FASD: Feeling and Emotions

nov16-10-hbr-marion-barraud-emotional-intelUnderstanding feelings and emotions is vital to good communication, but both are very abstract concepts. A child or youth with FASD may need concrete methods to help recognize what she is feeling. Therefore, teach emotions in a concrete way (e.g., smiling means happy.)

■ A “check-in” time for internal feelings will help in stating which feelings are physical and concrete.

■ After an outburst, talk about what your child felt during the meltdown; for example, a beating heart, sweaty hands, hot face. Attach the concrete feeling to the meltdown so she can begin to identify what feelings are connected to certain behaviours.

■ In order to be able to act appropriately to any emotion, your child must first have some way to recognize concretely what she is feeling. That feeling must then be named and “rules” for appropriate reaction to that feeling must be made.

■ Create a “feelings” dictionary, using line-drawings of complete stick men rather than just facial expressions for those most common feelings the child is likely to experience. A complete body can show more than just a face and is much easier for the child to associate with what he is feeling. Have one emotion per page.

■ Always name emotions very clearly. With teens and adults, name the emotion first and then follow with the words their friend’s use (“angry” vs. “pissed off”).

■ To encourage emotional expression, use a gingerbread man outline drawing and simple colour codes (e.g.,red for anger, blue for sad, yellow for happy, and gray for blank). Have your child colour on the gingerbread man where he has those feelings. This can give you a quick and immediate idea of the state of emotional health (e.g., red in the head and the hands is a good indicator of being ready to “lose it”; gray in the head and on the body is a good indication of being “shut down”). This will help, especially when the child is not able to verbalize her thoughts and feelings.

. ■ Once the feeling is identified correctly, have a simple plan to help the child. For instance: • “Losing it” – use calm down technique • Caregiver is “ticked off” – stand still, look at caregiver and listen • “Tired” – lie down and rest • “Frustrated” – have a list of physical activities that she can do and have her choose between two • “Angry” – express it physically in a previously identified acceptable and safe manner

You Received An FASD Diagnosis, Now What?


We love this infographic from the FASD Network of Saskatchewan! No matter where you live in Canada and internationally, the steps are the same!

If you are looking for supports in Alberta, please connect with the FASD Service Network in your community. For more information, please click here!

If you are from the Edmonton and surrounding area please connect with our Adult FASD Navigator, Catherine, at 780-423-2285 ext 157, Youth FASD Navigator, Stephanie, at 780-378-2542, or our Coordinator at lisa@rogozinsky.org .

A Classic, But Still Relevant: Strategies Not Solutions

The Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Network (EFAN) works to enhance the capacity of our community to prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and address FASD related issues through coordination, education, support, and advocacy.

EFAN is a collaborative venture made up of individuals from numerous community agencies and government departments.

The Child and Youth Working Group within EFAN produced ‘FASD Strategies, Not Solutions’, a resource tool for caregivers and the community to work with the behaviours associated with FASD. This project relied heavily upon caregivers and professionals who have provided information, advice, and feedback during the development of this booklet.

Special thanks to Alberta Children’s Services for continued support in printing and distribution of the booklet.

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Click here to download the booklet!

CanFASD Staff Member Wins Governor General’s Gold Medal

Kelly LU

Congratulations to our Research Associate, Dr. Kelly Coons-Harding, who this past weekend received the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal from Laurentian University.

The Governor General’s Academic Medals recognize the outstanding academic achievements of students in Canada and are awarded to the graduating student with the highest academic standing. Medals are awarded at four levels: bronze at the secondary school level; collegiate bronze at the post-secondary diploma level; silver at the undergraduate level; and gold at the graduate level.

Kelly completed her PhD in the School of Rural and Northern Health at Laurentian University in 2017. Her doctoral research focused on the educational preparation and training of medical, midwifery, and nurse practitioner students in Northern Ontario to address the needs of patients with FASD, as well as their perceived abilities to engage in FASD prevention.

You can read more about Kelly’s research in Global Qualitative Nursing Research and the Journal on Developmental Disabilities.


Employment Opportunity: Bissell Centre

BISSEL1_700x325_acf_croppedFASD Permanent Supportive Housing Team Lead

Full Time • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Services

About Bissell Centre

Through our vision of eliminating poverty in our community, and guided by a passionate concern for the dignity and well-being of each individual, our work is based on building relationships, hope and trust. By addressing multiple needs, Bissell Centre provides a holistic approach to helping families and individuals.

Job Summary

Bissell Centre is looking for a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Permanent Supportive Housing Program Team Lead to support a team of Personal Support Workers (PSW), who work with adults who are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Together, the team supports home stability and goal achievement through a client centered, FASD informed and Harm Reduction approach. The Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Team Leader is responsible for the implementation, administration and evaluation of the program. The Team Leader supervises a team of staff which includes 10 full time PSWs and several casual staff.


Program Delivery

  • Assist staff to assess and enhance participants’ readiness to make positive changes
  • Support staff to work with participants regularly to collaboratively set goals, develop a plan of action, evaluate success, and revise plan accordingly
  • Assist staff with implementation of participant’s case plan through role-modeling, teaching, information, brokering, advocacy, and providing practical assistance
  • Accurately complete the whole process of participant intake
  • Help participant establish housing by assisting with utility set up, furniture acquisition and delivery
  • Assist in re-housing participants as required
  • Complete recruitment, hiring, orientation, training and day-to-day supervision of direct report staff
  • Continue to work with and build new partnerships
  • Work collaboratively with the landlord of the property regarding rent payments and maintenance requests
  • Assist on call team with 24/7 on-call rotation to help with crisis, sick calls and shift coverage

General and Administrative

  • Maintain accurate written case file notes, staff tracking, staff supervision notes, computer records, update program databases (ETO), complete WCB forms, program information, and critical incident reports within established time standards
  • Maintain and submit accurate mileage and expense logs for reimbursement
  • Participate in and/or conduct performance management meetings as required
  • Facilitate regular staff meetings to inform, plan, direct and hear staff concerns
  • Review, approve and submit staff time sheets and schedule
  • Approve and monitor staff overtime, health maintenance and vacation leaves


  • Manage and record accurate expenses for all participant start-up costs
  • Assist staff with troubleshooting any issues with paying rent and/or utility bills, ensuring taxes are completed, teaching budgeting skills as necessary, ensuring expenses related to moving out and cleaning up an apartment are addressed.
  • Monitor, approve and submit receipts for program expenditures
  • Review, approve and submit Rental Assistance Program (RAP) forms
  • Approve debit card reconciliation each month


  • Degree or Diploma in Social Science or related discipline
  • Minimum of one year related employment experience e.g. high-risk populations, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, housing vulnerable individuals
  • Supervisory and residential experience would be considered an asset
  • Knowledge and experience working in the areas of; Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Harm Reduction, Addictions, Housing First, and Mental Health is an asset.
  • Evidence of innovation and creativity in supporting individuals would be an asset.
  • Employees with Social Work Diploma/Degree/Masters are required to provide and maintain ongoing registration, in good standing, with Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) as per Alberta Health Professions Act
  • Strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills, result oriented, good time management, strong organizational, problem-solving and advocacy skills
  • Experience with case management software is a considerable asset

Screening Requirements

  • Criminal Record Check
  • Child Intervention Check

Conditions of Work

We offer an attractive remuneration package commensurate with qualifications and working experience.  This is a permanent, full time position.

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume and cover letter.We thank all applicants for their interest. However, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Application Deadline: November 8th, 2018


Bissell Centre is an equal opportunity employer who is committed to diversity within our community and welcomes applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, or disability. Bissell Centre is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees, in accordance with provincially and federally legislated protected grounds.

The truth about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder



Man Blurred Background Fashion Casual Girl HandFetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is often overlooked and understudied. Caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, it is sometimes referred to as an “invisible disorder.”

But FASD is the most common preventable cause of developmental disability. Many who have it experience lifelong behavioural, intellectual, neurological and mental health difficulties.

Individuals with FASD and their families also face persistent stigma, negative stereotypes and harmful biases,due to public misunderstandings.

Negative public attitudes are detrimental to people living with FASD, impacting their self-esteem and beliefs in their own capabilities. Research shows that with the right supports, individuals with FASD can live productive and successful lives. However a common, and often inaccurate, misconception is that these individuals are destined to be lifelong “burdens” on health and social systems.

As FASD researchers, we want to dispel common misunderstandings about children and youth with FASD, and offer some evidence-based truths.

More common than autism

FASD is alarmingly common, with an estimated four per cent of Canadians having the disorder, far more than previously thought. Affecting approximately 1.5 million Canadians, this means it is 2.5 times more prevalent than autism spectrum disorder.

FASD affects children and youth across all races, ethnicities, cultures and socioeconomic status. In Canada, women of all ages and backgrounds consume alcohol.

Despite recent prevention efforts, approximately 11 per cent of Canadians mothers report consuming alcohol during pregnancy, with more than three per cent reporting alcohol binges during pregnancy. This is probably an underrepresentation, as some mothers deny drinking during pregnancy due to negative stigma.

You also can’t necessarily tell that someone has FASD by how they look. Less than 10 per cent of individuals with FASD have the associated facial features — short palpebral fissures, smooth philtrum and thin upper lip.

For most individuals living with FASD, the invisibility of the disorder is problematic because it acts as a barrier to early identification and treatment, both of which are important for long-term outcomes.

Click here to read full article.