#025 Jodee Kulp: The 40 Year Parenting Plan

fasd success show Jun 15, 2020

Jodee Kulp’s journey is a familiar one. Adopting a child with undiagnosed Prenatal Alcohol Exposure from a system that just did not get it. She was told: “Love her, she will probably come through.” Professionals did not get it. They still don’t.

But what sets her apart from other caregivers that have been guests on this podcast series is how she gets it. And we will get to that. But first, we talk:  

Life with Liz: How nothing seemed to calm her down, but instinctively Jodee knew what to do. Recognizing her brilliance and the importance of focusing on strengths. How despite challenges, addiction, and life-threatening illnesses, Liz continues to share her journey to provide hope to others and instill understanding in professionals. 

Life as a Caregiver: Jodee talks about isolation as an FASD caregiver. Her own incredible story of being given a 5% chance of survival. How she created a life that allows her to use her talents, yet remain...

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#024 Dr Vanessa Spiller: Little Things Make a Big Difference with FASD

fasd success show Jun 07, 2020


Have you ever said: I just wish every professional who works with my child had a child with FASD – so they would GET ITWell Dr. Vanessa Spiller GETS IT! She is the parent of a young adult with FASD who also happens to be a Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in working therapeutically with disadvantaged young people and families.

She has been a university lecturer and university clinic coordinator but her real passion is in supporting families of young people with FASD. She has presented many lectures, workshops and conference presentations on FASD and she has just published a workbook for parents and carers of young people with FASD called “Explained by Brain”.

In this podcast you get some professional insight (without having to pay a fee), as she shares tips, strategies and advice - parent to parent.

Now 20 years old, Dylan joined her family as an incredibly...

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#023 Barb Clark talks FASD, Rages and Trauma Informed Care

fasd success show May 31, 2020


Today we dive deep into an area that takes a lot of soul searching, but sometimes is necessary to preserve relationships and the family: residential care and group homes. We talk with a caregiver not only on the front lines of parenting an individual with FASD and trauma – but in the midst of the riots in Minnesota: Barb Clark is a Parent Support and Training Specialist with the North American Council on Adoptable Children, FASD Consultant and parent of four adopted children, including one with FASD.

Barb and her husband went from trying to teach the FASD out of their daughter:

We thought we were these amazing strict parents.
Once the cloud cover of trauma cleared, and the constant fog of trauma was lifted, we were able to have a better relationship with her.

In this podcast we unpack the journey between these two points:

  • How most professionals told Barb she was paranoid and how bad advice made things worse;
  • What parenting fails and early strategies she used...
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#022 Matthew Pakozdy Winning With FASD Supports

fasd success show May 24, 2020

I met Matthew at one of the very first conferences I spoke at. His story is definitely one of reinvention. He is a trained dancer, speaker and recently, after working in an office environment for many years, went back to College, to study both cooking and landscaping.

We start the podcast talking about how he is dealing with the new reality of COVID 19. 

I am still surviving. It’s having to make my own plans. It’s having to make my own structure, my own consistency, day to day, week to week and it’s hard.

But he is doing it. At 40 years of age he has a lot of practice and insight and he knows his strengths and limitations. In fact we talk about that and other important areas of not only struggle, but overcoming obstacles and growth:

  • Learning to navigate questions about why he “looked different” than his mom
  • Difficulty at school without accommodations or understanding of FASD
  • How as a young adult, drinking, using illegal substances...
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#021 Colette Philcox, From the Streets to Success 

fasd success show May 21, 2020

I am stoked to talk to Colette Philcox today – not only an individual on the spectrum, but the daughter of Brian Philcox and Bonnie Buxton – and the inspiration for Bonnie’s book: Damaged Angels. Colette is a mother of two – one on the spectrum, is an advocate and holds down a job in the film industry. 

Colette's story will inspire hope in individuals and caregivers. Adopted at 4, she was on the streets and addicted to crack by her mid-teens. When I asked her what was the factor that changed the trajectory of her life, she said there wasn't any one thing that happened.

It just clicked. Like a puzzle piece that finally found it's place.

Now with experience and maturity at 40, you will be captivated by her candor, honesty and insights on: 

  • Living life on the street (she estimates 85% on the streets are on the Spectrum) and why...
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#020 Brian Philcox, the Ignorant FASD Philosopher

fasd success show May 10, 2020
 What an absolute honour to present to you on today’s podcast – Mr. Brian Philcox – affectionately known as “Grampa Brian.”

With his wife Bonnie Buxton, he co-founded FASworld, a charity dedicated to raising awareness for FASD and supporting caregivers. Bonnie is author of Damaged Angels, one of the most influential books to this day on Fetal Alcohol. In addition to being parents of two daughters, including one on the Spectrum, distinguished careers and work in the FASD field, they developed the idea of the first FASday, and with assistance from Teresa Kellerman in the United States, introduced it to the world in 1999.

In this episode Brian shares:

  • Why he calls himself the ignorant FASD philosopher
  • Ideas about mindset, unrequited love and ambiguous loss
  • How he is coping in isolation, without his beloved Bonnie
  • The story of how Cleo and Colette completed their family
  • Their parenting philosophy and his advice to parents and caregivers
  • ...
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#019 The Eighth Sense with Lisa Brownstone

fasd success show May 05, 2020

I am excited to bring this podcast episode to you as Lisa has been a champion of mine ever since I first met her while speaking in Saskatchewan. Not only does Lisa share her professional experience as a (now retired) Occupational Therapist, a member of the Board of Directors of Canada FASD Research Network, but she has also raised two individuals on the Spectrum and is currently raising a grandchild.

Her experience raising her two children – with nine years apart – is an example of how far our understanding of FASD has come. From the comment  “my he is a busy boy” and no diagnosis until age 15 for her son, so no services and supports, to a diagnosis in grade 2 for her daughter and the resulting supports and accommodations for her. She also discusses her own growth as a parent and inter-dependence for success for individuals on the Spectrum.

We also discuss:

  • Tips and strategies she used raising her children and grandchild 
  • Regression is...
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#018 Susan Elsworth, FASD Knowledge Bombs from a MOM

fasd success show Apr 27, 2020

Susan has a BA in Business Management and an AS in Criminal Justice and Corrections. A former foster parent, she and her husband Duane are parents to 13 children, including 5 with FASD, 1 with Celiac Disease and 3 with Reactive Attachment Disorder. In addition, she mentors foster and adoptive parents, advocates, presents and serves on several Boards and Committees at the local and State level.

I should have been a foster kid but wasn't. I'm a survivor. I was drawn to kids that didn't have a voice. I had done the hard work of letting go of those resentments and growing up emotionally.

It is because of this background, Susan was led her to foster and adopt. In this podcast she reveals how, as a caregiver for individuals on the Spectrum, like so many others, she found herself in a State with no service providers, and what professionals there were had extremely limited expertise in Prenatal Alcohol Exposure. In addition there was a definite lack of systems support for...

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#017 Aubrey Page: Military Life and as an FASD Caregiver

fasd success show Apr 20, 2020

As a treatment-level foster parent in Ohio for 3 years, Aubrey noticed many of her kids had similar symptoms that were not trauma based.  After one of her children was diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, her eyes were opened to the prevalence of this disability. 

After a disappointing conversation with a local hospital about FASD supports and services, she realized she would need to follow her mom's mantra: If it's meant to be, it's up to me.

This led her on a path to discover everything she could about Prenatal Alcohol Exposure through reading, research, seminars and talking to leading experts in the field. She now advocates, trains and mentors others, as well as consulting with governments in her State to get more resources for FASD.

She has done all this while balancing military careers for both her husband and herself. She discusses similarities and differences between life in the military with raising children with FASD and why she considered...

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#016 Understanding FASD and Aggression with Dr. Mansfield Mela

fasd success show Apr 14, 2020

Dr. Mansfield Mela is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Saskatchewan. His clinical practice is out of the Forensic Outpatient Clinic at University of Saskatchewan and the Forensic Inpatients Services at Regional Psychiatric Center, Saskatoon.

His interest in FASD began with a desire to better understand and assist his clients, who he felt at the time were not co-operating with completing homework assignments. After discussing his frustration with a colleague he realized it was the manifestation of symptoms of Fetal Alcohol - which led him on a path of greater understanding.

Dr. Mela drops mega information bombs in this podcast about FASD and aggression that will leave you informed and ready to diffuse frustration and aggression in your household.

He also provides excellent insights on the current pandemic, and what it means for caregivers and individuals with FASD. He reminds us despite the uncertainty:

This is our opportunity to load up on...

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