Celebrating Success and Raising Awareness of FASD in Manitoba

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📣 Lisa Balcaen, Early Childhood Coordinator at Seine River School Division and MFCI Member in the Southeast FASD Coalition, along with researchers at the University of Manitoba recently co-published a new study on family wellbeing in relation to FASD. 

“But as this and other studies conclude, no single input – whether from parents, relatives, community resources or professional services – is sufficient to meet the complex needs of families with FASD over the child’s whole lifespan. A tailored, multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to supports and interventions is the only option.”

Read the full article at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/03085759211050044 


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the leading non-genetic cause of developmental disability in Canada. It poses many challenges at the individual, family and societal levels. This study explores adoptive parents’ experiences of having a child with FASD in their family and how these experiences impact family well-being and, specifically, parenting, family dynamics, sources of support and coping strategies. Using an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach, indepth semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight adoptive parents of children with FASD. Four main themes emerged, each with several subthemes: (1) managing individuals with FASD; (2) navigating family cohesion; (3) psychological warfare; and (4) experiences of supports. Findings showed how FASD affects all aspects of family life and has a constant and cumulative effect on the family’s well-being. Hope, community and parents feeling successful in their efforts were found to have strong connections to well-being.