You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2012.

Finding Hope,” A site from the province of BC about the struggles, successes, programs and lives of those affected by FASD, is well worth a look!

The full documentary on the Finding Hope website is a wonderfully touching and informative resource highlighting the lives of several individuals with FASD and their families interspersed with commentary from professionals in the field.

The documentary begins with a look at the lives of several families and their children who are affected by FASD. Interviews with the families and the children themselves provide great insight into what it’s like to live with FASD and raise a child with FASD. The videos contain discussion with professionals in the field regarding diagnosis, physical and neurological effects, cognitive and behavioural issues, prevention, intervention, and the importance of recognizing that the effects of FASD are due to a brain injury rather than wilful choices.

Several interventions are highlighted in the documentary:

Whitecrow Village:

The  camp (L.I.F.E sessions) experience at Whitecrow Village is featured. The camp reinforces the concepts of structure, predictability/consistency, and respect through adapted activities for children with team leaders who have FASD themselves. These activities run concurrently with education sessions for adults. Children, families, and Whitecrow Village staff work and learn together to create a sense of community.

Homeschooling:

One family in the documentary has created a homeschool of their own, hiring teachers to work with the children. They stress the importance of short segments of learning with active breaks and a calm predictable environment.

FASTrack Program:

The FASTrack program at Kennedy Trail Elementary School in Surrey BC is a program with strategies specific to FASD. The program advocates for the importance of communication between the home and school and the importance of translating to other schools the knowledge of what works in this program.

YWCA/Prevention Programs:

The YWCA provides programs to help women make good choices, which is essential in the prevention of FASD and the good parenting practices needed for mothers of children that are already affected

Other highlighted interventions are the ever-important dedicated teachers’ assistants, and provincial programs incorporating key workers  and respite workers who help parents with coping and communication strategies.

On the finding hope website, there is also a compilation of videos on a number of FASD related topics:

  • About FASD
  • Prevention
  • Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Resources for Parents
  • Resources for Educators

Each section contains videos, an overview, links to sites relevant to the topic, and some great downloads with resources and tips.

To our readers:

The documentary concludes with messages of hope from the families and professionals in the video.
Where do you find hope?
Are there any specific interventions or people that have given you hope?

Don’t forget to check out this month’s FASD Learning Series webcast: Cognitive Interventions to Improve Memory” Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012. 9-11 AM.

Topics to be discussed:

  • Research on FASD memory interventions
  • Memory interventions in other clinical populations, and their implications for FASD
  • Specific intervention strategies
  • Evidence based practice
  • Application of research

 Register now to attend the FREE live webcast.

Check out the FASD Learning Series page on the Alberta Centre for Child, Family, & Community Research website to watch videos of past presentations and check for upcoming webcasts.

The word is out! FASD in the justice system is a hot topic.  The topic seems to have caught the attention of researchers, reporters, and intervention programs, with numerous recent research studies, news articles, and interventions highlighting the issue. The Edmonton Journal published an article about FASD and justice on January 22, revealing one man’s experiences with FASD and the law, which follows a general trend experience by many individuals with FASD. The article discusses the gaps in our system when working with offenders with FASD. Our system punishes criminals with the assumption that offenders will learn from the consequences of their actions. Individuals with FASD often lack the ability to learn from consequence and experience, which causes repeat offences, as is the case with the individual in the article.

The article quotes a number of experts suggesting that we need to find a new way of dealing with individuals with FASD after they commit an offence and an effective way of diverting them from committing an offence in the first place. The problem lies in HOW to divert/correct criminal behaviour within this population. For the man in the article, intervention came in the form of a supportive partner, an understanding neuropsychologist who encouraged healthy practices, and an advocacy program at Edmonton’s Bissell Centre

The Bissell Centre is an agency aimed at eliminating poverty in the community. The centre hosts and number of programs and resources with the goal of self sustainability, community participation, and daily needs being met for their clients.

Read the full article

For some previous posts about FASD and the criminal justice system, check out “FASD Interventions on CBC Radio” and “FASD and Criminal Justice Interventions“.

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