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MOFAS YAAC

Another FASD social group from MOFAS!

If you are an individual living with FASD, Minnesota would not be a bad place to be! The Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing FASD and improving the lives of those dealing with FASD. They run numerous events, learning opportunities, and support groups throughout the year.

We have featured many programs and events offered by MOFAS in the past on this blog. The latest MOFAS program that drew our attention is their “Young Adults Activity Club” (YAAC), where older adolescents and young adults with FASD can participate in social activities while caregivers take a break.

Given the social difficulties that can come with FASD and the harmful consequences they often hold (For a review, see Kully-Martens, Denys, Treit, Tamana, & Rasmussen, 2012 or check out our social skills page on the KnowFASD wiki to learn more), social exposure for adolescents and adults with FASD is valuable. This program provides a great example of the social opportunities needed by individuals with FASD, while providing the opportunity for caregivers to have some down time (it is recommended that individuals with FASD bring a friend or personal care assistant to the group).

Click on the image above for more information.

For other MOFAS programs and learning opportunities, check out their Fall 2013 Family Support and Activities and the MOFAS Calendar.

References:

Kully-Martens, K., Denys, K., Treit, S., Tamana, S., Rasmussen, C. (2012). A review of social skills deficits in individuals with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and prenatal alcohol exposure: profiles, mechanisms, and interventions. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 36(4), 568-76.

Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS),  an American organization addressing the needs of individuals with FASD and their families and caregivers, is well versed in support programs for those with FASD.

In the past, we have posted about their support groups for adults with FASD.

Currently, MOFAS is running several great programs, such as:

Growing up Class: Just for Boys
A class to support boys through the physical, emotional, and social changes that occur during puberty.

Funding the Metro Crisis Coordination Programs
Includes training and support groups for family, caregivers, and educators of individuals with FASD as well as social skills groups for individuals with FASD.

“Creating Your Family Portrait”
An art program where teens with FASD and their caregivers work together to create family portraits through supportive art processes.

MOFAS is also offering several retreats throughout the summer:

Young Adult Panel Retreat

MOFAS  Summer Family Retreat 2013- Brainerd

MOFAS  Summer Family Retreat 2013- Stewartville

Birth/Kinship Family Retreat 2013

For our readers:

Do you know of another great current or upcoming program that we haven’t covered? Please leave a comment to share it with other readers!

knowfasd

We recently featured our newest project, KnowFASD, in the latest edition of our iNAT newsletter. For those of you who have not yet subscribed to the iNAT newsletter, here is some information about KnowFASD:

Our goal with KnowFASD is to provide a comprehensive site where viewers can learn about the neurobehavioural deficits associated with FASD throughout the lifespan and link to intervention options.

The main homepage of the website is an interactive interface where viewers can scroll through the lifespan of individuals with FASD, with neurobehavioural issues at each developmental stage presented as they may appear in day-to-day life. By clicking on a neurobehavioural issue, viewers are directed to a “wiki” (which works in a similar fashion to Wikipedia) housing information from current research on the neurobehavioural issue at hand. Each wiki page discusses a specific neurobehavioural issue: how it presents, potential causes, and potential consequences. At the bottom of each page, a link is provided to topic-specific intervention options.

Please feel free to visit the site, pass it along, and give us your feedback or suggestions. Check back often as we continue to categorize and upload information.

Visit KnowFASD

Continuing in the vein of last month’s “Supports for Adults with FASD,” we wanted to make note of a couple more great adult FASD support services offered in the province of British Columbia.

Soroptimist International of Surrey/Delta, part of an international organization for the benefit of women, hosts biweekly inclusive social and learning groups for women age 16-24 with FASD.

The group is entitled “Totally Beautiful” and meets at the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in Surrey, BC. Although sessions have already started, future meetings are scheduled for March 26, April 9, and April 23. Sessions will focus on building self-confidence, support, and social skills.

For event and registration information, please refer to the event listing on BC’s “Provincial Outreach Program for FASD” (POPFASD) website.

Although Soroptimist is a women’s organization, they also host a biweekly inclusive social and learning group for men age 16-26 with FASD, entitled “the C.R.E.W”- Courageuos. Respectful. Energy. Warriors.

Remaining sessions take place March 19, April 2, and April 16 in Surrey, BC.

POPFASD also has an event listing for the C.R.E.W. outlining program and registration information.

I spoke with a caregiver from Ontario at the Alberta FASD conference last week. She was raising a young girl with FASD, and was coming to Alberta to learn about resources and strategies because she felt there just wasn’t enough support in Ontario.

Then, just yesterday, I spoke with a masters student from Toronto who is doing her thesis in FASD research. We got to talking about conferences and workshops on the west side of Canada, and she was surprised with how many FASD specific events there were going on in the west. She said that there didn’t seem to be that same kind of focus in Ontario.

After hearing the same feedback from two people in Ontario within several days, this article from CBC News caught my eye:

The article refers to a conference organized by the Anishinabek Nation: Union of Ontario Indians beginning tomorrow in Sudbury.

Information on speakers and topics can be found on the conference poster.

Other Ontario FASD Intervention News:

Funding for Peterborough:

$83,400 Trillium grant to fund fetal alcohol spectrum disorder services in Peterborough area for two-year period

Support:

For Ontario caregivers who might be feeling the same lack of support as the mother I spoke with at the conference, the FASD Ontario Network of Expertise provides some great resources and information and has a page listing support groups across the province.

To our Ontario Readers:

This blog is a place for information sharing. We encourage you to ask questions and share your stories.

Caregivers: Please feel free to share information about any helpful agencies or services you have accessed in the province.

Service providers: Do you work with individuals with FASD in the province of Ontario? Comment on the post and let Ontario families know you are out there!

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