#024 Dr Vanessa Spiller: Little Things Make a Big Difference with FASD

fasd success show Jun 07, 2020


Have you ever said: I just wish every professional who works with my child had a child with FASD – so they would GET ITWell Dr. Vanessa Spiller GETS IT! She is the parent of a young adult with FASD who also happens to be a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in working therapeutically with disadvantaged young people and families.

She has been a university lecturer and university clinic coordinator but her real passion is in supporting families of young people with FASD. She has presented many lectures, workshops and conference presentations on FASD and she has just published a workbook for parents and carers of young people with FASD called “Explained by Brain”.

In this podcast you get some professional insight (without having to pay a fee), as she shares tips, strategies and advice - parent to parent.

Now 20 years old, Dylan joined her family as an incredibly energetic and lovable two and half year old. She was told he had a Global Developmental Delay, and as an afterthought, oh and FAS too (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). She had heard of FAS, but not to the extent she was trained as a psychologist, or prepared as a parent. She shares with us:

  • How she applied strategies for brain injury and trauma when nothing existed for Fetal Alcohol.
  • Examples of how the developmental trajectory for Dylan may have flattened, but it hasn't disappeared.
  • Incredible examples of role-playing and modelling functional dependence she has undertaken.
  • Whit’s important to her to incorporate FASD into all her presentations and teaching.
  • Her experience with an anxious young man as the world re-opens after a pandemic and thoughts on self care. 

As a parent you are always looking for that one big thing. What we discovered about FASD was lots of things will make a little bit of difference, but there is no one thing that makes a huge difference. 

I think you will resonate with Vanessa and her journey. We also talk about her book “explained by brain” and why it was important for her to write it. In her forward she apologizes to Dylan for all the “dodgy things” she tried. Like many of you, her journey has been one of forgiving oneself for what one didn’t know at the time, but getting on with it to find the answers and sharing experiences to help others 

Show Notes:

Jump Start Psychology


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.