Monday, October 20, 2014 - Concurrent Sessions C: 1:50 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.

C.1. FASD Across Borders - Janice Penner

The Alberta FASD 10-Year Strategic Plan changed the way FASD supports and services were delivered in Alberta and has put Alberta on the map as a leader in the field of FASD. The Government of Alberta and the Provincial Service Networks are looking to keep this momentum going as the Plan approaches Year 10. This presentation will examine the history of the Plan, current accomplishments, and future direction as we move towards a pan-disability approach in Alberta Human Services. How does FASD fit into a pan-disability model? Join this session to learn more about the future of FASD services in the province of Alberta.

C.2. a. This is Me - My Life Book - Deidre Bissonnette and Teresa Brown

The Manitoba FASD Youth Justice Program, together with the youth, creates a strength- and ability-based book/portfolio. It is a communication tool designed to assist youth living with FASD gain an understanding of themselves, to make sense of the world around them and to communicate with others in a positive way.  In developing the youth’s book, the FASD assessment information is taken in consideration to include the brain domain challenges and areas of strengths. The youth have used the communication tool in multiple settings to educate their support people on how to best work with them and to foster the building upon their strengths and abilities. Youth are sharing their books with parents, extended family, social workers, group home staff, education staff, youth and/or adult correction staff. This presentation will include how the project was developed, the process of creating a book with a youth, sample book pages, learnings and outcomes.


C.2. b. Mental Health of Children and Youth with FASD: What Have We Learned? - Sukhpreet Tamana

The outcomes of a study examining the mental health (MH) of children and youth with FASD seen by a large clinic in Edmonton will be discussed. Previous research in Edmonton has documented that children and youth with FASD have high rates of secondary MH disorders (88%) that require continued follow-up and management even after receiving an FASD diagnosis. Early recognition and accurate diagnoses of MH disorders are required for optimal intervention. Therefore, we aimed to gain a better understanding of MH disorders within FASD in order to provide the best opportunity for developing appropriate strategies. The presenter will discuss needs, functioning, and factors to build resiliency. 

C.3. The Prevention Conversation: Evaluating Participant Experiences of FASD Prevention - Erin Atkinson, Erin Buhr, Amanda I. Radil and Melissa Tremblay

This presentation will explore emerging findings from the developmental and formative evaluation of the FASD Prevention Conversation, which is ongoing until December 2014. The Prevention Conversation is a made-in-Alberta initiative focused on building capacity in service providers to engage women of childbearing age and their partners and families in conversations about alcohol and pregnancy.   The presentation will include: (1) an overview of the project; (2) preliminary findings related to the experiences of both prevention facilitators and service providers engaged in the initiative throughout the province; and (3) next steps as the evaluation is continued. The goal is to provide a snapshot of where the project is currently at by highlighting participant experiences and exploring how the process of evaluation can inform and support the development and implementation of a program.   Note: Please see session B3 to learn more about this project.

C.4. Strategies for Working with Women Affected by FASD with Addiction Issues using the PCAP Model - Christine Rachar and Pam van Vugt

The Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP) is a well-known program working with women who acknowledge drug and/or alcohol use during their pregnancy. One of the realities of working with women with addiction issues is that they often come from families where addiction was an issue and many of their mothers drank during their pregnancy with them.

Therefore, some of the women enrolled in the PCAP program are FASD-affected themselves. This workshop will present strategies and unique approaches for working successfully with this client group using the PCAP model. The clients have often experienced abuse, difficulties with the law, mental health issues, child welfare involvement. Three theoretical models of Relational Model, Harm Reduction and Stages of Change, are embedded in the PCAP program. Presenters will discuss how we need to adapt these theories for working successfully with women with an FASD.

C.5. Creating Service Pathways in the Correction System for Access to FASD Assessment and Diagnosis Services for Inmates/Offenders - Betty Lou Benson, Garett Hingst and Clare McNab

This seminar provides an overview of how a project can be successfully implemented involving several levels of personnel within very large systems.  You have to begin somewhere and building relationships is that somewhere. The benefits of addressing a shared vision or common concern can change the way we support and assess individuals with a FASD who are involved in the justice system. Many recognize that there are far too many individuals involved with the justice system who may be persons of disability and for whom alternative options must be sought.  This project begins to address the need to provide adequate screening and assessment.

C.6. Proactive Support for Preschool Aged Children: The Impact of Early Intervention - Sarah Clark

Preschool-aged children affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol have an advantage: the potential for early intervention. This session will outline what early interventions can be accessed and the benefits of early support for children affected by FASD. Sarah will share her experience with accessing such supports and its impact on her daughter over the last two years. Awareness of the profound impact of early intervention will help us proactively supply our early learners with the strategies and tools necessary for coping in later years.

C.7. Positive Behavior Supports and FASD: How Inclusive Education can Help Students With FASD - Laura Elliott

This session will take a look at how the Inclusive Education approach can benefit a student with FASD. Those attending will come to better understand the “Supporting Positive Behavior in Alberta Schools” approach and where a student with FASD fits within the scope of the program. Parents, caregivers, educators or front-line workers can work collaboratively to allow for students with FASD to have the best educational experience possible. The discussion will include tips and suggestions that have allowed for student success.

C.8. Fifteen Years Later: What We Have Learned About Helping Those Living With FASD - Liz Lawryk

A review of 15 years of practice working with individuals, families, caregivers, and professionals has provided a wealth of information regarding what works and what doesn’t. Issues to be addressed in this session include inconsistencies in referrals, evaluation and diagnosis of FASD, and the impact on individuals, families, and support services. Comparisons with assessment, diagnosis, and funding costs for service delivery in other forms of organic brain injury will be presented for discussion. Further, discussion will focus on suggestions from individuals and caregivers living with FASD.

C.9. "Handle with Care": the Ethical Implication of Labels and Diagnoses for FASD-Affected Individuals, Their Caregivers and Our Culture - Donnie Kanter Winokur

This presentation raises an ethical awareness that explores the impact of whether or not to “label” or diagnosis of FASD. The label “Handle with Care” may expand the understanding and acceptance of our population.  The argument to “label or not label” individuals living with FASD will be analyzed from several perspectives addressing the many providers who come in contact with persons who experience FASD.

Evidence-based interventions and global literature proposes that early diagnosis offers improved outcomes for individuals living with FASD. Yet parents and caregivers struggle to identify their loved ones with a diagnosis. Studies show that parents of children and adults with disabilities appear to be less psychologically distressed when they know the etiology of a disorder rather than continue to worry and speculate. Finally, a conversation will be facilitated to discern if self-advocates and caregivers may use the diagnosis to educate others about this hidden disability.

C.10. The Alberta Pilot of the Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Perspectives from Service Providers - Dorothy Badry and Carmen Rasmussen

Individuals with FASD are at risk for substance abuse and mental health issues, and are likely over-represented in service agencies involved in substance abuse and mental health. A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) for FASD was piloted in Alberta with support of the Alberta Government FASD Cross-Ministry Committee and collaboration with the Canada FASD Research Network.

The TIP is designed to help service providers to screen for women at risk of giving birth to a child with FASD and individuals who may have FASD themselves. The ultimate goal is to facilitate access and referral to services and supports. The TIP was piloted at four agencies in Alberta who work directly with adolescents and adults accessing mental health or substance abuse services. Presenters will review the process of implementing the TIP project in Alberta and focus on the perceptions of service providers who used the TIP.

Created: 2013-07-22
Modified: 2014-08-07
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