#090 Dr. Peter Choate: Trauma, FASD and Prevention

fasd success show Jan 08, 2022
You know me. I’m a geek at heart. And I always say although I do know a lot about FASD, I’m not a doctor, a social worker, or a lawyer. That’s why I’m excited to bring you Dr. Peter Choate, a social worker, who has influenced my work. I must admit I was a bit nervous, but Peter started off the interview with a dad joke and I knew we were on our way to a great conversation. 

Peter W. Choate, MSW, RCSW, PhD, PhD is Professor, Social Work, Program Coordinator, Member and Supervisor, Clinical Registry, Alberta College of Social Workers. Peter’s teaching focuses on assessment issues in social work, including families, as well as child and adolescent mental health. He has served for 5 years as the Field Director for the First- and Second-Year Practicum Program and is now the Program Coordinator. Peter is an expert witness in social work with sub-specialties in the areas of  social work case management,...

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FASD Holiday Hints

fasd success show Dec 08, 2021

A caregiver in our private Facebook Group asked: Am I the only one seriously considering cancelling Christmas?

We know this time of year can be challenging. So, if you feel like cancelling Christmas, or want to reduce meltdowns or overload, check out these top 8 ideas or hints for the holidays suggested by other caregivers:

  1. Change (or adjust) your expectations.
  2. Create new traditions that suit your family.
  3. Keep routines. No late nights. No junk food. No increase in screen time.
  4. Vary gift-giving, opening and displaying throughout the month.
  5. Fewer decorations, fewer activities, and more downtime.
  6. Limit access to all the marketing and advertising.
  7. Stop celebrating Christmas completely or switch traditions, to simpler ones such as Solstice.
  8. Pull your kids close and give them lots of cuddles and hugs.

We know there are times when you will want to decorate, engage in activities or visit family or friends. Some additional ideas that may help:

  1. Ask your child what they want or...
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#089 Laurie Whyte: The Value of Vulnerability

fasd success show Nov 27, 2021

There are caregivers all around the world quietly or not so quietly going about their day-to-day. Occasionally, I see someone who is doing incredible work in their community and I want to dig a little deeper to find their lessons and ideas I can share with others. Laurie Whyte is one of those caregivers.  

Laurie Whyte has been active in the world of Fetal Alcohol SpectrumDisorder for over 15 years. As a parent of 2 teenagers with FASD as well as a community advocate and trainer, she offers a unique perspective in helping others understand FASD. By sharing real-life examples, the latest research, and best practices Laurie speaks openly about the emotional journey of many caregivers of those with FASD while providing hope and inspiration. She offers dynamic and practical training in hopes of bringing professionals and caregivers together to serve individuals with FASD compassionately. 


I learned to ask for help. I have never hidden...

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#088 Jennifer Wisdahl: Leading the Way in the U.S.A

fasd success show Nov 13, 2021


What happens when you have the FASD information, training and support you need? Do you take a step back and let others find their own way or do you step up and help? Today’s guest, Jennifer Wisdahl, ranks in the circle of some pretty kick-a$$ advocates who are helping pave the way for families and individuals to get the support and services they need for success. 

Many of you may know Jenn from her role as the Policy and Training Center Coordinator for FASD United (formerly NOFAS) where she works with the Team supporting the pending FASD Respect Act. What you may not know is she and her husband, are proud parents of three teens with FASD, is a habitual volunteer (she sits on the board of NOFAS Washington State and on the executive board of the FASD United Affiliate Network), is formerly from Canada and still cheers for the Vancouver Canucks, while watching the Seattle Kraken.   



So often as advocates we talk into...

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#087 Ngaire Meadows: No Physical Aggression in a Year!

fasd success show Oct 28, 2021

As a research scientist in the health care field, Ngaire Meadows thought she knew everything, but now understands how little she knew.

With four children and three on the Spectrum, it felt like WW3 in her home with rages, outbursts, and mental health concerns.  

Rages and outbursts, these just happen, and there’s no controlling it and there is no reasoning with it and there’s no deflecting. It’s like a storm cloud coming in, rolling in, you can’t stop it and you can’t make it roll out any faster, you just have to hunker down and weather it. 

In this episode, Ngaire and I talk about: 

  • Trying to sort out what was brain and what was trauma and having no one around her understand what she was dealing with. 
  • Feeling so worried, anxious and scared because nothing was working and the toll it was taking on her.
  • The four changes that she made that resulted in a year...
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#086 Kelly Rosenbender: From Struggling Single Mom to Informed and Confident Advocate

fasd success show Oct 24, 2021
Are you a single parent? Working full time? Wondering how to effectively support your child with FASD and have hope for the future? If you are any or all those things, tune in as I chat with Kelly Rosenbender. She is a single mom working full time while raising her 13-year-old daughter. Despite getting an FASD diagnosis a few years ago, and referrals for services, she still felt judged, isolated and without the tools or knowledge, she needed to advocate.

In today’s episode she and I break down:  

  • Pre diagnosis parenting – learning about attachment, trauma and other conditions but yet those techniques were not working to stop the overwhelm and outbursts. 
  • Post diagnosis – despite relief and referrals how she still did not have the information and knowledge to be an effective advocate and felt judged, isolated and frustrated. 
  • What changed that provided her with the tools,...
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#085 Chandra and Jordan Smith: The Power of Same Page Parenting

fasd success show Oct 16, 2021

Previous guests have included moms and dads, but this is the first time we’ve had a couple appear together to talk about their journey as FASD Caregivers. I couldn’t think of a better couple than Chandra and Jordan as the first. 

Chandra and Jordan are parents to 6 children – two with an FASD diagnosis and one suspected. Like Angelene Bruce, our conversation was not intended to be a podcast. It was for a case study for our upcoming CKS workshop. Like Angelene, their story is filled with great lessons that will benefit many.

Before taking the CKS program, Chandra and Jordan admitted they were living at a level of desperation and constant stress. They questioned their parenting, had others question their parenting, and struggled to understand why their children were acting the way they did despite what they felt was a supportive home environment.

I feel as a mom you get this intuition. There were things with our boys that I was recognizing, not...

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#084 Angelene Bruce: Throwing FASD Stigma out the Window

fasd success show Oct 10, 2021

Her handle on Twitter is FASD Warrior Mum. I interviewed Angelene Bruce for her feedback on her experience taking my Caregiver Kickstart Coaching program.  As she told her story, as a birth mum, it became clear her insight and experiences needed to be shared with a larger audience. She is a warrior who is working to throw stigma against birth mums and FASD out the window. 

I felt immense guilt. I cut down … and did as much as I could do – so diet, sleep, exercise, prenatal vitamins. I made sure my prenatal care was as good as it could be. I want birth mums to know there are mitigating things we can do. My passion is for women that are dependent. But it can happen even at low levels of drinking. 

Angelene is honest and forthright about her past. We talk about her dependency on alcohol and her pregnancy but also her path to recovery and acceptance. Stops on that journey include:  

  • How her relationship with her son has evolved, what...
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#083 Angela Geddes FASD: A Complicated & Beautiful Brain

fasd success show Oct 02, 2021
In this episode of The FASD Success Show, I’m talking to a professional who has dedicated her career to understanding, advocating, and supporting families and individuals with FASD. So much so, she wrote her thesis on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, which she has just turned into a resource manual filled with not only general information on FASD but provides insights into building a more inclusive service delivery system. 
Angela Geddes CYW, BA (Psych), MSW, RSW. Angela has over 25 years of experience supporting individuals in a variety of settings. She is currently in private practice providing education, advocacy and direct support for individuals and families experiencing complex issues including the impact of PAE/FASD. Angela is also an active member of the FASD ONE Diagnostic Action Group, FASD ELMO, and Ontario FASD Action Network and involves herself in many different projects including recently writing a book,A...
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#082 Jo Garofalo: FASD The Hidden Disability

fasd success show Sep 25, 2021
One of the benefits of the work I do is I get to witness the incredible transformation of caregivers. Today’s guest, Jo Garofalo is a caregiver I have watched go from being alone and pushed in different directions (none of which worked) in advocating for her daughter to an informed advocate who has the information, knowledge, and confidence to move forward in getting the accommodations needed for her daughter’s success. 
Jo and her husband Robert have two children, one with FASD. For the past27they have produced music and documentary programming for television and DVD.They raise money& awareness for Adoption UK &for the orphanage where they adopted their son through their Voice in a Million project.  They decided they really wanted to do something more substantial in the UK, and so the documentary FASD The Hidden Disability was born. 
FASD is something...
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