Sunday, 12 August 2018

FASD and Correctional Services

As mentioned last week, the Rural FASD Support Network has been having lots of conversations in the past month about individuals living with FASD and correctional services.

I recently shared a story with a few people now about three individuals in the Leeds-Grenville area living with FASD.  The first individual came into contact with the police, Child Protection Services were called in, the judge decided to put the individual into the system, the Mom's MS has gotten much worse, Dad is extremely angry and they have no idea where their child is now.  The second individual came into contact with the police, put on trial and found guilty, but due to Mom's and her MPP's advocacy, the judge placed in him a mental hospital for assessment and support.  He is home now and doing well.  The third individual came into contact with the police, was immediately sent to a hospital for assessment which didn't happen, family was encouraged to get mental health support by the police and eventually got help and a diagnosis.  She is home and doing well.

The police, however, tracked all this and made the decision to enter into a partnership with the local mental health clinic.  They just completed a pilot project in two locations where a mental health nurse does an immediate intake on site with the individual and establishes mental health support the next day.  It proved to be very successful and they have now permanently hired this nurse.

I know this because of a conversation with the Executive Director of Lanark Mental Health.  Through our conversation, she asked some great questions about FASD and has committed now to providing training for all her staff on how to support individuals living with FASD and identifying when someone may be living with an undiagnosed FASD disability.  She has also joined our local FASD organization now, making staff members available for our group meetings, and speaking regularly with our FASD Key Worker.  Finally, she introduced me to the Executive Director for Children Mental Health and he has done the same thing and also asked us to sit on their advisory committee.

However, the big question they asked was if we have a suspicion, who do we send them to?
I didn't know so I have completed an update capacity scan across the province on adult diagnosis.  It appears to me there are only four facilities in the province who will diagnose adults using the multidisciplinary approach as established in the 2015 Diagnostic Guidelines.  Surrey Place in Toronto led by Valerie Temple who are limited by MCSS to only accepting adults from the GTA but will diagnose adults outside the GTA for $2500, Dr. Louise Scott from Paris, ON may on occasion, CHEO led by Dr. Melissa Carter in Ottawa but the adult has to come with an adult neuropsychological assessment as they do not currently have the particular discipline, and I believe NorWest Community Health Services in Thunder Bay led by Maureen Parkes will also accept adults for diagnosis.  It is so bad that I discovered Sault Ste. Marie is sending their adults to CHEO in Ottawa for diagnosis.  But the scariest part to me is a couple of these individuals are nearing retirement age and with the retirement of Dr. Barry Stanley from this province, we are now bordering on a crisis situation for diagnostic capabilities.  Please share this information with your General Physicians.  It is not just at Queen's Park we need people talking.  We need the medical community talking about this, we need our municipalities talking about this, we need our mental health partners talking about this.

Finally, some odds and ends.  Health Nexus has announced they would like family photos for the provincial FASD Website and you can request a notification for its launch in the fall.
The new FASD Ontario website will be a bilingual website with a directory of online FASD information; a directory of Ontario FASD services; a listing of learning events (live and archived); a news feed; Frequently Asked Questions about FASD and a discussion board.
What's New
We are continuing to develop the FASD website. In the past few months we have:
  • Contacted FASD service providers to get their information and permission to list their services in the services directory.
  • Created inclusion criteria for the FASD information (existing websites, PDFs and videso). The inclusion critieria explains what information will be included and why.
  • Our list of FASD information was reviewed by FASD experts and they recommended what to include and what to not include based on the inclusion criteria.
  • We are developing bilingual postcards about the new website for FASD Awareness Day. To order postcards, please contactm.gabert@healthnexus.caby August 31, 2018.
We are also:
  • Speaking to youth with FASD to see if we can provide information they are looking for on the website.
  • Working with the advisory and FASD experts to decide which services to include in the FASD services directory.
We Want Your Photos
We are looking for photos of real families for the new FASD website! We need photos of children of all ages, youth and families who represent the diversity of Ontario.

If you wish to submit photos of your children or family here are the instructions:
1.     Email Malou Gabertto get a consent form
2.     Sign and return the consent to Malou Gabert
3.     Save photos with the name on the photo consent
4.     Email photos toMalou Gabert or upload photos**
**you can send Malou the images via, Dropbox ( or another file transfer program. 

Questions? Contact Jo-Anne Robertson at 800-397-9567 x2238 or
On our way! Over the next month, we will finalize the content of the draft website. In early fall we will field test the draft website with parents/caregivers and service providers. Based on what we learn from the field testers, we will make changes and finalize the English website. Then, we will translate it into French and test the French website in late fall. Stay tuned!

If you want to be notified when the final website goes live in late 2018,
you can sign up here.
 Also the Ottawa Children Inuit Centre is wanting to partner with us if you are interested.

As a community member, parent, caregiver…

Come join the group discussion on:
(1) FASD programs and services for Inuit;
(2) Gaps and challenges to accessing FASD programs and services, and;
(3) Recommendations on how to best support families, children and youth with FASD.


Wednesday, August 15th 2018
Dinner @ 5:30pm / Discussion @ 6-7:30pm

230 McArthur Avenue - 3rd Floor

Child Care (Please RSVP), Bus Tickets / Taxi Vouchers, Door Prizes!!

Please RSVP by Monday, August 13th 2018
by contacting Amélie (text, call or e-mail).

Contact Information:
Amélie Cardinal, FASD Project Coordinator
(613) 296-4209

Finally, a quick shout out to our Russian readers.  It is great to have you join us!

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