#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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#081 Natalie and Cindy: How to Homeschool

fasd success show Sep 18, 2021
 Are you a homeschooler? Ever thought about homeschooling? What about after school is finished? Have you thought about what the future holds for your kids/teens/adults? This episode covers school and launching or transitioning our kids into adulthood.

 Natalie Vecchione and Cindy LaJoy are both homeschool moms, who realized their teens, with FASD, needed alternative homeschool paths for meaningful futures. Through entrepreneurship and apprenticeship, these moms prepared their teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to move forward with confidence, hope, and a set of practical life and job skills.

Natalie Vecchione is an FASD parent advocate and homeschooling mom to two. Natalie turned her family’s unique challenges and journey with FASD from career reinventing into a calling when she and her husband co-founded FASD Hope in 2020. FASD Hope is a podcast, website, and a place for awareness, information, and inspiration for those people whose lives...

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#080 Dr Raja Mukherjee: What Happens When We Never Give Up on FASD

fasd success show Sep 12, 2021

Do you often feel alone as a caregiver? Like you are hitting a brick wall or blowing into the wind when trying to get professionals on board?  In this episode, you will hear that sometimes professionals experience the same. The last time I spoke to today’s guest, Dr. Raja Mukherjee, was five years ago. There was next to nothing for FASD in the United Kingdom. Today I check in to find out where they are now. 

Dr. Mukherjee started the first NHS-based specialist Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders behavioural clinic and since then has seen hundreds of cases for a specialist second opinion. 

He completed his Ph.D. in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 2014. He has also acted as an invited advisor to the BMA board of science, The Department of Health, and the World Health Organisation about FASD. Dr. Mukherjee also gave evidence to the first All Party Parliamentary Group on FASD at the House...
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#079 Audrey McFarlane: FASD Month, Advocacy and Strategies

fasd success show Sep 04, 2021


I love when we bring back guests for an update! I love it, even more, when we have breaking news! More on that later. My guest today, Audrey McFarlane, was my first guest back in January 2020. That episode is in the Top 3 of most listened. It isn’t surprising because she is the Executive Director of the Canada FASD Research Network. Audrey was also one of the founders of the Lakeland Centre for FASD, which in my opinion, is one of the best FASD organizations on the planet.  


Audrey has her finger on the pulse of what is happening not only in Canada but around the world. In this episode we talk about advocacy in other parts of the planet, get an update on what CanFASD has been up to since she was last on, as well as details on: 

  • CanFASD’s new membership program (and...
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