It isn’t too often we find someone who has Prenatal Alcohol Exposure covered from all angles, but today’s guest certainly does. She is an individual with FASD, a caregiver for individuals with FASD and a professional who works with individuals with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. This episode is a 10 timer – there is so much incredible information from different perspectives you are going to want to keep coming back to it.
Once I realized that it was probably the PAE, I started to feel like OK, I can start to work with this, and I can help everyone around me work with this too.
Debbie Michaud is a Social Worker with a BSW and MSW – she is currently working on a Ph.D. in Educational Sustainability. She has worked for 24 years in the child welfare field in both front-line and supervisory roles. She is teaching at Confederation College in the Social Service Worker Program and at Sault College in the FASD Certificate Program.
Debbie shares a very candid and intimate retelling of her journey and how she came to realize she was prenatally exposed to alcohol. She is a great example of how unique individuals with FASD can be because of what’s called “scattered profiles”. She tells us that despite being on her way to getting a Ph.D., FASD does affect her in some unique ways, as well we:
I have had the advantage of raising so many kids that I got to try different ways of raising them. I wanted that normal too. I fought with my kids to go to school, to do this, to do that, to be in girl guides and cub scouts and hockey and all of that stuff. And at the end of the day, some of that stuff ruined my relationship with them.
There is so much in this episode. We touch on how systems need to respond to the unique needs of caregivers as well as individuals with FASD. She shares how a PhotoVoice Project created by caregivers of children with FASD came about and shares what the future holds for her.
This is an episode about weaving the stories, tapestries, and intersections of our lives together and the importance of relationships. Be sure to check out the incredible and moving Photo Voice Project (link below) and let me know what you think.