Life with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

I am thrilled to be part of a new book project that will feature the personal and sometimes very intimate stories of people who have FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder), their parents and families. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, but this book is going to be an eye-opener! I’ve been around disability stuff since about 1982 when I took a communications job with the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, and not too long after met my future husband Rick, and stepkids Jim, who has Down syndrome, Erin and Benjamin. A bit of a life changer and I’ve always considered that one of the job benefits. But even though I’ve been close to disability issues since then, this new project has been an eye-opener for me. Over the last few months, I’ve spent a week in Calgary collecting stories from people who have FASD, and adoptive/foster/biological parents. I went to Grande Prairie to meet a young woman with FASD who is determined to make a good life for herself and her brother. The old stereotype about someone who has FASD left the barn a long time ago! This past week, I spent several days in Edmonton meeting people who have FASD, and parents who have stepped up to share their experiences. This book will be positive, hopeful and full of authentic stories that will shift the way people think about FASD. My last interview, one of six,  in Edmonton was with a dynamic and courageous woman called Angel who pulled herself out of a chaotic pattern of alcohol and drugs, determined to manage her FASD and make a life for herself. She’s about to embark on a computer course and is one of the most determined and committed people I’ve ever met. And I like her because she thought I am in my early 40s ha ha.  I’m pretty enthused about this project, maybe you can tell. It’s a joint project between the Alberta Association for Community Living and the Alberta FASD Family Advisory Council. Stay tuned!

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