#011 Anne Russell Offers Hope and Healing for Birth Moms

fasd success show Mar 09, 2020
Today we speak with Elizabeth Anne Russell, an author, FASD Speaker, Trainer, Founder of Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association, but more importantly a birth mom and grandma to adult sons and grandchildren on the Spectrum.

TRIGGER WARNING: This is a first hand account of one birth mom's experience as she discovers that consuming alcohol while pregnant caused her sons to have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Some details may be overwhelming.

Anne shares a raw and powerful story of a birth mom who went from feeling “absolute, crushing anguish and unbearable grief” to helping save lives through her determination to raise FASD awareness through research, advocacy, publishing a book, training, speaking and forming the first FASD organization founded by a birth mom – in effect saving lives.

We delve deep with Anne as she relates how her doctor told her to “go and have a few drinks at the pub with your husband” to prevent an early...

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#010 MRIs and the FASD Brain with Dr. Catherine Lebel

fasd success show Mar 08, 2020
We have a fascinating episode today as we talk MRIs, the brain and FASD with Dr. Catherine Lebel, Associate Professor of Radiology at the University of Calgary and Canada Research Chair in Pediatrics. Dr. Lebel has a PhD in Bio Medical Engineering and has Post Doctoral Training in Neurology and Pediatrics. But don't worry folks, we talk about all this in easy to understand language!

Our closed Facebook FASD Caregiver Success group gets a lot of posts and questions about MRIs, so we took them directly to a professional who breaks down the brain, what MRIs are and can do, how past research is informing current research, and how her team are making discoveries about how the brain of an individual with prenatal alcohol exposure differs from a neurotypical individual. 

In this episode Dr. Lebel shares: how she found her way into the FASD world; gives us a look into her work (and how the brain works); tells us about a Canadian Study on FASD & Mental Health; and...

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#009 Jennifer Shadel (aka The Trauma Mamma)

fasd success show Feb 28, 2020
In today's podcast we meet  Jennifer Shadel. By day, Jennifer is a stay-at-home-Mom to five kids, three with or suspected Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. By night she becomes the Trauma Mamma, writing, producing and performing (sometimes with her kids) for her Youtube channel.

In today's podcast we meet  Jennifer Shadel. By day, Jennifer is a stay-at-home-Mom to five kids, three with or suspected Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. By night she becomes the Trauma Mamma, writing, producing and performing (sometimes with her kids) for her Youtube channel.
Life was busy and caregiving was hard. I had to find a way to express my inner trauma as a mom, and to do that I turned to song.
And we think it's brilliant. And hilarious.
The parodies began when her oldest daughter was 13 and she changed the words in songs as a way to motivate, and admits a little dash of good hearted embarrassment, her children. It blossomed into a YouTube Channel...
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#008 Mother Daughter Duo Yvonne and Nicole talk FASD

fasd success show Feb 28, 2020

Settle in for a double feature to hear mom Yvonne and her daughter Nicole talk about their ups and downs on their FASD journey. What a treat this is to hear the FASD experience from their different perspectives.


Yvonne relates her journey from the first moment she saw a seven year old girl in pig tails to how their lives have unfolded and her own education and growth as an FASD caregiver.

She candidly shares strategies and tips as well as the significant challenges they faced not only as a family but also that she experienced as a single mom raising a daughter in a small rural town that didn't understand or accommodate the disability and how that affected them both through the years. Her best advice for caregivers: Don't dwell in the future. Be present now.

With Nicole transitioning to an adult, Yvonne can now offer hope for caregivers through her advocacy, blog and speaking engagements.

Picture courtesy of Pete Fisher (Today's Northumberland)

Nicole is a 22 year old...

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#007 Dr. Ana-Hanlon Dearman FASD and Sleep, or lack there of.

fasd success show Feb 28, 2020
Dr. Ana Hanlon-Dearman, MD, FRCPC, FAAP is a Developmental Pediatrician at the Manitoba FASD Centre and at the Child Development Clinic with the Child Health Program in Winnipeg, MB. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health with the University of Manitoba and holds a cross appointment with the Department of Community Health Sciences. She has been awarded the Manitoba FASD Research Scientist Award from Healthy Child Manitoba Office with the University of Manitoba Community Health Sciences, and chairs the Research Group at the Manitoba FASD Centre. 


Dr. Hanlon-Dearman has been working collaboratively with a number of research teams to understand population health issues of individuals with FASD and to better integrate care for affected individuals and their families. Her clinical and research interests include neurodevelopmental patterns of children with FASD, as well as children with a variety of neurodevelopmental disabilities.

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#006 FASD Parent and Peer Mentor Jody Jordan

fasd success show Jan 27, 2020
From struggling parent with three children on the spectrum to FASD mentor to 80 families.  Jody is a truth cannon who tells it like it is including her own struggles with anxiety and fear of the future as her kids grow older and start to transition into adulthood.  

Jody is a parent to three beautiful children, all affected with FASD, ages 14, 16 and 18.

She began working as a caregiver mentor six years ago with Wood’s Homes and continues today mentoring and supporting caregivers to feel successful in caregiving those affected with FASD.

She is also a facilitator for the MAPS Partnership caregiver networking support group for caregivers supporting those affected with FASD.

The past two and a half years, she has been an active executive board member for the Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network.

Her hobbies include involvement in the local farm animal rescues and owner at Pig Tale Acres where pet pigs are trained as therapy animals.

Show Notes:

If you're in the...

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#005 Tamra Cajo: A Diagnosis with Mindfulness in Mind

fasd success show Jan 19, 2020
Meet Tamra Cajo - the FASD Clinical Director at The Florida Center for Early Childhood (FCEC). The FCEC is the ONLY FASD diagnostic clinic in the whole state of Florida.

This week, Jeff talks to Tamra about pretty much EVERYTHING, including:

  • Tamra's own learning curve and FASD journey since becoming Clinical Director at FCEC
  • The steps a family goes through when getting assessed for FASD at her clinic
  • Why a good assessment can be more important than the diagnosis itself
  • The benefits of community and why it's SO important to connect
  • How to calm your "Monkey Brain" to help you through caregiver "self-talk" sabotage


Show Notes:

The Florida Center

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#004 Maggie May An Amazing Adult with FASD

fasd success show Jan 13, 2020
Meet Maggie May.  A young adult with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. In her day-to-day life, Maggie wears many hats - she is a helper, a student, a speaker and moderator of a Private Facebook Group that supports people with FASD. 

Jeff and Maggie talk about about what it's like having FASD, how she manages the symptoms associated with the disability - specifically memory and impulse control (or sometimes the lack thereof).  

Maggie also shares some amazing tips on everything from managing a meltdown to her insights on transitioning into adulthood. 

Show Notes

Want to connect with Maggie? You can find her in the Facebook Group: Flying With Broken Wings

In the interview, Maggie talks about a whiteboard that she uses as a memory tool to help her with her jobs and daily tasks. Simple strategy - big results!   

Thanks for listening, gang!
If you liked this episode don't forget to subscribe to the show! 

 See you next episode! 

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#003 Gigi Davidson Founder of FASD Communities

fasd success show Jan 02, 2020

Housing insecurity is a serious issue for most people with special needs, but finding appropriate and supportive housing for adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is even harder to come by. Never Fear! In this episode Jeff interviews someone who is doing something about it. 

Meet Gigi Davidson. Gigi is the Founder of FASD Communities and she is going to share her story as an FASD Caregiver to a young man and how she started up a one-of-a-kind, long-term residential care home for individuals with FASD.

Show Notes:

FASD Communities

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#002 CanFASD Executive Director Audrey McFarlane

fasd success show Jan 02, 2020

Watch out! In this episode Jeff interviews his first guest and he's not joking around! Meet Audrey McFarlane. Audrey is the Executive Director for The Canada FASD Network. If you have ever thought to yourself, "what the heck does CanFASD even really do?" then you are in for a treat.

Listen in as Jeff and Audrey get right down to business and find out what CANFASD is up to these days and how they are burning the midnight oil on all things FASD.

Plus -- they will talk about the new FASD definition and do some serious busting... MYTH BUSTING, that is!

Thanks for tuning in!

Show Notes:

Here are the resources mentioned in the episode: 

Workforce Development Model/Online Learning

Lakeland Centre for Fetal Alcohol 

Common Messaging Guide

New Basic Definition 


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