#022 Matthew Pakozdy Winning With FASD Supports

fasd success show May 24, 2020

I met Matthew at one of the very first conferences I spoke at. His story is definitely one of reinvention. He is a trained dancer, speaker and recently, after working in an office environment for many years, went back to College, to study both cooking and landscaping.

We start the podcast talking about how he is dealing with the new reality of COVID 19. 

I am still surviving. It’s having to make my own plans. It’s having to make my own structure, my own consistency, day to day, week to week and it’s hard.

But he is doing it. At 40 years of age he has a lot of practice and insight and he knows his strengths and limitations. In fact we talk about that and other important areas of not only struggle, but overcoming obstacles and growth:

  • Learning to navigate questions about why he “looked different” than his mom
  • Difficulty at school without accommodations or understanding of FASD
  • How as a young adult, drinking, using illegal substances and an unhealthy relationship, led to involvement with the police 
  • The difference in his life once he accepted help and support 
  • His advice for caregivers and individuals on the Spectrum

We also talk about strategies he uses to regulate his emotions, how he maintained a job for many years and what led to his decision to return to College at 40 and reinvent himself yet again.

Matthew grew up wanting to be a star. He achieved that as a dancer, and now as an FASD Speaker. And he achieved those goals because he knew he did better with a support system beside him. And while the pandemic may have put some plans on hold, I’ve no doubt he will be as successful and shine in his next reincarnation as he has so far.

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