We have had a variety of guests on the show who have been involved in the education system in one way or another, but today I have a guest who is not only the parent of a now adult with FASD but is a school principal AND an Assistant Superintendent. He shares his FASD journey and provides some great inside knowledge and specific tips in transitioning for adulthood and working within the education system.
Simon Laplante has a master’s degree in education and did his thesis on the impact of children with FASD on parents’ relationships with the school, community and each other. Simon has been working in the Manitoba public school system for 30 years as a teacher, vice-principal, principal and assistant superintendent. He is presently a professor at the Université de St-Boniface in the Faculty of Education. Simon’s areas of interest are educational leadership, second language learning, Aboriginal education and FASD. Fully bilingual, he has been involved in public speaking engagements on FASD for the last 10 years both in educational settings and provincial conferences.
Inclusion is about a system that meets the needs of every kid, whatever the needs are. Most of our systems tend to integrate kids. We give them support but, in the end, they want them to fit the system. Whereas inclusion requires the system to change. It’s very difficult to achieve.
Simon also serves on the Canada FASD Research Network (CanFASD) Family Advisory Committee. We talk about his role on the Committee, inclusion, and:
The biggest danger is you become socially isolated. You will not be successful by yourself. You cannot do this by yourself.
Talking to Simon was just like hanging out at a coffee shop with a good friend, shooting the breeze. But since many of us still can’t do that right now, you can have the second-best thing – this podcast. I think you will enjoy his laid-back style combined with the years of experience.
So, let me know what you think and maybe even wish Happy Anniversary to Simon and his wife who celebrated 35 years together on December 28, 2020!