Today, several Wisconsin parents of adult children with FASD, along with Orchids members, met with a representative of the office of Mark Pocan, who represents Wisconsin’s 2nd district in Congress, in order to discuss the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act. Proponents of the proposed legislation hope it will establish new resources and programs at the national, tribal, state, and local levels dedicated to tackling the challenges of FASD. The parents and Orchids were joined by Susan Carlson, who serves on the NOFAS board and is a member of Minnesota’s Proof Alliance, as well as Jennifer Wisdahl, who has been spearheading NOFAS’s nationwide efforts to educate legislators about the proposed legislation.
Jim Iverson, one of the parents, spoke about the needs of and difficulties faced by his daughter, who has FASD, and how he and his family are impacted by it. Jackie Wille, one of the Orchids members added that, however challenging Jim’s situation might seem, it is not unusual for the state. Wisconsin has an extremely low diagnostic capacity–only one or two doctors in the state perform FASD diagnoses–and adequate resources for those diagnosed with FASD, or any services at all, are likewise difficult to acquire. Susan and Jennifer, meanwhile, explained the provisions of the proposed legislation, and helped clarify how, if passed, it could create a new safety net for families like Jim’s. The representative from Representative Pocan’s office was receptive to the concerns and information presented and indicated that she would discuss the meeting with the Representative Pocan.