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About the webinar:

In this panel discussion, you will hear family & caregivers discuss their experience of parenting a child/adult with FASD. They will share the joys and challenges of supporting their child’s unique needs. Conversations will address a variety of subjects including diagnosis, support networks, advocacy, clinical services, community programs, respite, and government benefits that can assist in caring for a person with FASD.


About the presenters:

Jessica Lundeen is the parent of a 13-year-old girl with FASD, along with several other diagnoses, including an intellectual disability. Her daughter was adopted when she was three years old. Jessica is an active advocate for caregivers of adopted children, currently working as a Regional Parent Liaison with Adopt4Life, a non-profit organization that provides post-adoption support for families across Ontario. She will share her experience adapting to her daughter’s academic, social, and emotional needs while attempting to maintain her work/life balance.

Debbie and Bill Michaud live in Sioux Lookout, Ontario and have been caring for and fostering individuals with FASD for over 20 years. In their professional lives, Bill works with adults with developmental disabilities at Community Living and Debbie worked with children and families at Kenora-Rainy River Child and Family Services but is now an instructor at confederation college and a PhD student. Both have extensive experience, both personally and professionally, with overcoming obstacles to support and care for people with FASD.

Janice Blake is the parent of an 8-year-old boy with FASD. Since adopting her son when he was 1 year old, Janice has learned how to access infancy and childhood services. She is a single mother, working full-time while ensuring that she meets her child’s complex and changing needs. As an advocate for her son, Janice has spent many years navigating complex support systems and finding ways to help him reach his full potential.

Kate M. is the adoptive parent of children impacted by FASD and has fostered many other impacted children as well. She is also active in supporting permanency planning for youth who have aged out of foster care. Kate has seen firsthand that, while FASD can affect how children and youth negotiate life, education, and relationships, those impacted have many strengths. Most days you can find Kate (and her children) dancing around the kitchen, while simultaneously advocating for school support, teaching self-regulation and planning for the future.