This September, which is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Month, Illuminate Colorado is bringing awareness to the many individuals and families who are impacted by the effects of prenatal exposure to alcohol in Colorado and across the United States.

Effective communication, rooted in strengths-based language, is a powerful tool in supporting families impacted by FASD. 

This week, we are focusing on how allies can utilize communication that emphasizes positivity and empowerment.

Acknowledge Resilience

Start your conversation by acknowledging the extraordinary resilience of families impacted by FASD:

“Your family’s strength and perseverance in facing the unique challenges of FASD is truly inspiring.”

Offer Practical Support

When offering help, emphasize your respect for their journey with FASD and ask how you can best support them:

“I respect you and the efforts you’ve put into managing the challenges of FASD. How can I best support you?”


Create a Judgment-Free Space

Build an environment that is free from judgment:

“I understand that FASD is complex, and I respect your resilience as you navigate this journey.”


Celebrate Achievements and Self-Identity

Focus on celebrating achievements while emphasizing that FASD doesn’t define their identity:

“I’m proud of you for the progress you have made. Remember, FASD may be a part of your journey, but it doesn’t define who you are.”


Validate Their Expertise

Affirm their expertise in managing FASD and show respect for their experiences:

“Your insights into FASD are invaluable. I’d love to learn from your experiences and the strategies that have worked for you.”


Be an Empathetic and Patient Listener

Listen with empathy and patience:

“I’m here to listen. Your experiences and feelings are important, and I deeply respect your perspective.”


Share Empowering Resources

Offer empowering resources and support groups that may help with their journey:

“I’ve come across some empowering resources and support groups that could complement your strengths. Would you like me to share them with you?”

Check out the NOFAS Colorado Facebook group.

The Facebook group offers regular support group meetings for caregivers impacted by FASD. 

Promote an Atmosphere of Positivity and Self-Worth

End conversations on a positive note, reinforcing their capabilities:

“I’m confident that, with your strengths and resilience, your family will continue to thrive. You are respected and valued in our community.”


Communication during FASD Awareness Month and beyond should emphasize strengths, empowerment, and respect for families impacted by FASD.

By acknowledging their resilience, offering support, and celebrating their achievements, we can create a positive, empowering environment that promotes awareness and understanding of FASD. 

Learn more about what Illuminate is doing during FASD Awareness month here.

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