The Portage la Prairie and area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Coalition is throwing an event this week to raise awareness.
According to CanFASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body of people who were exposed to alcohol in the womb. Co-chair Barry Rud says FASD Awareness Day is coming up this week.
"The 9th day of the 9th month is the day that is chosen to market it. That date and month are significant, in that it's the 9th (day) of the 9th (month) refers to the nine months of gestation of the human fetus, and so that's the premise behind the 9th of the 9th."
Rud adds the diagnosis a spectrum of disorders, meaning no two individuals are necessarily impacted by it the same way. Signs and symptoms may include different degrees of brain damage, physical impairments, and behaviour problems. Rud explains how the local coalition is recognizing September 9th.
"We're joining forces with a group of food trucks that are creating a food truck alley. They're going to be (on Saskatchewan Ave) in between 10th and 11th Streets," he says. "They're going to be there Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Our group will be there on the 9th with an information booth, but we'll also be having games of skill and knowledge."
The Portage la Prairie and area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Coalition has been around for about 15 years to help raise awareness and reach those affected. Rud says a lot of people are affected by FASD.
"We have an estimate that we have 1.5 million people affected by FASD or about 4 per cent of the population," says Rud. "The prevalence of FASD Is actually higher than Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and tourette Syndrome all put together. So it's just important that we realize what's possible here."