While the movement started as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day on September 9, 1999, it has grown over the last 20 years to many towns, cities, provinces, states and countries recognizing an awareness week and many are using the entire month to increase awareness. Even though we need to continue to spotlight and raise awareness and advocate year round, I thought it would be interesting, as the month wraps up, to highlight just a few of the incredible FASD awareness day 2019 events and activities I saw on-line.

It seemed this year there was more going on than ever before.

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Whether your day started with the quiet reflection of a bell concordance, or ended shining a light of red (Hamilton, Ontario) to remember that FASD is real….

We hope that you found support, inspiration and a sense of belonging. The day was magical – even the night – when Niagara Falls reflected Red Shoes Rock Red.

So if you feel alone and like you don’t make a difference, you do. FASDay started from an idea of one person to remind people to go alcohol free for nine months of pregnancy. One adult with FASD started to wear red shoes to remind himself that it was okay to be different … different is good … and it gave him confidence to start conversations. And now both these ideas have come together and spread across the globe. We absolutely have a long way to go, but if the indications of the coming together and awareness of this year are any foretelling of the year ahead, we know that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder will no longer be invisible. We will get the prevention and support that is needed.

The stories behind some of these events truly encompass what the movement is about. From Mackie’s Mom:

“We have a tradition to walk around the school square each year to raise awareness about FASD. To symbolize the end of the 99 day campaign where Mackie is telling the world about FASD. Today he was joined by his friends and teachers and others who rock their Red Shoes.” (Read more…)

Re-post from Our Sacred Breath, September 29, 2019