Fife launch of support group for little diagnosed lifelong disorder with no cure

Fife is set to launch a local service on a little diagnosed, life long disorder which affects babies in the womb - and one which has no cure.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 8:03 pm
John Hamilton, FASS
John Hamilton, FASS

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder service. FASD is a result of pre-birth exposure to alcohol.

Now, there is a new one-to-one service for parents and carers, run by Fife Alcohol Support Service (FASS).

The service, which starts in April, is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and will be the first local help to be launched in east central Scotland.

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Evidence points to the fact that the little known disorder is three to six times more prevalent than autism and little diagnosed - but FASS knows already of at least 20 families caring for someone with FASD.

John Hamilton, who chairs FASS, said, “It’s important to stress that this service is for anyone. FASD is by no means a condition always linked to heavy drinking during pregnancy - in fact the latest health advice states that no amount of alcohol is safe at any time during pregnancy.”He added: “We really want to raise awareness of this issue and help parents and carers who have had very little support to date.

“Early intervention can improve a child’s development.

“By raising awareness of the condition we’ll improve diagnosis in general and early diagnosis in particular.

“By supporting and educating parents, professional services and the wider community in Fife we’ll improve opportunities for many children.”

FASD causes difficulties in relationships, education, employment and independent living.

Poor self-regulation and angry outbursts are common, and, because of lack of understanding of the condition, it can be extremely isolating for parents and carers.

Donald Grieve, project manager of FASS’ Curnie Clubs -which combat loneliness and isolation amongst the adult population in Fife - said, “It’s great that we’re already set up to be able to help isolated or lonely adults who may have had no one to turn to for support.

“We will work hand in hand with FASD Fife to beat isolation and transform lives.”

Kate Still, Scottish chair of the National Lottery Community Fund: said: This is an important project and will support people now and in the future when they can physically come back together to make great things happen in their community.”

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