The mission of our all volunteer, grassroots, nonprofit organization is to create FASD informed communities to empower individuals impacted by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Our vision: a world where individuals with FASD can thrive.
In early February 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study led by UNC researcher, Philip May, Ph.D. The study estimated the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) among first-graders in four US communities to be up to one in 20. This study, and the fact that approximately 90% of those with a diagnosable FASD are not even evaluated for this disorder, reinforces that prenatal alcohol exposure is a significant public health issue that can no longer be ignored.
Many times, those affected by alcohol in utero are diagnosed with a variety of mental health diagnoses, none of which are exactly descriptive of symptoms observed; prescribed medication may help those symptoms for a while or not at all. In either case, academic and behavioral challenges continue and all involved become discouraged.
The above realities for those with an FASD have been experienced firsthand by the two parents who created NCFASD Informed. At NCFASD Informed, we believe that it is critical that individuals receive accurate diagnoses, as early as possible, so that they can receive comprehensive assistance in their communities. To achieve this goal, we hope to connect those with an FASD and their families to available resources throughout North Carolina.
We incorporated in January 2018. NCFASD Informed has received 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt status. Based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, we will strive to create FASD informed communities of parents, teachers, and health care professionals around North Carolina by increasing awareness around multiple issues immediately, including:
- how exposure to alcohol in utero can be manifested
- how to seek a diagnosis if such exposure is suspected
- how to find the most effective individualized interventions and services.
In addition, we will endeavor to provide other crucial information to parents as they assist their children in navigating their lives with this brain-based physical disability with behavioral symptoms.