Living and Dealing with FASD

Talk Recovery Radio

This week on Talk Recovery Radio

This week on Talk Recovery Radio we have 2 amazing guests Robbie Seale and Lauren Richardson, Robbie the the host of “FASD Family Life Podcast” who also has experiencing with raising children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol. As well as a personal story from Lauren Richardson who has a story about living with FASD. All on Facebook live at 12pm PST on Talk Recovery Vancouver’s Facebook page. 

FASD Family Life Podcast

About the Podcast

FASD Family Life podcast is where we get REAL about raising children and youth with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Host and FASD Educator, Robbie Seale, synergizes her 20 years lived experience, in-depth knowledge of FASD and the best research to educate, encourage, equip parents and caregivers raising children and youth with FASD. Robbie’s passion is to help families thrive, because she knows the struggle is real and so is success. Weekly episodes of FASD Family Life discuss the challenges families experience and delivers effective strategies to improve family cohesion and increase understanding of this complex disability. Do you have a question about FASD or are you struggling with a challenging situation?

Robbie’s podcast FASD Family Life Podcast is now one year old, Robbie started the podcast because she is a parent raising 4 individuals with FASD, and it is hard work she says. Robbie knows the struggle of raising kids with FASD and she wanted to be able to go on air and share her experience which may help other families. Robbie mentions how FASD is so widely spread throughout people in this world but it is not talked about enough. FASD is two and a half more common than autism and many people talk about autism which they should be talking about she adds.  FASD is everywhere Robbie says, FASD is described as range of problems caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy including physical, mental, behavioral and learning difficulties, those effects are often invisible, leaving children and adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder vulnerable and misunderstood.

Sometimes when children are struggling at school, and it may look like ADHD and then it looks like a learning disability, and then it looks like a conduct disorder, and what so often fails to happen, clinicians and doctors sometimes fail to ask, was there any prenatal alcohol exposure? What was your pregnancy like? Was there high stress? Was your partner drinking? Were you drinking? It is very common for someone to not know they are pregnant until 8 or 9 weeks through, and there can be alcohol consumption, even a regular consumption pattern it can effect the baby. If the pregnant mother has one ounce, then the baby has one ounce and the baby can not metabolize that. The conversation isn’t only about alcoholic mothers, casual drinking can trigger FASD also.

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About Robbie

I produce and host the FASD Family Life Podcast as a resource for parents, grandparents, care givers raising children and youth who were prenatally exposed to alcohol. My podcast is fueled by my passion to help families thrive by educating, encouraging, and equipping parents and caregivers to understand Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and strategies for success.

I have five children; four of whom I adopted from the child welfare system. Each of my children were prenatally exposed to alcohol. When I adopted each of my children I didn’t know the implications of prenatal alcohol exposure. My children are now adults and teens and we experience the implication of the prenatal alcohol exposure in their behavior, mental health and addictions. Three of my children have a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder as a result of the prenatal alcohol exposure.

About Lauren

Hello my name is Lauren Richardson I am also someone who is living with Fetal alcohol syndrome I was diagnosed with this condition March 31st 2014 at the age of 27 years old I was adopted from El Salvador at 3 months old to two amazing Canadian parents I have two awesome sisters I am the middle child I grew up in Hamilton Ontario Canada and then moved out West in 2005 I am currently out in British Columbia I am also born with having a cleft lip and cleft palate which has since been fixed since being diagnosed I have become a huge self-advocate and public advocate for Fetal alcohol syndrome and Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder here in Canada

Lauren who has been diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome you always put the person before the diagnosis, just like when someone has downs syndrome, they are a human first. Lauren was diagnosed very late in life with the condition, partly due to the facial deformity she has and was born with, but growing up Lauren didn’t have any of the behavioral issues that can be associated with FASD , Lauren says she was a bit of a teachers pet, was very compliant, usually seen not heard in the classroom. When Lauren was diagnosed she was very shocked, growing up in a neurotypical family, with neurotypical parents and siblings sometimes she feels as her family doesn’t understand her or she doesn’t understand her family in her unique situation.

Shortly after getting diagnosed at 27 years old, she became very withdrawn and isolated, Lauren didn’t know anyone else with the same condition she had and did not want to talk about it at all, in fact she was in denial about the condition for a few years. Until Lauren started to get connected with people who also had FASD is when she realized she can use her voice to help change the way people look at others with FASD.

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