#055: Brain Domains, Diagnosis and FASD Research with Dr. Valerie Temple 

fasd success show Feb 22, 2021


Can you believe we are at Episode 55 of the FASD Success Show podcast?  

Over the last year, we have interviewed caregivers, birth moms, advocates, individuals on the Spectrum, as well as professionals like my guest today: Dr. Valerie Temple. I reached out to her after seeing a recent research paper she shared on Twitter. I knew she would have some knowledge bombs to share – and having discovered she has published over 25 research papers and book chapters about FASD, I think you will agree!

Dr. Valerie Temple, Ph.D. C. Psych. is a Clinical Psychologist and the Professional Practice Leader for Psychology at Surrey Place, an agency supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities in Toronto, Ontario.  She is also Clinical Lead for the Surrey Place Adult FASD Diagnostic Clinic. She works with Canada FASD Network and FASD-ONE an Ontario advocacy group. Along with family members, researchers, and clinicians...

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#054 Simon Laplante: Inside Education and Housing

fasd success show Feb 14, 2021

  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...

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#053 NOFASD Australia: A Global Leader for FASD

fasd success show Feb 07, 2021

If you think not enough is happening in the FASD world, or wonder what exactly is happening, then you will want to tune into today’s podcast. The FASD Success Show is all about highlighting success stories and today we go to the top of the leading FASD organization in the world – NOFASD Australia. I think it is so important that we take time to see the bigger picture, because sometimes when we are focused on our own reality, it is easy to think nothing is changing. Maybe it isn’t fast enough, but things are changing. I believe this episode is the inspiration some will need right now. 

In this episode, I talk to Louise Gray, the Chief Executive Officer of NOFASD Australia. She is an experienced leader in the not-for-profit field. She holds a Master of Sociology degree from Murdoch University awarded for a research project centered on community knowledge and awareness of alcohol in pregnancy and has traveled to Canada to observe approaches to...

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#052 Tracy Mastrangelo: School Success

fasd success show Feb 01, 2021

One challenge many caregivers have is how to both respond to the struggles their kiddos with FASD have in the school system and how to appropriately work within that system to make change. If you don’t have access to an Education Advocate, then today’s episode is going to help arm you with specific research-backed information from a professional who works with educators to identify integrated supports to reduce barriers to learning in schools. But don’t worry – some of the tips and strategies she suggests are just as relevant for at-home learning and we break it all down for you. 

Tracy Mastrangelo has focused her career on the social work and education field in both Alberta and the Yukon Territory. Her work has focused mainly on supporting families and children/youth with complex needs, including as the Provincial Coordinator of Wellness, Resiliency and Partnerships (WRaP) an education-based initiative for students with FASD. Tracy has a...

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#051 Megan Tucker: FASD and Harm Reduction

fasd success show Jan 25, 2021

 Today’s episode comes with a trigger warning. Also, if you play our episodes while your children are in the room, I suggest you wear headphones or listen when alone because we talk openly about challenging behaviours, addictions, mental health, truancy, running away and suicide. 

My conversation with Megan Tucker about Harm Reduction may also trigger reactions to long-held beliefs or value clashes – but if you feel like you are at the end of your proverbial rope with any of the above, the Harm Reduction Model is a shift in thinking and supporting that can turn things around.  


I have known my guest for many years, having attended conferences as presenters and worked with Megan in my CKS program. She is the Training Coordinator, as well as a Prevention Conversation Facilitator at the Lakeland Centre for FASD (Alberta). She studied Humanities at the University of Alberta. Megan has worked at the Lakeland Centre for almost 10 years in multiple...

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#050 Linda Rosenbaum: Not Exactly as Planned

fasd success show Jan 17, 2021

It is so interesting how the FASD journey intersects. We all have mentors and people who have inspired us in our journeys. Linda Rosenbaum, author of Not Exactly as Planned, A Memoir of Adoption, Secrets and Abiding Love has been one of mine for a long time. I refer to her as one of the “OGs” – original (FASD) gangsters. Well, she was also the inspiration for another person I recently met on my journey – but before we get to that, we do a deep dive into Linda’s journey. 


Linda and her husband Robin moved to Canada from the United States during a time of political upheaval. Unable to have biological children, they first adopted Michael in 1987 and later Sara. Linda did not know about fetal alcohol upon adopting Michael and this podcast is her journey from then to now. Linda shares: 

  • The clues that led her to suspect Michael was not a “typical” baby and how she felt when despite her insistence medical professionals...
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#049 Katie Aldiff: FASD and Independence  

fasd success show Jan 10, 2021


If you are wondering what the future holds for your son or daughter, there is no better way to start 2021 than listening to this inspiring story of a young woman on the Spectrum.  

Katie Aldiff came into the child welfare system at six years old. My wife Tara and I met her when she arrived at a Group Home run by an Agency we worked for at the time. Despite a rough beginning and some challenging years, Katie used all of her experiences as stepping stones to land her where she is today – working full time, living on her own and dreaming of returning to College to help others.  We talk about all this as well as: 

“I have nothing to be ashamed about being on the Spectrum.” 

  • How she knew she was “different”, her desire to “fit in” and relief at getting a diagnosis that fit. 
  • Life as a student, “carnie” and how a job as a deli clerk led to...
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#048 How to Build Your Resilience with Patricia Morgan 

fasd success show Dec 20, 2020


If you want compassion for your children, you must start with yourself. And that is exactly where we are starting in today’s podcast.  

Patricia Morgan is a therapeutic counsellor, author, motivational speaker, coach and caregiver for her now 52-year-old daughter on the Spectrum. She is past president of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, Calgary and has won both the Spirit of CAPS award and the YWCA Woman of Vision award.  
Usually, when I talk to a caregiver, we talk about advice on raising an individual with FASD. Today’s conversation is a little different. While we do talk about her role as a caregiver, and how that journey led her to where she is, we spend most of our time talking about resilience and how you can develop that muscle. 

Resilience says I have the capacity to stay steady in the face of adversity, challenge, change, the behaviour of others and myself. It is also the ability to...

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#047 The FASD Project: Uncovering an Epidemic in a Pandemic

fasd success show Dec 13, 2020


Have you heard the reports of the increases in alcohol consumption during this pandemic, including a significant increase in women’s intake and frequency?

A group of advocates in the United States had been talking about ways to raise FASD awareness, and these news stories nudged them to take immediate action. So much so that they undertook a cross-country journey in the mid-western United States in the middle of a pandemic to film The FASD Project. 

We continue to come across no understanding of FASD. The ball has inched forward, it’s just time to move it forward more quickly & robustly. – Gigi Davidson 

I talk to two members of the Project in today’s podcast: Gigi Davidson, Executive Producer and President of FASD Communities and Justin Shepherd, Director/Filmmaker. We talk about the statistics which was the catalyst for this Project as well as why Justin, who with his brother jumped in an RV, dubbed The Rust Bucket, in the...

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#046 Turning the Spotlight on the Creators of the UK's first FASD podcast

fasd success show Dec 06, 2020


We know Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder isn’t in the spotlight very much as it remains one of the most misunderstood or misdiagnosed disorders yet is the most common developmental disability. It is so important for us to work together to get the messages out, that I knew I just had to reach out when I heard about a new FASD podcast. 

Jessica Rutherford, a final-year Ph.D. student in the School of Design and Creative Arts, with her friend, colleague, and caregiver of three children on the Spectrum, Clare Devanney-Glynn recently launched the United Kingdom’s first FASD podcast. Spotlight on FASD aims to raise awareness of FASD, highlight the risk of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, share strategies around parenting and education, and have open conversations around real-life experiences.

We want to normalize it. It is what it is.

This is an interesting interview as we discuss FASD from not only the caregiving perspective but also from a front-line...

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