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September Network News: Advocating in the School System, DIY Fidget, FASD Unexpected Journeys 
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Advocating

in the School System

FASD is not a well-known disability. Advocating on behalf of individuals who live with FASD may be necessary for a higher quality of life. However, navigating complicated systems such as the educational system can be difficult. As a new school year starts here’s some quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider disclosing your child’s disability to the people who need to know.
  • A diagnosis can be helpful in accessing supports but it should not be necessary for all supports. Listed on the Ministry of Education website is a form about ‘Intensive Supports Categories.’ It indicates that documentation of prenatal exposure to drugs (i.e. alcohol) identifies a student as requiring intensive supports.
  • Be informed – educating others about the disability is the first step in advocacy so brush up on your knowledge of FASD.
  • Start immediately – it might take all year to get supports in place so starting as soon as possible can be very valuable
  • Keep records – Documentation will help you remember who you have spoken with and what was advocated for or discussed.  Also, recording strategies that work and those that do not, and potential triggers is helpful.
  • Gain the support of others – having support can help you keep your strength while advocating. The FASD Network and other community organizations can actively help you navigate the school system.
  • Maintain constant and open communication with the teachers and support staff
  • Don’t be afraid to make waves. You may encounter some professionals who are unaware of FASD or believe in stereotypes about the disability but it is important to remember that you know your child, you are the expert on their abilities and their needs.
  • It is also important to keep in mind that teachers and staff may be doing the best they can with the limited resources they have. Work together to come up with creative solutions.
  • Never stop talking and advocating. This may feel frustrating at times but it will help make sure your child (and any other children living with FASD) is not left behind.

More information on advocating in schools and other systems can be read in our caregiver-created resource, “Advocacy: Successes and Struggles.”
If you need assistance advocating for your child, contact the FASD Network. For families located within 50 km of Saskatoon we can directly assist you with advocating in school. Anyone outside of the Saskatoon area seeking assistance with advocating can call our toll-free line (1-866-673-3276). We can provide advice for your specific situation.
 

FASD Unexpected Journeys

The Network would like to thank everyone who came out for the launch of our book, “FASD Unexpected Journeys.” It was a wonderful evening of raising awareness for FASD. We’d like to thank the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market for providing a venue, Rawlco Radio for providing free promotions, Solaro Pizza for all the food and SLGA for funding the book project. We would also like to express our deepest appreciation to everyone who let us include their story and shared the private details of their lives.

The book includes stories from 23 remarkable Saskatchewan families whose lives have been affected by FASD. If you haven’t received your copy yet please contact us at communications@fasdnetwork.ca or (306) 975 – 0896. While funding lasts we will be providing one free-of-charge copy for a small shipping fee. Additional copies can be ordered for $25.00.

For anyone on their own journey with FASD, it is our hope that you read these families’ stories and get a greater understanding of the disability, a renewed sense of hope and knowledge that you are not alone.

DIY Fidget

Some individuals living with FASD struggle with focus and active listening, as a result they often display behaviours that make them seem restless. Tools such as fidget toys can help centre their focus by directing their movements and energy into a small handheld toy. There are many options for DIY fidget toys.

This example explains how to create a simple fidget toy out of water beads and a balloon.

Supplies include: water balloons, water beads, and a funnel or water bottle
Directions:
  1. Put beads in water and allow to hydrate (this can take up to eight hours)
  2. Fill an empty water bottle or a funnel with the beads
  3. Attach a balloon to the water bottle and push beads inside
  4. Secure balloon
More DIY tools can be found in our FASD Toolkit on the resource page of our website. We explain these tools and strategies during our Frontline training, for more information on how you could benefit from training on FASD contact the Network at training@fasdnetwork.ca

 

Post-secondary Presentations

We are excited to announce that we are in our twelfth year of FASD post-secondary training! This training offers an in-depth understanding of FASD and is tailored for each field of study. There is no cost to book a presentation, contact our Training Coordinator at training@fasdnetwork.ca for more information.

Upcoming Events

Oct 5                  Oct 12                  Oct 17                  Oct 19
Peer Support             Peer Support               Caregiver Support           Monthly Frontline Training


To RSVP for upcoming events visit our calendar online.

Contact Us

1-866-673-3276
info@fasdnetwork.ca
www.saskfasdnetwork.ca

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Cover photo credit: Tourism Saskatchewan
Copyright © 2016 FASD Network of Saskatchewan, All rights reserved.



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