Bonus Episode - All About Insight

Uncategorized Apr 16, 2021

I’ve never done this before, a bonus episode of the show. I didn’t plan on creating one, it just turned into one. Here, let me give you some insight.  

I’m not going to be doing any more workshops or trainings for the near future. I have a project that I'm working on, that’s going to need all of my attention. I give more details during the show. 

Having said that, I will be doing one more “live” workshop before I turn my focus on this project.  And that will be the upcoming 2-day virtual Insight Conference organized by The Honestly Adoption Company. Yours truly will be one of the 12 leading presenters in the medical, therapeutic and parenting strategies field.  

Instead of me giving vague details, I reached out to Mike and Kristin Berry, co-founders of the conference on why you should attend. According to Mike, you will: 

“gain practical insight and wisdom into how trauma impacts your children, but most...

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#062 The FASD Justice League: Doctors McLachlan and Flannigan

fasd success show Apr 12, 2021

In the 1996 landmark study by Dr. Anne Streissguth, it was revealed that up to 60% of individuals with FASD will have contact with the justice system. Youth are 19x more likely to be incarcerated compared to youth without FASD. In Canada, justice-related costs are among the highest FASD associated costs. While not everyone with FASD will be involved, it is a significant number. Today I talk to two researchers who devote their time to examining justice and FASD. 

Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan, MA, PhD. is an Assistant Professor in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Guelph, holds an adjunct faculty affiliation the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, and is a member of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.  

Katherine Flannigan, PhD, R. Psych. is a Registered Psychologist in Alberta and British Columbia and is a Research Associate with the Canada FASD Research...

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#061 FASD from all perspectives: A Mom, A Professional, An Individual with FASD

fasd success show Apr 05, 2021

It isn’t too often we find someone who has Prenatal Alcohol Exposure covered from all angles, but today’s guest certainly does. She is an individual with FASD, a caregiver for individuals with FASD and a professional who works with individuals with Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. This episode is a 10 timer – there is so much incredible information from different perspectives you are going to want to keep coming back to it. 

Once I realized that it was probably the PAE, I started to feel like OK, I can start to work with this, and I can help everyone around me work with this too. 

Debbie Michaud is a Social Worker with a BSW and MSW – she is currently working on a Ph.D. in Educational Sustainability. She has worked for 24 years in the child welfare field in both front-line and supervisory roles. She is teaching at Confederation College in the Social Service Worker Program and at Sault College in the FASD Certificate Program. 

Debbie shares...

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#060 Vanessa Hrvatin: Journalist and FASD Champion

fasd success show Mar 28, 2021

Weaving FASD Stories, Science and Research 

When you think of media coverage for FASD what stories immediately come to your mind? Is it a respectful and honest piece or is it stereotypical and sensationalized? Do you know how feature stories are pitched, decided, and developed?  

In April 2018, an in-depth feature on FASD appeared in one of our National newspapers. A year later three more features. Last month, a fourth appeared by the same reporter. I decided it was time to dig behind the scenes to find out who this reporter was and how and why she become such a champion for FASD. 

Vanessa Hrvatin is a multimedia journalist, science writer, and science communications specialist currently working as a freelance journalist and writer. She is also a part-time Communications Coordinator for the DjavadMowafaghian Centre for Brain Health at the University of British Columbia. She holds a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia and a BSc. in...

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#059 Shana Mohr: FASD Trainer, Advocate and Mom

fasd success show Mar 21, 2021

A couple of weeks ago CanFASD shared a letter written to a teacher by a student with FASD. I had already reached out to Shana Mohr to interview her, as the Training Coordinator for the FASD Network in Saskatchewan, but was stoked to find out it was her daughter that wrote the letter!

Shana has trained hundreds of professionals, caregivers, and individuals with intellectual disabilities about the complexities of FASD. Through her experiences, she has developed an intimate understanding of the services available for individuals with FASD. Shana believes in the need for more research to fill the gaps in these services and to increase the accessibility for individuals with FASD and their caregivers. Shana is also a member of the Family Advisory Committee with CanFASD. 

Starting my journey, I googled FASD.  Google tells you everything that is terrible and negative about FASD and nothing good, so I was pretty scared about it. But that’s when I reached out and...

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#058 Nancy Lockwood: Practical Tools and Tips for Caregivers and Advocates

fasd success show Mar 15, 2021

Like a few of the guests I have interviewed for the FASD Success Show, our professional lives have intersected at various points. I first met Nancy Lockwood eight years ago when I was invited to present at the Ottawa FASD Caregiver Group. A lot has changed in the last eight years. 

Nancy has been living and working in the FASD world for a lot more than eight years however – it has been over 25 years. Her interest in the field was sparked while supporting loved ones with FASD and then grew through her role as an educator supporting individuals with special needs including brain-based disabilities.  

I became aware of how my actions and reactions were influencing people (with FASD) and if I could stay really calm and patient and listen, that they were giving that back to me.

From 2015 until recently, Nancy was Manager of the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) at ABLE2, formerly Citizen Advocacy Ottawa, a program she helped to design and launch in 2015...

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#057 Dr. Mansfield Mela: Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: A Clinician's Guide

fasd success show Mar 08, 2021


Have you ever met a doctor, social worker, clinician or therapist who just didn’t understand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder? Have you ever walked out of an appointment thinking, “If only they could just get it? What can I do to help them get it?” Today, I have answers for you.

I am “geeking out” big time with one of our most popular FASD Success Show guests, Dr. Mansfield Mela about his new book: Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: A Clinician’s Guide. 

Dr. Mela is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. His clinical practice is out of the Forensic Outpatient Clinic at the University of Saskatchewan and the Forensic Inpatients Services at Regional Psychiatric Center. He is one of the international team of experts that created the world’s first psychotropic medication algorithm for FASD/Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. And now he is a published author. 

His interest in FASD began with a desire to better...

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#056 Chris Fillion: From Incarceration to Inspiration

fasd success show Feb 28, 2021


If there is one thing, I think we can agree on, is people with FASD will never cease to amaze us with their resilience and strength in overcoming significant obstacles or barriers in their lives. Chris Fillion, my guest today, is no exception. I have no doubt you will find his story a little familiar and “a lot of” inspiring. It is a true testament to his strength and the people who believed in him. 

Chris Fillion was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the age of 9. He grew up in the Child and Family Services system. He has some experience in the justice system, and currently is head of a not-for-profit organization called WEAREYOU Services for at-risk individuals with a disability. WEAREYOU exists to assist individuals who may become involved with the law. Chris is also an advocate within the FASD community worldwide. His main goal in life is to help others and to provide education on...

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#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...

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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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