Soldotna, September 8, 2017— Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) do affect KPBSD students, and September 9, 2017, marks international FASD awareness day. The KPBSD, together with our board of education, community agencies, and families recognize the challenges of FASD. We are working with and supporting our students and families, providing FASD education, awareness, and parent support groups. On September 1, 2017, Governor Walker proclaimed September 9, 2017 as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day in Alaska.
Learn about the danger of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and the plight of individuals and families who struggle with the impact of FASD challenges.
“Our goal is to understand and support our students with FASD, provide support for their families, and hopefully create enough awareness about FASD that we significantly alter the number of future students impacted with FASD,” said Clayton Holland, director of KPSBD pupil services. “It is estimated that 2-5% of the entire population of the United States is impacted by FASD. Alaska has taken the lead in recognizing this disability and doing proactive work in this area. The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has a long term commitment to training our staff to work effectively with students impacted by FASD, providing preventive education to our students and the community, and providing support to the families and care providers of those with FASD. Our work has already resulted in a significant reduction in discipline across the district and we believe the long term outcome is a healthier community and state.”
Deb Evensen, FASD expert, said, “I am honored to be assisting KPBSD as they work toward their goal of more effectively supporting students with FASD, in every grade level and in every program. This work is a bold step for KPBSD who is leading the way to address this challenge. As we improve our understanding and support for those now living with FASD, we nurture the growing public awareness of what causes this disability, and help create the path to a future where FASD no longer exists.”
“FASD Awareness Day should be a time for all of us at KPBSD to consider the effects of this disorder and to learn how we can better support our students who have this disability,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent.
All birth, foster, and adoptive families in KPBSD raising children with FASD are invited to come together for a picnic on International FASD Day, from 11:00 – 2:00, at Soldotna Creek Park. Families are asked to bring a potluck dish to share and table service for their family. This event marks the beginning of four FASD family support events for the year.
FASD projects in the KPBSD
- Beginning, intermediate, and advanced training on FASD available to all educators throughout the district
- Specific on-site consultations and assistance in the classroom regarding specific students
- A friendly support group for caregivers of children with a FASD diagnosis
- Work with health teachers to provide FASD information and awareness for all students
KPBSD parent education and support meetings
Several times throughout the 2017-2018 school year, an evening is scheduled for KPBSD caregivers for children with FASD to meet. The gatherings connect caregivers, and take place in Homer, Seward, and the central peninsula. We’ve learned that our parents experience relief and appreciation to be able to talk with each other in a group facilitated by an FASD expert. Call 907-714-8881 for additional details.