The Arc receives grant for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder education

Online Staff Report

The Arc of Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties received a grant to educate people living in the communities they serve about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) prevention. FASD is the single most common cause of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) that is 100 percent preventable.

The Arc will roll out its FASD education initiative in April 2015 during Alcohol Awareness Month. Amy Newell, interim executive director of The Arc, said, “The Arc is looking forward to the opportunity to bring information to Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy at any stage and reminding medical professionals and women of drinking abstinence.”

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with lifelong implications. The term FASD is not intended for use as a clinical diagnosis. It refers to conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).

There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer. By abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy and nursing, a woman can ensure her baby will be free from alcohol-related defects and have a chance for a healthy life.

Receiving the grant closely aligns with The Arc’s objective to help families raise children diagnosed with I/DD at home and support adults to live in their communities and participate with work, worship, family and friends. The Arc is promoting the message “No Amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.”

The Arc is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. The Arc of Winnebago, Boone & Ogle Counties is at 1222 E. State St., Rockford, and can be reached at (815) 965-3455 or online at arcwbo.org.

Posted Oct. 7, 2014

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