International FASD Awareness Day 2020 was all about Honoring Dignity at Life’s Journey Inc.

Need a pick me up today? How about enjoying these beautiful pieces of art with an empowering message about dignity for individuals with FASD compliments of Life’s Journey Inc.!

A COVID FASD Awareness Day 2020 in Selkirk!

The Interlake FASD Coalition hosted an in-person and zoom event on September 9, 2020 in Selkirk Manitoba at the Selkirk United church.  Coalition chair Sherisse Picklyk Dear welcomed the participants in person and on line and briefly spoke about the topic of FASD and how the presentation would connect with our particular group of kids.  Sherisse welcomed guest speaker Julie Walsh who did an excellent presentation for the community on the dangers of social media and how it impacts upon the adolescents developing brain.  Julie did a similar presentation a year ago at the SSCY center in Winnipeg hosted by the FASD Family Network.  Julie is an MSW with many years of experience providing therapy to nuerotypical and non nuerotypical children and adolescents.  Julie weaves in stories from her personal & professional life and adds humor to help illustrate the topics.  On the day of the event, our coalition members donned masks and welcomed 17 folks via zoom and 18 folks in person.  We handed out squishy brains, a bottled water and a pre-packaged snack to the in-person participants.  Each participant was encouraged to wear a mask and was sat at a table by themselves due to the Covid 19 provincial recommendations.  The presentation was well received and folks stayed after to ask questions and connect – socially distanced 6 feet apart of course!   Sherisse connected with Katie from the Selkirk Record, who also attended the event.  Katie was quite impressed with the presentation and was planning on writing an article for the paper.

Many thanks to all of the coalition members who assisted with that day including Shannon Foster who set up zoom with the assistance of Kim from the Manitoba FASD Coalition; Sasha Carter who did all of the pre-registrations for both the in person and zoom portion and provided in person registration at the event; finally to Chris from the Selkirk Untied Church who provided the venue large enough for us all to socially distance, for her tech support and patience as we figured out this new Covid situation together. 

Sherisse Picklyk Dear  BA, BSW, RSW

Interlake FASD Coalition Chair

FASD and the Justice System: Finding Solutions Virtual Conference – Oct 2, 2020

Have you registered yet for the Lakeland Centre for FASD’s Virtual Conference on FASD and the justice system?!

The focus of the session will be on finding solutions for individuals with FASD and their involvement with the justice system. It’s sure to be full of great information and strategizing.

For full details on registration head to

International FASD Awareness Day 2020 was all about Honoring Dignity at Life’s Journey Inc.

In a previous post we shared that Life’s Journey focused their International FASD Awareness Day celebrations this year a little differently than previous years. They focused on Honoring Dignity for individuals with FASD by gathering individual handmade tiles to bring together an art installation that celebrates dignity within the FASD community.

The response was overwhelming!!

Here’s a little snippet of the beautiful works of art that were created! These are available to be viewed in many places throughout September!

Take a look at the poster for full details of where you can see them!

What a great job, everyone!

Each piece was designed by someone with FASD or someone who cares about someone with FASD.

We will continue to share pieces throughout the month so make sure to check back here regularly or on our Facebook page to see the amazing collages!

It’s International FASD Awareness Day! Let’s Celebrate!

We want to know, Russ – what do you celebrate in your life?

Russ has been a presenter with Visions and Voices for many years. Visions and Voices is a speaking bureau comprised of adults with FASD.  As a response to FASD Day on September 9, Russ was asked the following question: What do you celebrate in your life?

I live a consistently hard life. Every new day is a challenge for me. And will continue to be a challenge. What helps with that is the support I have in my life; I am funded about 5 days a week, 4-6 hours a day. I have found out that without support I usually find myself in places I don’t want to be.

I really love, and have a clear understanding of, when I am acknowledged. That really speaks out to me. I get acknowledged on September the 9th, FASD Day. Having people listen is acknowledgement to me. September 9th, FASD Day, is society recognizing that people have this hidden disability. Society recognizes that they can help us when they understand FASD. Understanding the difference between “can’t and won’t.” I guess instead of thinking the child won’t understand, understanding that maybe the child can’t understand. Making that paradigm shift. Trying differently instead of harder is where that comes into play.

I am proud to be a dad and I get to see my daughters and my mom and my dad regularly. I am still proud to be an FASD speaker, supporter, and advocacy enthusiast.

There was a time when I was being released from jail to the Touchstone program. One of the judges said to the program staff, “if this is the poster boy for someone living with FASD, why is he were he is?” I said “Your Honor, I’m here because of my FASD.” Luckily for me I was able to get through that whole justice part of my life. I have been without probation now for about two years; I am very proud of that.

I consider myself very fortunate to be supported, loved, cared for, and acknowledged in my FASD community.

Russ Hilsher

Winnipeg, Manitoba