Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Registered nurses call for provincial strategy to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


LONDON, Jan. 10, 2014 – Too-often, children and adults living with developmental disabilities fall through the cracks. This is especially true for those living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, says the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), the professional association representing over 36,000 Ontario registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing students.

Two Kitchener nurses will be taking this and other FASD-related messages to the Select Committee on Developmental Services, which is meeting in London on Monday, Jan. 13. The committee, comprised of MPPs, is gathering information on how to tackle the urgent requirement for a comprehensive strategy to address the needs of children, youth and adults in Ontario with an intellectual (developmental) disability, or those diagnosed with an intellectual disability and a mental illness. RNs Kathy Moreland Layte and Mary Mueller will be speaking to the committee on behalf of RNAO. FASD is a lifelong disability associated with exposure to prenatal alcohol. It is the leading cause of developmental disability among Canadian children, with an estimated nine babies out of every 1,000 born in Canada with FASD.

"People with FASD and their families are struggling. This disability crosses all social classes, and is costing in human and financial terms. It is a major public-health issue, and needs to be addressed," says RN Kathy Moreland Layte, noting that the direct costs linked to FASD over a lifetime have been estimated at roughly $1.5 million per person. "We urge the select committee to address the needs of this overlooked population."

RNAO is calling on the province to: 1) come up with a provincial strategy that addresses FASD through an integrated, interdisciplinary approach that speaks to the prevention, diagnosis and care of individuals and families living with this disability 2) offer accessible, affordable diagnostic services for children and their families, and 3) create respite and other services for caregivers.

WHAT: RNAO appears before the Select Committee on Developmental Services

WHO: RNs Kathy Moreland Layte and Mary Mueller, on behalf of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO), the province's professional nursing association.

WHERE: London Delta Armouries Hotel. 325 Dundas St., Armouries Ballroom. London, ON N6B 1T9

WHEN: Monday, January 13, 2014 at 11:40 a.m. The presentation is expected to last 20 minutes.
Media are invited to attend.

The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.

For more information about RNAO, visit our website at You can also check out our Facebook page at and follow us on Twitter at


For more information, or to arrange an interview with a nurse, please contact:

Kathy Moreland Layte

Melissa Di Costanzo
Communications Officer/Writer, Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Marion Zych, Director of Communications, RNAO
Cell: 647-406-5605 / Office: 416-408-5605
Toll free: 1-800-268-7199 ext. 209