#021 Colette Philcox, From the Streets to Success 

fasd success show May 21, 2020

I am stoked to talk to Colette Philcox today – not only an individual on the spectrum, but the daughter of Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton – and the inspiration for Bonnie’s book: Damaged Angels. Colette is a mother of two – one on the spectrum, is an advocate and holds down a job in the film industry. 

Colette's story will inspire hope in individuals and caregivers. Adopted at 4, she was on the streets and addicted to crack by her mid-teens. When I asked her what was the factor that changed the trajectory of her life, she said there wasn't any one thing that happened.

It just clicked. Like a puzzle piece that finally found it's place.

Now with experience and maturity at 40, you will be captivated by her candor, honesty and insights on: 

  • Living life on the street (she estimates 85% on the streets are on the Spectrum) and why the constant connection her parents kept with her was important. 
  • Being in an abusive relationship and having to choose between getting beat up or having a drink while pregnant: and how she worked through that guilt. 
  • Her reaction to her mom's book Damaged Angels and how she is coping now with Bonnie's Alzheimer's Disease.  
  • Managing employment success and her day to day coping strategies. 
  • Recognizing the importance of her support system: her parents, her partner, her adult children, and her pets. 
  • Musings on the future for Colette and her family.

We wrap up with her advice for individuals on the Spectrum and their caregivers. And it isn’t telling your child

You could do betterPeople, in general will always try their best, this is where expectations and reality clash.

I have watched Colette grow and mature. I’m not suggesting you kick your kids out, but as she became older she saw what she
was doing wasn’t very good yet she never blamed her parents for tough love - which worked for her. Despite it all, they were always in the background supporting her.

For instance, she talks how Bonnie would meet her and take her out for something to eat. She mentioned she would show up at their home to take a shower and wash some clothes. Reminded me of my foster kid: he said he did the same thing at group homes. He would show up clean up and then leave…The streets where a better option than the group home..that’s what’s wrong.

People in the shelter system wanted to help BUT she wanted to do it by herself. And she did. Colette is a great example of what can be accomplished through love, sticking it out and sheer tenacity of will 

Show Notes:

Newspaper Articles:

Alcohol Related Disabilities Invisible in Canada Advocates Say

When Booze Harms Kids

Bonnie Buxton Book:

Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mother Struggles to Understand the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy




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