effective than disrupting lives and children being put into treatment centres or later jails.
- When will FASD be classed as a developmental disability (IQ has nothing to do with Executive Functioning – many of our children may never be independent). They require access to the lifetime Disability Tax Credit (their brain damage will never fix itself). Some may be able to work but many will need a support person beside them to guide them – but without recognition of the disability they do not qualify for services.
- When will the Health Ministry listen to the researchers and scientists and make public statements that no amount of alcohol is safe during a pregnancy. Many doctors still tell women it is okay to drink. But there are no scientific studies showing a safe level of alcohol.
FASD was first brought to the public over 50 years ago. Two Canadians (Ontarians) started an international FASD Awareness Day 20 years ago. Canada is one of the leading nations for FASD research. Ontario has produced some reports recognized globally. But the government continues to ignore the harm alcohol contributes to Society.
Why not create Neurodevelopmental Centres of Excellence that would serve all people with Developmental Disabilities. A person with FASD, or Down’s Syndrome or other developmental disability is just as important as a person with Autism.