The first of four roadshow events was held at the Arc of Pueblo, co-hosted by Illuminate Colorado, this week. These events, made possible through a mini-grant by the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD), are designed to increase awareness around diagnosis and resources across Colorado.

The events also provide a venue to solicit statewide feedback on draft priority areas determined by a Gap Analysis conducted by the FASD Identification Work Group in 2019. These priority areas include:

  • decreasing financial burden on caregivers of children with an FASD,
  • preventing and relieving burnout among caregivers of children with an FASD,
  • increasing awareness of FASDs among educators, and physical and mental health care providers, and
  • increasing the use of a standardized screening tool for Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE).

The day began with a presentation from staff members from Illuminate on definitions and common behaviors associated with a diagnosis under the FASD umbrella. There was also a focus on how the language we use to talk about families and individuals impacted by FASD and how using person-first language can help decrease stigma surrounding the issue. A panel discussion followed, including experts from Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Pueblo, the Arc of Pueblo, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, The Colorado Department of Education, Insights Denver (a diagnostic and therapy clinic), Colorado Springs School District, as well as a mother parenting a son with an FASD.

Toward the end of the event participants engaged in a group discussion of barriers and opportunities in regards to improving access to services and information for families, including next steps.

Next up, Illuminate Colorado will partner with the Arc of Weld County on March 25th in Windsor and with the Arc of Montezuma County on May 7th in Cortez for similar events. Stay tuned for more information for a June event, likely a virtual town hall!

Click HERE to learn more about future FASD events.

Are you a caregiver and/or parent of a child or adult impacted by an FASD? Check out the Colorado Chapter of Circle of Parents to find out more information about FASD support groups.

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