Concerns over FASD funding review

Concerns over FASD funding review

Concerns over FASD funding review

By Heather Meagher, SBS News (October 15th, 2013) (Accessed: October 17th, 2013)

Commentary by Krystal Glowatski

This article addresses the need for FASD funding in Australia.  Previously, 20 million dollars was pledged to FASD by the Australian government, however it is unclear by this article if that money is for research, prevention, or support.  What is clear is that FASD is a major issue in Australia.  The funds that were previously set aside for FASD is now in jeopardy under the new government.

The article points out that, “…half of pregnancies are unplanned and with women binge-drinking more than ever, advocates say this funding is crucial.”  Alcohol abuse, and subsequently, FASD have become hot topics in Australia.  Currently a prevalence research study is being conducted in Fitzroy Crossing called “Marulu: The Lililwan Project”  (See: http://depts.washington.edu/fmffasd/fitzroy-valley for more information).  While alcohol use has been surrounded by research and debate, the rates of FASD in Australian communities is still largely unknown.

What we do know is the range of effects FASD can have on an individual who was exposed to alcohol in utero.  The young woman, Morgan, interviewed in this article has FASD and experiences struggles such as cognitive functioning (problems remembering and understanding) and behavioural issues such as frustration and anger.  While this young woman experiences such inflictions and has shown bravery in publicly discussing her disorder, many others in Australia and indeed, around the world, perhaps don’t even understand that they too are affected by FASD.  Funding is certainly needed to help those: 1) who are dealing with FASD daily, such as Morgan, 2) who don’t yet know what they’re dealing with, in determining a diagnosis, and 3) who are not born yet but have the potential to be effected by FASD.

To hear a recent interview with Morgan about her experience with FASD, see:

http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/episode/watchonline/581/Drinking-When-Pregnant

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