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About the webinar:

In this panel discussion, you will hear firsthand accounts from individuals living with FASD. Conversations will include subjects like motherhood, education, employment, and the impact of the diagnosis. Learn from these women’s personal stories, unique strengths, and hear how these individuals are each living with resilience.


About the presenters:

Melony Mclean* was diagnosed with FASD at 22 years old. She has overcome many obstacles in her life and is proud of her work experience. She currently works at a coffee shop where she sells confectionery items, baked goods, freshly brewed coffee, sandwiches and salads prepared daily. This position has allowed Melony to gain experience as a barista and customer service representative, while learning leadership skills and eventually taking on the responsibility of training other staff. Melony has also developed work experience at a grocery store, a bakery and catering company, and in the non-profit sector doing administration and self-advocacy work. Melony loves acting, singing and travelling whenever she can. She is a mother and has experience raising a child while navigating her diagnosis. *Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the individual

Colette Philcox was not diagnosed with FASD until later in life. During her childhood and youth, her parents did not understand why she frequently acted out. They asked Colette to move out of their home, and, after struggling in the shelter system, she found herself living on the streets. During this time, Colette became pregnant. Her parents helped her register for ODSP and move into an apartment. After a second child arrived, she and her partner decided to separate. Colette’s children lived with their grandparents for ten years, until Colette was able to create a stable environment for them. Now in her thirties, Colette is dedicated to helping young people understand the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. She works part-time in the film industry and is a full-time parent to her son and daughter.

Marie-Lynne LeBlanc is a talented seamstress and designer. Growing up, Marie Lynne faced challenges in school but, with support and hard work, was eventually able to graduate from a 3-year college program in Fashion Design. After school, she was recruited by a Toronto clothing manufacturer. Away from home and without her mother’s support, she struggled with the responsibilities of holding down a job and living independently. Challenges related to work, anxiety, finances, and relationships caused her to seek an FASD assessment, and she was diagnosed three years ago. Marie-Lynne is very grateful to put a name to some of her challenges. She has been able to integrate coping strategies into her life that assist with skills she finds difficult. Marie-Lynne currently works two part-time jobs with support from her employers.