Independent Member for Shepparton District Suzanna Sheed has called on the Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, to establish a pilot treatment program for local children with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
In Parliament on Tuesday Ms Sheed asked the Minister to meet with representatives from health, education and early childhood services in the community who are extremely concerned about the lack of appropriate interventions for young people who have been diagnosed with the insidious disease.
Ms Sheed said research showed that a child’s prospects could be positively altered with the right kind of treatment and that it was time for investment in a specialised approach to what is one of the major non-genetic causes of long-term, irreversible brain injury.
“There are many children in my electorate who have been diagnosed with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder – also known as FASD – over a long period of time,” Ms Sheed said.
“Many of these children grow to cause major disruption in the community as teenagers and many of them, now adults, are in the prison system.”
Ms Sheed said it was time to move beyond diagnosis, assessments and research and into possible therapeutic treatment options.
“My community is already taking steps in this direction with key service providers working together to share their knowledge, but we need a plan for action,” Ms Sheed said.
“If we are to break the cycles of disadvantage in our community, we need to provide these therapeutic interventions to help the children affected and we need to evaluate such interventions so that we can continue to find better solutions to the embedded challenges that children and young people with FAD encounter in their day-to-day lives.”
Riahn Smith 0419 138 978│firstname.lastname@example.org