By canfasdblog on Apr 10, 2024 07:00 am

Since 2017, we have been publishing an FASD Common Messages Guide, a resource focused on respectful ways of writing and talking about FASD. Each spring, we review the guide and update it with new research and conversations that emerge in the FASD community. Over the last several years, individuals with lived experience have been increasingly involved. They have provided feedback on the topics we cover and language we use to describe issues related to FASD.

This year, we’ve made a few changes, including:

  • Referring to ‘risks’ such as employment difficulties and mental health issues, as ‘areas of need’. This indicates areas where supports may be beneficial.
  • Shifting to the use of ‘living’ experience as opposed to the past tense ‘lived’ experience
  • Several language changes that reduce stigma and blame
  • Updated supporting literature referenced throughout the guide

An important point to consider when using the guide is that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to language and messaging does not always apply. The suggestions we provide in the guide are intended to be inclusive and respectful for all individuals with FASD and their families. However, recognizing the diversity and uniqueness of each person with FASD, we always recommend consulting at an individual level to ensure that language choices are reflective and respectful of each person’s experience.

Read the full guide.

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