Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 11/5/2012 (2985 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The province will double the capacity of a successful Winnipeg fetal alcohol spectrum disorder support program, while boosting efforts to diagnose the condition in rural and northern communities.
Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief announced Friday funding for provincial services to address FASD will reach $13.3 million this year, $500,000 more than last year.
At a news conference, he said some of the new money will be used to double the reach of a local program that gives parents of young kids with FASD a monthly respite day as it works with the children on behavioural issues.
The program, offered through the Rehabilitation Centre for Children on Wellington Crescent, will now see 36 kids a month in Winnipeg, up from 18. The target ages of kids are from three to 12. Kids are usually seen in groups of three, and the program is so much fun at least one child nags his adopted mom about when the next session will take place.
"When do I go for my program?" six-year-old Evan often asks, said his mom, Kristyn Fontaine. She has looked after him since birth.
Fontaine said FASD will be "a lifetime struggle" for Evan, who is enrolled in kindergarten at Dufferin School. He has meltdowns, for which he gets sent to his room until he calms down. He also has other conditions along with FASD that, Fontaine said, are beginning to emerge and will need to be assessed.
"We love him to bits. He is our little sweetheart," Fontaine said of Evan. She has also adopted two girls, aged eight and six months, who were born to the same mother. The older girl does not have FASD; Fontaine doesn't yet know if the younger girl does.
The money announced Friday will be used for a number of projects that address awareness and prevention, diagnosis, intervention and support as well as community engagement and research.
The projects include support for The Mothering Project, a new drop-in program to be launched next year that will offer a variety of supports for women who use substances and are pregnant or have young children.
Dr. Sally Longstaffe, medical director of the Manitoba Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Centre, said research shows programs, for example, that target "highly functioning" young women who binge drink on weekends can be effective in reducing FASD.
The province is setting up regional rural diagnostic clinics to target FASD. "The goal is to reach out to the whole province," Longstaffe said Friday.
Global studies have shown FASD is more widespread than originally thought, she said. "The issue of FASD is everywhere."
Larry Kusch didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life until he attended a high school newspaper editor’s workshop in Regina in the summer of 1969 and listened to a university student speak glowingly about the journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa.
Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.
To those who have made donations, thank you.
To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.
The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.
While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.
After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.
If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.
We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.