Today I was meant to be at a workshop by Jeff Noble (FASD Forever). However my dog had to go to the vet unexpectedly. Instead thanks to technology and FB Live I was able to watch at home while wearing my red shoes, and keeping an eye on Franklin (the dog).
I was disappointed I wasn’t able to get a red shoe shot with Jeff, RJ Formanek (founder of Red Shoes Rock and of the Facebook FASD online support group “Flying with Broken Wings”) and Brian Philcox (Co-founder of FASDay). So my feet in front of the screen it is.
One exciting announcement during the live broadcast was Brian will be releasing an Advocate’s Toolkit. Brian and his wife Bonnie Buxton co-founded FASworld. In Brian’s presentation he reflected on how far we have come in the last 18 years since the first FASDay, but lamented on how far we still have to go. This Advocate’s Toolkit will help!
Over the last 7 days I’ve shared my opinions and opinions of professionals and others. With FASDay tomorrow I wanted today’s post to be the voices of those with FASD.
A member of RJ’s group wrote a post and gave permission for others to share it. In the words of Toya: Since it’s FASD awareness month, here are 10 things that I want u to know about those of us who actually have it:
- We are PEOPLE first and foremost, and disablity last.
- While it IS the leading cause of intellectual disablities, the vast majority of us have average, above average, or even gifted IQ’s.
- We have many strengths that can overpower our challenges
- Some of us CAN hold down jobs and live independently or semi-independently as long as we have the right supports.
- Some of us CAN go to college and graduate, we just may need some extra support and/or modifications.
- FASD causes brain and neurological damage, but that doesn’t mean that we’re vegetables or hopeless.
- We have many talents and gifts.
- It’s a spectrum disorder which can range from someone who is so mildly affected that they are almost indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers, to someone who is so profoundly affected that they cannot even read or write.
- As young infants or toddlers, delays may not be there, in fact, some mildly affected individuals may even hit their milestones early, only to have some delays once they hit school age.
- FASD does NOT define us.
Very powerful and a great reminder about FASD: That in front of FASD are people. People first. Then fasd.