Sudbury

Meeting aims to help adults with FASD

Aboriginal leaders say there's a lack of services for adults in Ontario with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
A conference about how to help adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder gets underway on Tuesday in Sudbury. (istockphoto.com)

Aboriginal leaders say there's a lack of services for adults in Ontario with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

A conference on the topic gets underway tomorrow in Sudbury.

Laurie McLeod-Shabogesic, conference organizer and FASD co-ordinator for the Union of Ontario Indians, said both federal and provincial governments need to better support adults with the disorder — as soon as people are diagnosed.

"As we improve access to diagnosis, those [statistics] will give the numbers for what we need for specialized services like speech therapy [and] occupational therapy," she said.

Lifelong disability

McLeod-Shabogesic added fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a lifelong disability and doesn't just affect children.

"What we need to do is … grow the services in the province to meet the needs of people throughout the life cycle."

Some of the symptoms of the disorder can include deformities and attention deficit disorder.

Angela Recollet, executive director at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre, which treats aboriginal people with FASD, said she meets people who haven't been diagnosed, but are coping with symptoms like mental illness later in life.

"They're put into cookie cutter kind of approach in the judicial system and other areas," she noted.

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