FASD Common Messaging Guide

Since 2017, the Canadian FASD organisation CanFASD have been publishing a resource focused on respectful ways of writing and talking about FASD – the Common Messaging Guide. In Aotearoa, we use it too, and we’re grateful to CanFASD for this.

The guide is reviewed and updated every year with new research and conversations that emerge in the FASD community. Individuals with lived experience of FASD have been increasingly involved in providing their feedback on the topics covered and language used to describe issues related to FASD.

2023 updates include:

  • A new preamble to increase transparency about our process for developing and updating the guide
  • Changes to the language we use to refer to the ‘costs’ associated with FASD to angle it more towards more positive ‘investments’ which could be made
  • A new section on lived experience
  • Major updates regarding gender-inclusive language
  • New sections on neurodiversity and interdependence.

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 provided in the guide are intended to be inclusive and respectful for all individuals with FASD and their whānau.

However, to acknowledge the diversity and uniqueness of each person with FASD, it’s recommended to consult at an individual level to ensure that language choices are reflective and respectful of each person’s experience.

Click here to access the 2023 Common Messaging Guide.