QUEEN’S PARK – September 9 marked the annual, province-wide awareness day for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  Today, Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek addressed the Legislature to officially recognize and thank community members who organized and took part in St. Thomas’ awareness demonstration.

While many people are familiar with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), FASD encompasses a broader array of afflictions of which FAS is a part.  It is estimated that 9 out of a 1,000 babies born in Canada suffer from FASD.  Many children go undiagnosed leading to troubles at school and other hardships later in life such as homelessness, substance abuse, and criminal behaviour.

A group of St. Thomas residents – led by Ethel de la Penotiere – gathered at City Hall at City Hall where the town bell rang out nine times and nine minutes past nine to mark the

Despite the challenges faced by those suffering from FASD, Ontario has lagged other provinces in terms of developing a comprehensive awareness, treatment, and prevention strategy.

MPP Yurek stated that the progression of the medical community’s understanding of FASD merits the government to show some leadership and address this issue.

“Given the low diagnosis rate for FASD, many sufferers have no idea what’s wrong or how to seek treatment,” said Yurek.  “We need the government to officially recognize the prevalence of FASD so that these individuals are no longer neglected by our health care system.

“I support our dedicated volunteers in St. Thomas and across the province for their efforts to raise awareness of this important issue.”

To view MPP Yurek’s statement, click on the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwGYeeEwi2A&feature=youtu.be

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Media Contact: William Ross | P: 416-325-3965 | E: william.ross@pc.ola.org