#021 Colette Philcox, From the Streets to Success 

fasd success show May 21, 2020

I am stoked to talk to Colette Philcox today – not only an individual on the spectrum, but the daughter of Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton – and the inspiration for Bonnie’s book: Damaged Angels. Colette is a mother of two – one on the spectrum, is an advocate and holds down a job in the film industry. 

Colette's story will inspire hope in individuals and caregivers. Adopted at 4, she was on the streets and addicted to crack by her mid-teens. When I asked her what was the factor that changed the trajectory of her life, she said there wasn't any one thing that happened.

It just clicked. Like a puzzle piece that finally found it's place.

Now with experience and maturity at 40, you will be captivated by her candor, honesty and insights on: 

  • Living life on the street (she estimates 85% on the streets are on the Spectrum) and why...
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#020 Brian Philcox, the Ignorant FASD Philosopher

fasd success show May 10, 2020
 What an absolute honour to present to you on today’s podcast – Mr. Brian Philcox – affectionately known as “Grampa Brian.”

With his wife Bonnie Buxton, he co-founded FASworld, a charity dedicated to raising awareness for FASD and supporting caregivers. Bonnie is author of Damaged Angels, one of the most influential books to this day on Fetal Alcohol. In addition to being parents of two daughters, including one on the Spectrum, distinguished careers and work in the FASD field, they developed the idea of the first FASday, and with assistance from Teresa Kellerman in the United States, introduced it to the world in 1999.

In this episode Brian shares:

  • Why he calls himself the ignorant FASD philosopher
  • Ideas about mindset, unrequited love and ambiguous loss
  • How he is coping in isolation, without his beloved Bonnie
  • The story of how Cleo and Colette completed their family
  • Their parenting philosophy and his advice to parents and caregivers
  • ...
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#019 The Eighth Sense with Lisa Brownstone

fasd success show May 05, 2020

I am excited to bring this podcast episode to you as Lisa has been a champion of mine ever since I first met her while speaking in Saskatchewan. Not only does Lisa share her professional experience as a (now retired) Occupational Therapist, a member of the Board of Directors of Canada FASD Research Network, but she has also raised two individuals on the Spectrum and is currently raising a grandchild.

Her experience raising her two children – with nine years apart – is an example of how far our understanding of FASD has come. From the comment  “my he is a busy boy” and no diagnosis until age 15 for her son, so no services and supports, to a diagnosis in grade 2 for her daughter and the resulting supports and accommodations for her. She also discusses her own growth as a parent and inter-dependence for success for individuals on the Spectrum.

We also discuss:

  • Tips and strategies she used raising her children and grandchild 
  • Regression is...
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#018 Susan Elsworth, FASD Knowledge Bombs from a MOM

fasd success show Apr 27, 2020

Susan has a BA in Business Management and an AS in Criminal Justice and Corrections. A former foster parent, she and her husband Duane are parents to 13 children, including 5 with FASD, 1 with Celiac Disease and 3 with Reactive Attachment Disorder. In addition, she mentors foster and adoptive parents, advocates, presents and serves on several Boards and Committees at the local and State level.

I should have been a foster kid but wasn't. I'm a survivor. I was drawn to kids that didn't have a voice. I had done the hard work of letting go of those resentments and growing up emotionally.

It is because of this background, Susan was led her to foster and adopt. In this podcast she reveals how, as a caregiver for individuals on the Spectrum, like so many others, she found herself in a State with no service providers, and what professionals there were had extremely limited expertise in Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. In addition there was a definite lack of systems support for...

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#017 Aubrey Page: Military Life and as an FASD Caregiver

fasd success show Apr 20, 2020

As a treatment-level foster parent in Ohio for 3 years, Aubrey noticed many of her kids had similar symptoms that were not trauma based.  After one of her children was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, her eyes were opened to the prevalence of this disability. 

After a disappointing conversation with a local hospital about FASD supports and services, she realized she would need to follow her mom's mantra: If it's meant to be, it's up to me.

This led her on a path to discover everything she could about Prenatal Alcohol Exposure through reading, research, seminars and talking to leading experts in the field. She now advocates, trains and mentors others, as well as consulting with governments in her State to get more resources for FASD.

She has done all this while balancing military careers for both her husband and herself. She discusses similarities and differences between life in the military with raising children with FASD and why she considered...

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#016 Understanding FASD and Aggression with Dr. Mansfield Mela

fasd success show Apr 14, 2020

Dr. Mansfield Mela is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. His clinical practice is out of the Forensic Outpatient Clinic at University of Saskatchewan and the Forensic Inpatients Services at Regional Psychiatric Center, Saskatoon.

His interest in FASD began with a desire to better understand and assist his clients, who he felt at the time were not co-operating with completing homework assignments. After discussing his frustration with a colleague he realized it was the manifestation of symptoms of Fetal Alcohol - which led him on a path of greater understanding.

Dr. Mela drops mega information bombs in this podcast about FASD and aggression that will leave you informed and ready to diffuse frustration and aggression in your household.

He also provides excellent insights on the current pandemic, and what it means for caregivers and individuals with FASD. He reminds us despite the uncertainty:

This is our opportunity to load up on...

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#015 Understanding and Managing Anxiety with Michael Harris

fasd success show Apr 10, 2020


Michael Harris is an active speaker regionally and nationally, a foster parent to a young man on the Spectrum and creator of the FASD Elephant™ podcast and website. Michael graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in Psychology and received an MA in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development.


I know this surreal and weird situation has got you and your children's anxiety jacked up to 10. Anxiety is scary and can be a crippling factor for your family's stability. It doesn't have to be!
You don't have to come out and say it, I know you're dealing with it. So, in this episode of the podcast, I enlist the help of my friend and super psychologist, Michael Harris to help you not only UNDERSTAND ANXIETY but how to actually name it and get it under control, so you can be the ROCK STAR parent I know you can be.

You will learn:

  • What anxiety is.
  • The six types of...

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#014 Homeschooling in a Pandemic with Darlin Dee

fasd success show Mar 29, 2020
Darlin Dee aka Darlene is mom to a neurotypical adult son and mom to an almost 13 year old daughter with FASD. Her and her husband are former foster parents. She is a Registered Early Childhood Educator who teaches for a local college and has been  homeschooling for 22 years.

After her daughter received her FASD diagnosis, she began to learn as much as she could in order to help her daughter navigate life. It was after she met and spoke with adults with FASD that she founded Team LOVE to support her daughter, which has evolved to become her passion project connecting families raising children with Fetal Alcohol.

With the recent events and closures of schools, many parents and caregivers are expected to step up to teach their children at home. This is creating a lot of anxiety in not only parents, but children. 

The buzzword “homeschooling” is being used across social media.  Parents are creating and sharing schedules thinking this is what...

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#013 R.J. Formanek: From Emancipation to Innovation and Inspiration

fasd success show Mar 29, 2020

R.J. Formanek is an FASD speaker, educator, creator of Flying With Broken Wings - a Facebook Support Group for Individuals with FASD, caregivers and professionals who support them, as well as the inspiration behind and partner in the Red Shoes Rock international awareness alliance. Oh and did I mention, he is on the Spectrum?

R.J.’s story is an adventure of hope and inspiration from how he began his journey to end up where he is now - the happiest he has ever been. 

Not that I was my own worst enemy – But I definitely wasn’t my best friend.

Despite a rough start, growing up in the "system," he lived a "normal" life on the outside - becoming a father, a husband, and holding down jobs. Still, it was a struggle, living with an "alphabet soup" of diagnoses, which never really fit. Until a close friend suggested maybe what he had was Fetal Alcohol.

She looked me square in the eye and said: It's not your fault. And that just broke me right there.


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#012 Dr. Ira Chasnoff Talks FASD and the Online World

fasd success show Mar 15, 2020
Meet Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Chasnoff about his work and his book: FASD and the Online World, a hot topic for many caregivers. 
And just to make this more interesting, this interview was with a live audience of caregivers who are just finishing up our Caregiver Kick Start! Program.

This guy is no joke! Dr. Chasnoff opened the first clinic in the United States on prenatal drug and alcohol exposure. He is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the University of Illinois at College of Medicine, an author of 12 books, a researcher, lecturer, and the President of NTI Upstream, a company he founded with his son, Gabe. In other words – he's awesome. 

Throughout our chat, we will confirm that not only is raising a neurotypical child difficult in today’s world of social media, there are added challenges for our kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  

“Children with FASD are at very high risk for misuse of...

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