On September 9, students at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Elementary School were asked to wear red to recognize Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
“We celebrate FASD awareness day on September 9th, with recognition of this day starting on September 9th, 1999. This day was chosen so that the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy,” said Social Worker Jessica Fedoruk.
For grade 8 student Eddie Bunkowsky, the day was also an opportunity to share with the school community his personal journey with FASD and educate peers on how they can show support.
For those unfamiliar with the term, Eddie explained at a school assembly that FASD is a brain disorder that happens when an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol which can cause difficult behaviors and learning problems which last throughout a person’s life.
For Eddie, his challenges involve remembering things and thinking through decisions. With personal supports and accommodations, Eddie and others with FASD can feel confident in their day to day routines.
“I need your help making good decisions, understanding what is safe and understanding what is important,” he said.
“I may need more time to think things through.”
A video created by Eddie helped provide a visual explanation to a challenge he might face and how his reliance on trusted friends is vital. The video is available for viewing here: https://www.powtoon.com/online-presentatio …
Being vulnerable and honest isn’t an easy thing to do, said Principal Dean Younger, who thanked Eddie for his willingness to speak up.
“To share these things about yourself, with everyone in the room right now, it takes a lot of courage. It’s not easy to do. You really are a remarkable person.”
If you would like to learn more about FASD, please visit the following websites: