1. Educate yourself about FASD
Education Essentials English and French – currently found at
2. Meet with all the people who interact with your child
Meet with all the people (e.g. school teacher, soccer coach, ballet instructor, employer) who interact with your child. Let them know about your child’s strengths, sensory challenges and triggers, and tell them what supports your child needs in order to be successful and what calms your child down after a blowout. For further information go to the Intervention and Support web page.
3. Tell everyone
Tell everyone you meet about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy or when planning a pregnancy. For further information visit the Prevention web page.
Plan an event for FASD Awareness on September 9. For further information visit the News & Events web page.
4. Join a local FASD network or start one
Many of the networks that exist throughout Ontario are due to the efforts of dedicated local parents and service providers. If there is nothing presently in your area, you might consider approaching agencies for help in starting the service most needed. Some organizations that might be able to help include:
- Community Action Program for Children: www.connectionsprogram.ca/capc-cpnp/index.php
- Children’s Aid societies: www.oacas.org
- Children’s Mental Health Agencies: www.kidsmentalhealth.ca
- Community Livings: www.communitylivingontario.ca
- Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs: www.frp.ca
5. Join a parent/caregiver support group
You will meet others who understand what you are going through and can give tips and links to local supports and services. Another option is to join an online discussion forum, also known as a listserv, for information and support.
6. Join the Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) in your area
Please consider joining your local school board’s SEAC (Special Education Advisory Committee) committee to spread your knowledge of FASD to educators at your local Public and Catholic school boards. Slowly but surely more Ontario school boards have SEAC members representing FASD. It is making a difference. School success is critical to life-long success for FASD-affected people.
Every four years there is a municipal election in Ontario and SEAC seats come up for application or re-application.
For those of you who already belong to a SEAC please consider re-applying this year for another term.
October 31 of municipal election year is usually the deadline for applying for a SEAC position for most Ontario boards.
It is vitally important that we have a FASD member on as many Ontario SEAC committees as possible so that
students with FASD will be supported by educators who are familiar with the 21st century brain-based approach to FASD supports. You can be the vehicle of positive change for students with FASD.
HOW TO DO IT:
The attachment above explains how to apply to a SEAC on Ontario. Page 1 explains the process and page 2 is a digital form letter that you personalize and send back to Mary Cunningham who will send it to the board to which you have chosen to apply. It is best if you have some FASD training. And by the way that includes experience parenting a child or children with FASD.
If there are two of you in your community who both want to apply to the same school board you canapply as a primary member and an alternate. Having a FASD partner on a SEAC committee makes your role more manageable and enjoyable. It also means that if you go away for a month there will still be FASD representation on that board’s SEAC committee when one of you is away.
Send your completed letter by e-mail to Mary Cunningham who is the FASD ONE Education Action Group Lead – firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. I will e-mail it to your board using the e-mail in your application letter and keep track of who applies to which board. I hope to set up a group e-mail list of SEAC members in Ontario. It is the intention of the FASD ONE Education Action Group to work on some group communication for the group. We are stronger together.
Feel free to ask questions at email@example.com
7. Contact a politician