Every September 9th at 9:09am, people who work with people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder pause for a moment’s silence.

They hope it draws awareness to the fact that drinking during pregnancy can harm the fetus.

Lianne Guenette is the FASD worker at the Cochrane-Temiskaming Children’s Treatment Centre.  She says exposure to alcohol in the womb can lead to brain or body difficulties.

“It’s a lifelong disability,” she remarks. “It’s not going away and it can cause challenges in their lives daily.”

Guenette says four percent of the population are on the spectrum.

“Most people are familiar with the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Right now it’s estimated that 1.5-1.6-million people in Canada have FASD. So that means that would potentially fill the Rogers Centre up to 30 times.”

Combine the number of people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Tourette’s, and it’s fewer than the number with FASD.