Tag Archives: FASD

Start the Right Conversation: Common Language and Common Messaging Guides on FASD

As we all get ready to Rock our Red Shoes and help inform our communities about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, it is essential that our conversations promote dignity, help to reduce the stigma often experienced by those with FASD, their caregivers and families, and communities, and spread factual information about prevention, assessment/diagnosis, and interventions.

Two guides are available that can help us rock the right FASD conversations. Just click the images to download!

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The language guide provides dignity-promoting alternatives to stigma-inducing words or phrases commonly used in society. The Looking After Each Other project proposes the language within the guide be used in an effort to promote the dignity of those with FASD and their families.

The guide is intended to be a living document that will change over time as the Looking After Each Other project continues to reflect on the use of language as a tool to promote dignity for everyone impacted by FASD.

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The purpose of this document is to assist those writing and talking about people with FASD or the issues related to the disability to use the same statistics, framing of topics, and language. The outcome over time will be an improved understanding by the reader/listener with consistently using these suggestions. This is a living document and areas will be updated as it is informed by the research.



Kids Brain Health Network: Identifying and Prioritizing Stakeholder Needs in Neurodevelopmental Conditions in Canada

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In 2016, Kids Brain Health Network conducted an environmental scan of the community of individuals dedicated to managing neurodevelopmental conditions such as CP, FASD, and ASD. 

This report presents the results of the detailed scan, for the purpose of identifying the needs of stakeholders in neurodevelopmental disorders. Potential uses of this stakeholder engagement activity include

i) to inform research priorities of Kids Brain Health Network (KBHN) 2018-2020;

ii) to inform priorities for the strategic planning cycle for KBHN 2020-2025; and,

iii) to inform decision-making regarding policies, programs and services offered, service delivery methods and approaches, and other activities of organizations external to KBHN that similarly have a focus on improving quality of life for individuals and families affected by neurodevelopmental conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP), fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and/or autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

In other words, how can KBHN and other like-minded organizations and governments work towards maximizing quality of life through their activities toward facilitating more empowering policies, programs and services across Canada?

These needs of neurodevelopmental stakeholders were obtained from the perspectives of parents directly (based on their personal experiences), clinicians and other frontline workers who serve families (based on what they’ve heard and observed are the needs of families), as well as policymakers (based on what they’ve heard from stakeholders through consultation exercises, and/or personal interaction with families).

Click to download FULL REPORT


Metis Nation of Alberta: Community Health Night FASD 101

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Join us for an educational evening about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This presentation is for everyone including individuals with FASD, caregivers, and people interested in learning more about FASD. Refreshments will be provided.

The FASD 101 workshop will provide you with:

  • A basic understanding of FASD
  • Tools for prevention
  • Strategies to manage FASD stigma
  • Available community resources
  • Ways to support individuals with FASD
  • Opportunities to connect

When: Wednesday, June 27, 2018 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Where: MNA Provincial Head Office, #100-11738 Kingsway NW, Edmonton

To register, visit mnaFASD101.eventbrite.com or contact Amber Yarmuch at 780-455-2200 Ext. 408 by Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Unable to join us in person? Watch us live on facebook.com/ABMetis

Elizabeth Fry Society, Girls Empowered and Strong: Summer Program

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Girls Empowered and Strong is a program for teenage girls who want to address the many issues facing them and become empowered to make strong and positive choices for their futures.

Girls Empowered and Strong is designed to meet the unique needs of girls affected by FASD and mental health issues. However, all teen girls are welcome to participate.

Our summer programs are free and include a light lunch daily. Bus fare for any field trips during programming is included.

The goal of this program is to provide teen girls, ages 12 to 17, with the skills and knowledge they need in order to make healthy life choices, thereby preventing future involvement in the criminal justice system.

Our summer day camps do this by providing free, fun programming that engages in a variety of activities including art, physical activity, field trips and discussions. This year, we are offering 3 themed summer day programs. Participants can enroll in one or multiple camps.

To register, please click REGISTRATION

CBC: Yukon cited as a leader in FASD programs and services


Representatives of the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network are holding their annual general meeting in Whitehorse this week. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Delegates at a national meeting on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Whitehorse say ensuring supports for people with the disability remains a priority.

“Just giving people awareness doesn’t make the difference,” said Dorothy Reid, an Abbotsford, B.C. parent who, with her husband, raised two kids with the disability.

“In terms of actual services and with some governmental changes and some governmental priorities, services have been cut back in some areas that are really, really essential for people with FASD,” said Reid.

Wenda Bradley, the executive director of FASSY, (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon) said that was a primary reason for founding the organization in 1996.

“That was a group of parents that recognized when their children became adults the supports were dropped,” said Bradley.

“That was the reason for starting FASSY and other supports to get in place so they could help these folks not be in trouble all their lives, not be unhappy,” she said.

Bradley said it’s becoming a bigger issue for parents who want to make sure their children are cared for when they aren’t around anymore.

Wenda Bradley, executive director of the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Society Yukon, says there remains much to be done to provide supports for adults with FASD. (Dave Croft/CBC)


“They themselves are becoming older and they are recognizing that who’s going to care for my person after I leave in the way that I want them to be cared for, in the way that they’re used to being cared for,” said Bradley.

Yukon is ahead of many jurisdictions in the country, said Audrey McFarlane, the executive director of the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network, the group that is meeting in Whitehorse.

“Yukon’s been a leader across the country in terms of many of the projects that they’ve started and we work very closely with them, the government folks and the service providers and the caregivers as well to help us decide which research needs to be provided,” said McFarlane.

Audrey McFarlane, executive director of the Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network, says Yukon is one of the leaders in Canada on FASD programs and services. (Dave Croft/CBC)

McFarlane said some Canadian jurisdictions are just at the point now where Yukon was 20 years ago in terms of awareness of FASD.

Still, Bradley said there is much to be done in Yukon. She said there needs to be more supporting-living housing units.

She also hopes a mentoring system can be put in place for those who regularly encounter people with FASD. She said people working in areas like social services and policing may be aware of FASD, but not know how to convert that knowledge into action.

Simon Laplante from Winnipeg adopted a child at birth who wasn’t diagnosed with FASD until she was 16 when she got into trouble with the law.

The support she’s received since then have made a difference, said Laplante.

“She’s cleaned up her life, she’s on the right path,” he said.


Dorothy Reid and Simon Laplante are two of the parents of adult FASD children in Whitehorse for the meeting.(Dave Croft/CBC)

A teacher and school administrator, Laplante said he has also become much better in his job because of what he has learned about FASD.

Similarly, Reid,  a former mental health worker in the corrections system, said it became obvious to her that there are a massive number of inmates in prisons with undiagnosed FASD.

“In some ways it was good because I had the personal experience that could help me in terms of developing the programs for men with FASD,” she said.

“On the other hand it was hard because sometimes you sort of see the same kinds of things in the offenders that I would see in my kids and it got a little scary at times,” said Reid.

Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-fasd-meeting-1.4695176


Red Shoes Rock: Start the Conversation About FASD!

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Why Rock in Red?

There are tens of thousands of people and their families living with FASD who:

  • Need friends and understanding.
  • Need support to live safely in our communities.
  • Need to participate in life and have a purpose.

The color RED often signifies life!

  • Red signals stop and take immediate action.
  • Red is a warm, strong and positive color. 
  • Red is energizing and stands out.

Red excites emotions and motivates us to take action!

Red Shoes? Where did this all start?

Now, that is a good question!

With RJ Formanek, founder of the very successful Facebook support group for adults with FASD called Flying with Broken Wings. 

RJ Formanek is an adult with FASD and he decided to wear RED SHOES to stand out, be noticed and have some fun starting the FASD conversation with strangers in 2013. Back then it was all about:

  1. Turning invisibility into visibility
  2. Creating conversation
  3. Changing stigma into understanding and acceptance

In 2014, Jodee Kulp, from Better Endings New Beginnings, a graphic designer and parent of an adult with FASD stepped in to help him build visibility and get the word out – she has continued to be the Little Engine That Could behind this grassroots all-volunteer movement. The goal was to build awareness and momentum to celebrate FASDay. We hoped Red Shoes would help more people notice International FASDay on September 9.

The Logos

You are free to mix and match any of their logo artwork to fit your local campaign. Please email jodeekulp@gmail.com if you need original artwork. 







Limited $$$ for RED SHOES? – Red Flip Flops, Red Socks, Red Shoelaces and Red Toenails all qualify. Or simply join us to participate in the FUN and the FASD conversation!


LINKS: A Newsletter For Alberta FASD Diagnostic Clinics (and anyone else who is interested!)

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Wondering what is going on in Alberta FASD Diagnostic Clinics? Take a peek at the LINKS newsletter! Inside this issue is:

  • Neurodevelopmental Domains – Adaptive Behaviour
  • FASD Justice Support Program for Youth
  • AB FASD FAQ Card Update
  • Links & Such
  • Clinic Contact Information

Just click the above image to download the newsletter!

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