There are caregivers all around the world quietly or not so quietly going about their day-to-day. Occasionally, I see someone who is doing incredible work in their community and I want to dig a little deeper to find their lessons and ideas I can share with others. Laurie Whyte is one of those caregivers.
Laurie Whyte has been active in the world of Fetal Alcohol SpectrumDisorder for over 15 years. As a parent of 2 teenagers with FASD as well as a community advocate and trainer, she offers a unique perspective in helping others understand FASD. By sharing real-life examples, the latest research, and best practices Laurie speaks openly about the emotional journey of many caregivers of those with FASD while providing hope and inspiration. She offers dynamic and practical training in hopes of bringing professionals and caregivers together to serve individuals with FASD compassionately.
I learned to ask for help. I have never hidden...
What happens when you have the FASD information, training and support you need? Do you take a step back and let others find their own way or do you step up and help? Today’s guest, Jennifer Wisdahl, ranks in the circle of some pretty kick-a$$ advocates who are helping pave the way for families and individuals to get the support and services they need for success.
Many of you may know Jenn from her role as the Policy and Training Center Coordinator for FASD United (formerly NOFAS) where she works with the Team supporting the pending FASD Respect Act. What you may not know is she and her husband, are proud parents of three teens with FASD, is a habitual volunteer (she sits on the board of NOFAS Washington State and on the executive board of the FASD United Affiliate Network), is formerly from Canada and still cheers for the Vancouver Canucks, while watching the Seattle Kraken.
So often as advocates we talk into...
As a research scientist in the health care field, Ngaire Meadows thought she knew everything, but now understands how little she knew.
With four children and three on the Spectrum, it felt like WW3 in her home with rages, outbursts, and mental health concerns.
Rages and outbursts, these just happen, and there’s no controlling it and there is no reasoning with it and there’s no deflecting. It’s like a storm cloud coming in, rolling in, you can’t stop it and you can’t make it roll out any faster, you just have to hunker down and weather it.
In this episode, Ngaire and I talk about:
In today’s episode she and I break down:
Previous guests have included moms and dads, but this is the first time we’ve had a couple appear together to talk about their journey as FASD Caregivers. I couldn’t think of a better couple than Chandra and Jordan as the first.
Chandra and Jordan are parents to 6 children – two with an FASD diagnosis and one suspected. Like Angelene Bruce, our conversation was not intended to be a podcast. It was for a case study for our upcoming CKS workshop. Like Angelene, their story is filled with great lessons that will benefit many.
Before taking the CKS program, Chandra and Jordan admitted they were living at a level of desperation and constant stress. They questioned their parenting, had others question their parenting, and struggled to understand why their children were acting the way they did despite what they felt was a supportive home environment.
I feel as a mom you get this intuition. There were things with our boys that I was recognizing, not...
Her handle on Twitter is FASD Warrior Mum. I interviewed Angelene Bruce for her feedback on her experience taking my Caregiver Kickstart Coaching program. As she told her story, as a birth mum, it became clear her insight and experiences needed to be shared with a larger audience. She is a warrior who is working to throw stigma against birth mums and FASD out the window.
I felt immense guilt. I cut down … and did as much as I could do – so diet, sleep, exercise, prenatal vitamins. I made sure my prenatal care was as good as it could be. I want birth mums to know there are mitigating things we can do. My passion is for women that are dependent. But it can happen even at low levels of drinking.
Angelene is honest and forthright about her past. We talk about her dependency on alcohol and her pregnancy but also her path to recovery and acceptance. Stops on that journey include:
FASD is something...
Natalie Vecchione and Cindy LaJoy are both homeschool moms, who realized their teens, with FASD, needed alternative homeschool paths for meaningful futures. Through entrepreneurship and apprenticeship, these moms prepared their teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to move forward with confidence, hope, and a set of practical life and job skills.
Natalie Vecchione is an FASD parent advocate and homeschooling mom to two. Natalie turned her family’s unique challenges and journey with FASD from career reinventing into a calling when she and her husband co-founded FASD Hope in 2020. FASD Hope is a podcast, website, and a place for awareness, information, and inspiration for those people whose lives...
Do you often feel alone as a caregiver? Like you are hitting a brick wall or blowing into the wind when trying to get professionals on board? In this episode, you will hear that sometimes professionals experience the same. The last time I spoke to today’s guest, Dr. Raja Mukherjee, was five years ago. There was next to nothing for FASD in the United Kingdom. Today I check in to find out where they are now.
Dr. Mukherjee started the first NHS-based specialist Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders behavioural clinic and since then has seen hundreds of cases for a specialist second opinion.
He completed his Ph.D. in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 2014. He has also acted as an invited advisor to the BMA board of science, The Department of Health, and the World Health Organisation about FASD. Dr. Mukherjee also gave evidence to the first All Party Parliamentary Group on FASD at the House...