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

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

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

Lisa 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, Lisa was asked the following question: What do you celebrate in your life?

I am a mom who has been able to keep her three kids.  So yes I can say that I am proud that I have my children. That is to say that just like every parent we get to our limits, but a lot of times when I did not have the support, I felt like I hit my limit way more often. Even on days when I am tired, when you see your children sitting around the table eating and being able to fill them up, it is such an amazing feeling.

FASD is a joy and of course the stigma that goes with it, sucks. If you live your life thinking about what could happen, you will not be able to live life to the fullest.  There will be times when the effects of FASD is the dumps, but the one thing I have tried to do, is look at it like a blessing.  Even with FASD I am where I am supposed to be. I have made mistakes, and I have remembered and learned from them. I will always make mistakes but what human doesn’t? On a good day, I am grateful to say that I am proud of where I am, and who I am.

Lisa Morrisseau

Anola, Manitoba

FASD Awareness Day 2020

Life’s Journey Inc. is pleased to share their reflections on Honouring Dignity through various art installations in several locations across Manitoba. The displays will be unveiled September 9th in recognition of FASD Awareness Day. For display locations please view the poster here.

The Portage and Area FASD Coalition are LIVE! Enter to Win prizes!

The Portage and Area FASD coalition is marking September 9 (FASD Awareness Day)  with a contest to promote the  launch their brand new social media pages!

They now have a Facebook page: @PortageFASDCoalition and an Instagram page: @portagefasdcoalition

While the coalition has been active in the Portage area for more than a decade; they have never had a digital presence. They have found many ways in the past to bring awareness of FASD, and resources to our community but the pandemic has preempted some of our usual activities. They looked for a way to engage and inform folks where they are by creating an online presence. They hope to create awareness of our new pages with a contest featuring some great prizes from local businesses. In the first phase anyone who likes and follows their Facebook page and shares it by tagging 3 friends by 11:59pm September 9th will be entered for one of 2 great prizes from Mr Mikes Steakhouse. At 9 am on the 9th of the September, tune in to their LIVE Facebook event officially launching their site and a new contest featuring even more prizes!

What Coaches and Recreation Organizations Need to Know About FASD

Hosted by The Southeast FASD Coalition in recognition of International FASD Awareness Day on September 9th!

The Southeast FASD Coalition is hosting two Lunch and Learn sessions specifically for leaders in recreation and leisure programs for children – the first is being held September 9th and the second October 7th. Check out the poster for full registration details!