#052 Tracy Mastrangelo: School Success

fasd success show Feb 01, 2021

One challenge many caregivers have is how to both respond to the struggles their kiddos with FASD have in the school system and how to appropriately work within that system to make change. If you don’t have access to an Education Advocate, then today’s episode is going to help arm you with specific research-backed information from a professional who works with educators to identify integrated supports to reduce barriers to learning in schools. But don’t worry – some of the tips and strategies she suggests are just as relevant for at-home learning and we break it all down for you. 

Tracy Mastrangelo has focused her career on the social work and education field in both Alberta and the Yukon Territory. Her work has focused mainly on supporting families and children/youth with complex needs, including as the Provincial Coordinator of Wellness, Resiliency and Partnerships (WRaP) an education-based initiative for students with FASD. Tracy has a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on psychosocial interventions in school communities. 

How do we provide integrated services into schools for students to reduce the barriers to learning? The business of school is to teach students and deliver curriculum. But we know for multiple different reasons some students have barriers to learning or things getting in the way of learning.

In this podcast, we define and discuss her role in helping educators and students with both academic and non-academic barriers to learning. Our discussion also touches on her motto for teaching students and: 

  • The importance of and how parents and educators can develop a shared understanding of FASD. 
  • The complex and specific barriers to learning for students with FASD and why a “bottom-up intervention” model is more successful. 
  • Tips, strategies and targeted approaches she has incorporated for not only students she has worked with but her own children. 

We also delve into some studies and the three overarching themes that define her work, what she does for self-care and what she is doing now. We have had guests on previous podcasts that provided caregiver specific advice – this episode will not only validate what we heard and already know – caregivers are the experts when it comes to their kids and what they need – but it will also let you know about some of the unique ways people are working to incorporate FASD into classroom settings.  

I keep looking for opportunities to integrate research into practice because any way that I can take research and help be someone that integrates it into actual lessons and daily activities that can change practice and hopefully influence policy, it is those kinds of things that jam me and get me up in the morning.

Even if you don’t have kids in school, I think you will still gain some insight into ideas about self-regulation and FASD. Check it out and let me know what you think or if you have any interesting programs in your school district. 

 Show Notes:
To contact Tracy or find some resources check out:


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