#130 Michelle Trager Powerful Parenting from Afar

fasd success show Oct 29, 2022
When Michelle and her husband adopted their son, they were told he may have issues in school because of his international adoption background – but no one mentioned FASD. Despite hitting all his early milestones, his challenges escalated as he got older. Their life was chaotic and stressful. They tried everything and saw all the professionals. Even the Occupational Therapist, who was on track with accommodations, didn’t mention FASD. Even with a Master of Social Work, Michelle didn’t think FASD.
Still feeling that pressure that we are doing everything we can, but there is still issues. Yet, academically, he is doing well at school. There was a part of me that was so angry because of all the professionals we had seen. Why hadn’t anyone suggested it. Why didn’t I know?

We talk about how things escalated to the point where there was involvement with the juvenile justice system, placement in a therapeutic day school and residential treatment, as well as:

  • How alone, overwhelmed and misunderstood they felt.
  • Why she felt she failed her son as a parent and social worker. So much so that she didn’t share their story or reach out for help.
  • The catalyst to switch from not feeling heard, to gaining the confidence and support to advocate effectively for their son.

It is a challenge because some places will be, oh you are a parent, with knowledge, we totally welcome that. I think my background as a professional gets me in the door, but I always say, I’m presenting as a parent because I didn’t learn this as a professional.

We also talk about her growth in parenting from afar, taking care of herself and her thoughts about the future. Michelle has gained so much confidence she now advocates with various systems: justice, education, government, mental health and with a family advisory committee.

While each journey is unique, you will be inspired to hear how she went from being unsure about joining our Caregiver Kickstart Coaching Program 18 months ago to having her Congresswoman phoning her about FASD!


Show Notes:

FASD Workshop: Learn what’s working now from Jeff and other FASD parents and caregivers with 800+ years of experience. Click: Free Virtual Workshop. Once you register, you will get support, encouragement, strategies, and tips to deal with everyday challenges at home or school.

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