Comments: Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention

Sara McLean and Stewart McDougall

CFCA Paper No. 29 — December 2014
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Current issues in awareness, prevention and intervention

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A wonderful contribution to FASD nationally. Just a quick comment about the prevalence of FASD in Australia though. Phillip May in the United States has recently found that between 4% and 7% of children in the United States have a FASD. There is no reason for us to assume that Australia will be any different except that we drink more per capita than the United States. We can make an education assumption that our rates of FASD will be at least the same as this new research suggests. In fact the rffada suspects it will eventually be found to be around 10%. For the purposes of ensuring that those people with the condition and their parents get the support and understanding they need to live to their potential, we must take this educated assumption and use it until we have a mainstream population based study of our own. To say that prevalence is 1.7 per 1000 births or even 2% as was suggested at the Inquiry will not result in taking this condition with appropriate seriousness and urgency. However if we appropriate these statistics from the United States until we have our own, as a nation we can see the importance of a coordinated prevention and awareness campaign.
Anne Russell