Vinnie Naistus · Creator Network · Posted: Sep 09, 2022 4:00 AM CT | Last Updated: September 9
Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/creator-network-vinnie-naistus-1.6552715
This piece is by Vinnie Naistus, as told to Rachel Hetherington at FASD Network of Saskatchewan. It has been edited for structure and clarity with Vinnie’s input and approval.
I was at home watching YouTube in March 2020 when I first learned about COVID-19 getting serious. I saw a video that said the virus was spreading around China and getting to other parts of the world. After that, we were told to stay home.
Like most people, my life changed
I had to stop volunteering at the grocery store and my continuing education classes were cancelled. It could have been worse because the classes didn’t highlight my strengths. I was not enjoying them, so I wasn’t sad to see them go.
School has never been easy for me because I have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD. I have a good sense of humour, I am intelligent and a good listener, but my brain works differently than most people around me and sometimes they have trouble understanding me.
When this happens, I slow down, take a step back, and try again.
When I was stuck at home during the pandemic, I worked out, listened to music, made art, produced videos and took photographs. I have a close group of friends online. We spent lots of time chatting, playing games and watching movies together.
Sometimes I feel anxious with lots of people around, so I enjoyed that part of lockdown because I could focus on one thing at a time. I had my own small world and I got to choose what was in it.
Even though the pandemic made my life simpler, I know that it has been difficult for a lot of people.
It hasn’t always been easy for me either. I was not allowed to visit my family in Ontario, and in May 2021 my Grandpa got COVID-19 and passed away. It made me sad to lose him because we were very close, but I know he will always be with me in spirit and keep me strong.
Just before lockdown, my Aunt had helped me connect with the FASD Network of Saskatchewan. I had been searching on the internet and thinking about FASD for a while, so they arranged an assessment for me. I felt emotional after because it confirmed what I had thought but hadn’t known for sure.
It was great to have someone on my team who understood FASD and could help communicate my needs, but when COVID hit we were no longer able to meet in person. A lot of services and supports became unavailable and I had to put some of my goals on hold for a while.
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The opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society, its stakeholders, or funders.