Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose is calling on the province to develop an integrated provincial strategy for prevention and support services for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
“Countless children are falling through the cracks because of Ontario’s continued failure to fully address FASD. This puts them at high risk for developmental disorders and severely impairs their chances to grow up to lead the full, happy and productive lives they so desperately deserve,” said NAN Deputy Grand Chief Terry Waboose.
“FASD is a complex and debilitating condition with life-long implications for those affected and their caregivers, and an integrated provincial strategy is essential if progress is to be made on the prevention and treatment of this disorder.”
He added that Ontario is falling behind many other provinces that have established strategies and targeted mandates for FASD prevention, intervention and support.
In 2006, the government cut the Northwestern Ontario FASD Diagnostic Clinic in Sioux Lookout.
“Without assessments and proper services, many First Nations children are at very high risk for secondary disabilities that can severely impair their development,” Waboose said.
“Lives are at risk, and it is crucial that the government officially recognizes the crippling health and social impacts of this disorder and begins to work with First Nations to design and implement a strategic response.”