The Lakeland Centre for FASD’s upcoming youth conference aims to educate, engage and empower youth, caregivers and families affected by FASD.
The ‘Developing Connections: The Power of Communication’ conference is organized by the LCFASD, in partnership with the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).
The full-day event will take place at the MFRC from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 17.
The event is geared towards youth, families and caregivers impacted by FASD as well as professionals in the Lakeland Region who service individuals with FASD.
“The Lakeland Centre for FASD wants to bring together these community members to discuss challenges and discuss ways to create positive connections in regards to servicing and supporting those impacted by FASD,” said Nicole Parisien, employment coordinator at the LCFASD and youth conference organizer.
According to Parisien, the main goal of the youth conference is to facilitate a positive platform of discussion that will help to break down the barriers and challenges that youth with FASD may face while growing up in the Lakeland Region.
“We want our youth to walk away from this conference knowing that they can be successful, whatever their definition of success may be. We want them to know they are valued, they are respected members of society and they have the ability to contribute to society in a positive and meaningful way,” said Parisien.
Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in breakout sessions, network and hear from a couple of special guest speakers.
“One of our keynote presenters is Myles Himmelreich who is a young adult living with FASD. He’s actually spoken to national and international audiences, motivating and captivating them,” said Parisien.
“He’ll offer insight into his experiences which include the challenges and successes he has faced while growing up with FASD.”
The second keynote speaker is Dr. Jacqueline Pei, associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Alberta.
Pei’s research focuses on neuropsychological assessment and interventions for ‘at risk’ youth as well as individuals with FASD. Pei is also involved in projects evaluating the unique neuropsychological profile of children and adolescents with FASD and appropriate interventions for those individuals.
“She talks about the research she has found, what other research is out there and how it relates to those with FASD,” said Parisien.
“Parents and caregivers will hear from Pei about what strategies work best.”
There will also be a free banquet the night before, on June 16 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the MFRC, open to youth and families affected by FASD.
Tickets for the conference are $50 and can b e purchased by calling the LCFASD at 780-594-9905.
The LCFASD also welcomes families to contact them about funding sponsorship for the event.