Craig and Louise Wilson co-ordinate the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association WA support group, which is the only group of its kind offering FASD support in the State.
They run the support group under the guidance of Elizabeth Russell, who runs a similar program of support in Queensland.
“One of the main objectives of the support group is to empower everyone with the knowledge about how to help those who have been affected by FASD,” they said.
FASD is a term used for a spectrum of conditions caused by foetal alcohol exposure and each condition and its diagnosis is based on the presentation of characteristic features unique to each individual sufferer and may be physical, developmental or neurobehavioral.
The Wilsons, who are foster carers to three children affected by FASD, said there were very few organisations dedicated to helping people deal with FASD, and they wanted to offer people afflicted an opportunity to gain support and network with others.
“The opportunity to meet and share on a face-to-face basis is a core value of support groups,” they said.
“We facilitate casual events such as coffee mornings and family events to foster that end. It’s our hope that people don’t feel isolated or they are doing this walk alone.
“It’s all too easy to fall into when those around you don’t see things the way you do. But with someone to share with, this sort of isolation can be relieved.
“Many say don’t drink and some find out why drinking is harmful, but when it comes to helping with people dealing with FASD, helpers are few.
“The focus we have is to inform, assist and support people already affected or supporting someone in life with FASD.”
The Wilsons admit they are not professionals, rather people who are passionate about helping, and suggest people should seek the “professional advice of your doctor” first.
For more information visit http://rffadafasdwa.wix.com/rffada-fasd-wa or Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association WA on Facebook.