Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is on September 9

Every year on September 9, International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day is observed. Proclamations are issued in countries, states, provinces, and towns all around the world and people gather for events to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the plight of individuals and families who struggle with FASD. The first FASD Day was celebrated on 9/9/99; this day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should abstain from alcohol. Anytime is a good time to raise awareness about FASD. At Surrey Place, we will be releasing a series of “Did You Know” social media cards using our Twitter account to help raise awareness. 

We are also pleased to share information about our very own Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Adult Diagnostic Clinic. The FASD Adult Diagnostic Clinic provides diagnosis and follow-up treatment for individuals of all ages suspected of having FASD. The clinic was established in 2007 and has seen more than 150 individuals. The team includes a Service Coordinator, Ph.D. Nurse, Physician, Psychologists, Speech Language Pathologist, and Behaviour Therapist. 

Assessments are completed at Surrey Place by our diagnostic team. Usually, you come with a support worker or family member and start with an Intake interview which lasts about an hour. Then, our nurse does a medical review and takes a photograph of your face. After this, you do neurodevelopmental testing (e.g., puzzles, memory tests etc.). This can last between 1 and 3 hours. If we can’t complete everything in one afternoon, we will invite you back for more appointments. After the assessment, our team will review the results and write a report for you. You will come for feedback to hear the results and recommendations. After the assessment you may be offered other services like behaviour therapy, counselling, or case management. 

Anyone can make a referral for FASD assessment. Call Surrey Place Intake 416-925-5141. Be sure to say if you are referring an adult (over 18 years) or if you are referring a child (under 18 years). 

As well as diagnosis and treatment, the team has also engaged in education and advocacy in the broader community. This has included educational workshops for our community partners (e.g., META Centre, COTA, Community Living Dryden-Sioux Lookout) and involvement in advisory, educational, and advocacy groups (e.g., Toronto FASD Coordinating Network; FASD-Ontario Network of Expertise; CanFASD). 

We have an active research and publication program which has included being guest editors and contributors to a Special Edition on FASD by the Journal on Developmental Disabilities as well as other peer reviewed publications, book chapters, and conference presentations. The team was also involved in the development of the revised Canadian Guidelines for Diagnosis of FASD published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2016. 

Together, we can help raise awareness and make a difference. Remember – if you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, it is safest not to drink any alcohol. 

By 2 months

Has your baby had their hearing screened? YES NO

By 6 months

Does the child?

Startle in response to loud noises? YES NO
Turn to where a sound is coming from? YES NO
Make different cries for different needs (hungry, tired)? YES NO
Watch your face as you talk? YES NO
Smile/laugh in response to your smiles and laughs? YES NO
Imitate coughs or other sounds such as ah, eh, buh YES NO

By 9 months

Does the child?

Respond to their name? YES NO
Respond to the telephone ringing or a knock at the door? YES NO
Understand being told no? YES NO
Get what they want through using gestures (reaching to be picked up)? YES NO
Play social games with you (Peek-a-Boo)? YES NO
Enjoy being around people? YES NO
Babble and repeat sounds such as babababa or duhduhduh? YES NO

By 12 months

Does the child?

Follow simple one-step directions (sit down)? YES NO
Look across the room to a toy when adult points at it? YES NO
Consistently use three to five words? YES NO
Use gestures to communicate (waves hi/bye, shakes head for no)? YES NO
Get your attention using sounds, gestures and pointing while looking at your eyes? YES NO
Bring you toys to show you? YES NO
Perform for social attention and praise? YES NO
Combine lots of sounds together as though talking (abada baduh abee)? YES NO
Show an interest in simple picture books? YES NO

By 18 months

Does the child?

Understand the meaning of in and out, off and on? YES NO
Point to more than 2 body parts when asked? YES NO
Use at least 20 words consistently? YES NO
Respond with words or gestures to simple questions (Where's teddy? What's that?)? YES NO
Demonstrate some pretend play with toys (gives teddy bear a drink, pretends a bowl is a hat)? YES NO
Make at least four different consonant sounds (p ,b, m, n, d, g, w, h)? YES NO
Enjoy being read to and sharing simple books with you? YES NO
Point to pictures using one finger? YES NO

By 2 years

Does the child?

Follow two-step directions (Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.)? YES NO
Use 100 to 150 words? YES NO
Use at least two pronouns (you, me, mine)? YES NO
Consistently combine two to four words in short phrases (Daddy hat. Truck go down.)? YES NO
Enjoy being around other children? YES NO
Begin to offer toys to other children and imitate other children's actions and words? YES NO
Use words that are understood by others 50 to 60 per cent of the time? YES NO
Form words or sounds easily and without effort? YES NO
Hold books the right way up and turn the pages? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 30 months

Does the child?

Understand the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little/a lot, more)? YES NO
Use some adult grammar (two cookies, bird flying, I jumped)? YES NO
Use over 350 words? YES NO
Use action words such as run, spill, fall? YES NO
Participate in some turn-taking activities with peers, using both words and toys? YES NO
Demonstrate concern when another child is hurt or sad? YES NO
Combine several actions in play (puts blocks in the train and drives the train, drops the blocks off.)? YES NO
Put sounds at the beginning of most words? YES NO
Use words with two or more syllables or beats (ba-na-na, com-pu-ter, a-pple)? YES NO
Recognize familiar logos and signs involving print (Stop sign)? YES NO
Remember and understand familiar stories? YES NO

By 3 years

Does the child?

Understand who, what, where and why questions? YES NO
Create long sentences using five to eight words? YES NO
Talk about past events (trip to grandparents house, day at child care)? YES NO
Tell simple stories? YES NO
Show affection for favourite playmates? YES NO
Engage in multi-step pretend play (pretending to cook a meal, repair a car)? YES NO
Talk in a way that most people outside of the family understand what she/he is saying most of the time? YES NO
Have an understanding of the function of print (menus, lists, signs)? YES NO
Show interest in, and awareness of, rhyming words? YES NO
Read to stuffed animals or toys? YES NO
Scribble with crayons? YES NO

By 4 years

Does the child?

Follow directions involving three or more steps (First get some paper, then draw a picture and give it to Mommy)? YES NO
Use adult type grammar? YES NO
Tell stories with a beginning, middle and end? YES NO
Talk to try and solve problems with adults and with other children? YES NO
Show increasingly complex imaginary play? YES NO
Talk in a way that is understood by strangers almost all the time? YES NO
Generate simple rhymes (cat-bat)? YES NO
Match some letters with their sounds (letter b says buh, letter t says tuh)? YES NO