At first glance, it’s barely perceptible.
But Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder runs rampant in the territory, affecting an estimated 2.6 per cent of the population.
“The main problem is that most of the kids with FASD these days look so normal,” said Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society of the Yukon executive director Judy Pakozdy.
“So, everyone expects them to act normally, but they just can’t.
“And they’re in jail over and over and over.”
The cost to the affected, their families, their communities and to taxpayers is astronomical, said a recent fetal alcohol society release.
A large number of 14- to 25-year-old women with the syndrome are getting pregnant, the release said.
“And most of these young women live chaotic lives, have few supports and drink heavily at times during their pregnancies.”
The difficulty is that most of these women are viewed as ‘normal’ by the public, and are expected to provide good prenatal care, said the release.
“So, when they can’t follow through, they’re seen as stupid, unmotivated and not caring about their babies.”
The fetal alcohol society is calling for better assessment and diagnosis of these young women, so they can garner more support during their pregnancies.
The society is hosting an open house and all-day barbecue Saturday, September 9th, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Yukon Inn Plaza. (GK)