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About the Symposium

Welcome to the 6th Annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Symposium featuring a new look at addressing mental health including stigma faced by people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

This Symposium is for anyone who recognises that they interact regularly with people with FASD – at work, at school, at home and in the community – and want advice on strategies to improve these interactions.

This conference is designed to not only provide tools for working with individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder but will also provide in-depth learning for those working in the education, health, mental health, child development, law enforcement, corrections, child welfare, and social services sectors.

We all have a role to play in increasing awareness about how alcohol impacts unborn babies and supporting people with FASD and their families. FASD affects +/– 1.5 M Canadians – There is no safe amount, no safe type, and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

All times listed below are in EST — Eastern Standard Time

Sponsors / Partners

FASD Symposium 2023 Sponsors
Disclaimer

Some presentations broadcast at this conference may contain material that may be triggering or traumatic for some viewers, including stories about violence resulting from the intersection of disability, poverty, racism, sexism, and discrimination.

If viewing these presentations causes you discomfort or psychological distress, you may reach out to the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP) team for support (fasd@able2.org; 613-761-9522 ext. 234) or contact the following resource links: 

  • Distress Centre of Ottawa and Region 613-238-1089 (24/7)
  • Crisis Services Canada 1-833-456-4566 (toll free, 24/7); Text support 45645 (4 p.m.-12 a.m. ET daily)

Children and youth may call a counsellor at Kids Helpline at 1-800-668-6868.

If you already have a Social Worker, Psychologist or Psychiatrist as part of your care team, please reach out to them directly. Emergency Rooms have an on-call Social Worker and Psychiatrist if you feel you need a more immediate response.

Speakers
Keynotes
Madelaine McCracken
First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
Madelaine McCracken (She/Her) is Red River Métis and her families are Chartrand and Bruce from St. Laurent and Winnipeg, Manitoba (Treaty 1 territory). She is the Caring Society’s Education and Public Engagement Coordinator. Madelaine is passionate about reconciliation education and supporting communities in many ways, all to end discrimination against First Nations, as well as Métis and Inuit children, and to stand up for what is right.

Madelaine is holding Sylvia Beartrand-Bruce who is a Reconciliation Ambearrister. Sylvia Beartrand-Bruce is named after Madelaine’s families from the Red River, being Chartrand and Bruce. Sylvia's name was accepted and blessed by a family membear named Elder Edmee Comstock. Sylvia guides Madelaine to honour the deep responsibility of teaching and sharing reconciliation-based education with the public, always in good and ethical ways.
Dr. Jacqueline Pei
University of Alberta & Canada FASD Research Network
Jacqueline Pei (R. Psych., PhD) is a Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Alberta. Dr Pei began her career as a criminologist and forensic counselor working with incarcerated youth. Motivated by this early work, she returned to academia to study youth at risk, child development, and neuropsychology. Now, as a researcher, and a practicing Registered Psychologist for the past twenty years, her research focus includes identification and evaluation of interventions to support healthy outcomes for youth put at risk, and in particular individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Dr Pei has over 100 peer reviewed publications and reports, but places the greatest value on her work with various community and government agencies. To this end, Dr Pei currently leads the Intervention Network Action Team (iNAT), and is Senior Research Lead for the Canada FASD Research Network, roles that facilitates the link between research, policy, and practice.
Breakout Presenters
Janet Carioni
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Janet Carioni is an Occupational Therapist; her clinical practice is shaped by her curiosity and continuous learning about the neurobiology of prenatal and childhood trauma. She has worked on multidisciplinary FASD assessment teams, was a founding member of the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program in Ottawa, contributed to the start of the Eastern Ontario FASD Symposium, has presented at the International FASD Research Conference in Vancouver, and has been interviewed on live TV, radio, and by newspaper outlets. She was the honorary chair of the 2021 FASD Awareness Walk in Ottawa and her dedication to FASD was recognized by the 2022 Ottawa Awards by Faces Magazine. Her passion to speak about FASD has taken her on wonderful adventures to all 3 coasts of Canada.
Maude Champagne
Adopt4Life
With a PhD in Neuroscience specializing in FASD, complex trauma, and aggression toward family / caregivers in childhood and adolescence (AFCCA), Maude is a social worker, psychotherapist, and Adopt4Life's new AFCCA clinician. Maude has collaborated in the implementation of the FASD Worker programs in Vancouver and Ottawa. She is a bilingual sought-after expert and speaker. She is passionate about sharing ideas, strategies, and resources to support families
Annette Cormier
NB FASD Centre of Excellence
Annette Cormier is the provincial program manager for the NB FASD Centre of Excellence. She is very active at the provincial and national levels in regard to prevention, diagnosis, intervention and support for individuals living with FASD and their families. Annette has a particular interest in working with First Nations Communities.  She has developed strong relationships with and has drawn from the knowledge and wisdom of the elders which inspired the NB FASD Dream Catcher Service Delivery Model.   
 
A devoted nurse for over 31 years in the Maternal-Child Health sector, her passion for delivering patient and family centred care in a culturally safe way has earned her and her team multiple recognitions. In 2017, she was awarded the Excellence Award in Management and Leadership and in 2018, the Creativity and Innovation Award both from the Vitalité Health Network.  Under her leadership, The NB Center of Excellence program was recognized as a best practice in Canada by the HSO (Health Standard Organization) in their field and was the recipient of the first CanFASD Claudette Bradshaw Innovation Award, a national recognition for the innovation in developing their Dream Catcher Service Delivery Model. 
 
Mother of 3 young adults, and newly grandmother, Annette strives to make the world a better place for all human beings!  
Tanya Eichler
Adopt4Life
Tanya is a psychotherapist who works with individuals and families who are affected by early childhood trauma, attachment complexities, FASD, and neurodiversities at her Ottawa-based private practice at OCATT. She is trained in DDP, Polyvagal Theory, and NVR, which also help guide her work as a clinical lead for Adopt4Life with the AFCCA Family Support Program. Previously she helped to launch Ottawa’s Fetal Alcohol Resource Program and worked in BC as an FASD Key Worker. Affiliations: Adopt4Life; Ottawa Center for Attachment & Trauma Therapy (OCATT).
Monika Ferenczy
Horizon Educational Consulting
As an Education Consultant, Monika provides information, support and guidance to parents of students with special needs. She has led workshops and seminars for parents, educators and the legal profession at local, provincial and national conferences and published yearly research reports with law students to enhance public policy and practice in public education. Through an analysis of systemic gaps in the students' best interest and recommendations to government, her contributions to advocacy and social justice initiatives are growing.
Karen Huber
Sunbeam Developmental Resource Centre
Karen has been walking alongside children, youth, and families in children’s mental health and developmental supports for the past 28 years. For the past 14 years she has been working to build supports and understanding for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Besides supporting individuals and families living with the disability, her experience includes; coordinating the Waterloo Region FASD Diagnostic Clinic, advising MCCSS and Health Nexus provincial initiatives, membership on FASD ONE Diagnostic Working Group and sits with many community groups to ensure the FASD voice is heard. She is the FASD Coordinator at Sunbeam Developmental Resource Centre in Waterloo Region. She also provides support to communities, groups, and families through private practice. Karen also sits as a Director with Community Living North Perth.
Michelle Hughes
Sunbeam Developmental Resource Centre
Michelle has been immersed in the FASD community for over ten years. Prior to becoming an FASD Coordinator with Sunbeam Developmental Resource Centre, Michelle worked in healthcare and community settings building capacity through programs and partnerships. Michelle was one of the founding co-facilitators of the Waterloo Region Parent and Caregiver Support Group and had volunteered as a speaker in various training setting to share the lived experience of FASD. Her absolute passion is building FASD informed communities and stamping out stigma where all who live with FASD are understood and included. Michelle is the parent of a teen living with FASD and believes strongly in the voices of lived in experience of FASD, Trauma, Attachment, Mental Health and Disability. Michelle is a dynamic public speaker and published author sharing the strengths and challenges of the FASD and The Caregiver Journey. 
Nancy Lockwood
Adopt4Life
Nancy is Practice Lead of Adopt4Life’s new AFCCA (Aggression Toward Families / Caregivers in Childhood & Adolescence) Family Supports Program, a provincially funded demonstration project she assisted to develop and launch. Nancy has over 25 years of work and lived experience supporting individuals of all ages with FASD as a consultant, educator, and past Manager of ABLE2’s Fetal Alcohol Resource Program, a program she helped
to design and build. Affiliations: Adopt4Life; Health Nexus
Catherine Jill (CJ) Lutke
University of British Columbia, community member
CJ Lutke is 38 years of age and was diagnosed with FASD as an infant. She and two of her elder siblings, who also have FASD, were adopted by her foster family.

CJ is a well-known speaker on FASD, having presented at and participated in many conferences, seminars, training sessions and other events over the last 20 years.  She actively provides advice and consultation and participates as an advisor to research projects. She is also a mentor to young adults with FASD. 

She has been appointed to an Access to Family Justice Committee chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. She is the author of an online blog hosted by NOFASD Australia, followed globally, and works with media.  CJ has also been a member of the International Adult Leadership Collaborative (ALC) of FASD Changemakers for 15 years.  She was the co-lead on their first ground-breaking Lay of the Land Survey on the health and physical issues of adults with FASD, which has received wide international attention and was published in 2020.  CJ is currently the lead author on their second Lay of the Land Survey on the Quality of Life of Adults with FASD, with preliminary results released in March 2021.  CJ believes those with FASD must challenge perceptions about possibilities and outcomes and change the future.  Her goal is to help others with FASD find their voice and understand that we are greater when we work together.
Jeffrey McCrossin
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Jeffrey McCrossin (MSW, MScA) is a licensed social worker, couple and family therapist, and psychotherapist. He is completing his PhD in social work at McGill University where his research is focused on family-centred interventions that foster resilience in families of neurodiverse children, including caregiver training programs and peer support. Jeffrey is an award-winning lecturer in family intervention and the recipient of fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS), and the Transforming Autism Care Consortium.
Tracy Moisan
Adopt4Life
Tracy is Program Director for the National Consortium on Aggression toward Family/Caregivers in Childhood and Adolescence (AFCCA). With Adopt4Life, Tracy leads marketing / community engagement strategies that develop understanding of adoptive families’ needs. She is an advocate for deepening family engagement in research, partnering on multiple research studies, and is a founding director of two FASD parent peer support networks. Tracy’s 25+ years’ experience in marketing / communications leadership spans the technology and non-profit sectors. Affiliations: National Consortium on Aggression Toward Families / Caregivers in Childhood & Adolescence; Adopt4Life
Krista Norman
The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region
Krista N. BFA, AWCCA Krista holds a Trauma Informed, Anti-Racist Anti-Oppressive, Feminist, Harm-Reduction framework in all aspects of her work and life. Krista has been supporting survivors of trauma, gender-based violence, and sexual violence for the last 5 years while advocating for systemic and structural change. Krista is currently an Anti-Human Trafficking Counsellor/Advocate with the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region. Krista has participated on various committees within Ontario to advocate for change when supporting survivors of Gender-Based and Sexual Violence.
Charlis Raineki
Brock University
Dr. Charlis Raineki is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Brock University. The overarching theme of Dr. Raineki’s work is to understand how prenatal alcohol exposure influences development and produces long-term changes in brain, hormonal, immune, and behavioural systems. He is particularly interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms mediating the increased rates of mental health problems observed in individuals with FASD. Dr. Raineki’s current research is investigating the immune system and its contribution to the underlying mechanisms of the increased vulnerability to mental health problems following prenatal alcohol exposure.
Special Guests
Heather Lacey
ABLE2
Heather Lacey is currently the Executive Director of ABLE2. Her background includes leadership positions with the Ontario Ministry of Children & Youth Services (now known as the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services) and the British Columbia Delegated Indigenous Child and Family Service Agency.

She holds a BA in Psychology and Law and has certificates in Computer Programming and Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Her life’s journey has taken her from Ottawa to South Korea, remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario, British Columbia, inner-city Edmonton and back to Ottawa.
Hosts
Sylvie Bigras
Host
Fluently trilingual, Sylvie Bigras is an accomplished emcee and facilitator who has conducted national and expert stakeholder consultations, strategic planning, and organizational development projects. 

She has hosted numerous major events including the Nelson Mandela Citizenship Ceremony, State Dinners for George W. Bush, Vicente Fox Quesada, Prince Charles and other dignitaries.

A specialist in Communications at international sporting events, she has worked at 15 Olympic Games, 4 Commonwealth Games and 5 Pan American Games. She has narrated numerous videos and presentations and is the “voice”​ of the Canadian War Museum.
Help Desk
Bailey D'Angelo
iSPARK Consulting
Riley Denver
iSPARK Consulting
Heather Harcott
iSPARK Consulting
Dave Tubbe
iSPARK Consulting
FASD Support & Resources Hosts
Justine Kruz
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
Justine Kruz is interim FASD Social Worker at CHEO and is currently finishing her MSW at Carleton. As the FASD Social Worker Justine works within the FASD diagnostic clinic, and as an FASD worker. She has many years of lived and professional experience in the field. Justine is also a parent and also recently became a grandmother to twins. 
Sabrina Peacock
ABLE2
Sabrina Peacock is an FASD Worker at ABLE2 for the Fetal Alcohol Resource Program (FARP). Sabrina is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and Psychotherapist who has worked with children and families for over 15 years. Sabrina lived in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, for nine years before joining ABLE2, where she has held different positions across the sector of children and youth. She has worked as an infant and child development counsellor, she offered child and family therapy, counselling to children who had a developmental disability and worked with communities and agencies to build their capacity when it comes to mental health and FASD. Sabrina has experience working in multiple sectors including education and justice and has personal experience of living with and loving someone with FASD. Sabrina is passionate about yoga, attachment, trauma, infant and child development, and mindfulness which feed back into her professional practice.
Schedule
24
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Karen Huber
Michelle Hughes
FASD and Transitional Aged Youth – A Call to Action (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 40 MINS)
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Catherine Jill (CJ) Lutke
Origin Stories and Destinations (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH – 33 MINS)
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Jeffrey McCrossin
Parent-to-Parent Support: A Proposed Model of Peer Support & Family Resilience (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH – 20 MINS)
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Nancy Lockwood
Supporting Older Caregivers of Adults with FASD through Education & Peer Mentorship (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 38 MINS
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Annette Cormier
The NB FASD Centre of Excellence - A Collaborative Approach to Building Capacity (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 39 MINS
Start
9:00 AM
End
9:45 AM
Charlis Raineki
Using A Translational Approach to Evaluate the Links between Immune System Dysregulation & Health Problems in FASD: A Possible Role of the Gut Microbiota (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH) - 30 MINS
Start
9:15 AM
End
10:00 AM
2022 FASD Awareness Walk Highlights / Les faits saillants de la Marche de sensibilisation au TSAF de 2022 (BILINGUAL / BILINGUE / PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND / PRÉ-ENREGISTRÉ SUR DEMANDE – 2 MINS)
Start
10:00 AM
End
10:30 AM
Madelaine McCracken
KEYNOTE - Bearing Witness: The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Case on First Nations Child Welfare & Jordan’s Principle - 22 MINS
Start
11:00 AM
End
11:26 AM
Heather Lacey
Sylvie Bigras
Opening Remarks / Propos d’ouverture (BILINGUAL REPLAY / REDIFFUSION BILINGUE– 23 MINS)
Start
12:30 PM
End
1:00 PM
Dr. Jacqueline Pei
KEYNOTE - Walking with our FASD Caregivers: Impact, Voices & Responsive Communities - 36 MINS
Start
1:00 PM
End
1:45 PM
Monika Ferenczy
Advocacy for FASD in the Public Education System (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 18 MINS
Start
1:00 PM
End
1:45 PM
Janet Carioni
Moving Towards a Tiered Service Delivery Model to Better Support Students with FASD at School (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH – 30 MINS)
Start
1:00 PM
End
1:45 PM
Michelle Hughes
Reach For It! – Building Connections and Understanding; Community Based Programming for Children & Youth with FASD (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 16 MINS
Start
1:00 PM
End
1:45 PM
Karen Huber
Krista Norman
The Intersections of FASD and Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH - 25 MINS
Start
1:05 PM
End
1:45 PM
Maude Champagne
Aborder l’agression envers les parents et la famille dans l’enfance et l’adolescence (APFEA): aperçu du Consortium national sur l’APFEA et du programme de soutien à la famille APFEA d’Adopt4Life (PRÉ-ENREGISTRÉ SUR DEMANDE EN FRANÇAIS – 50 MINS)
Start
1:05 PM
End
1:45 PM
Tanya Eichler
Tracy Moisan
Addressing the Complex Issue of Aggression Toward Families / Caregivers in Childhood and Adolescence: Overview of the National Consortium on AFCCA and Adopt4Life’s AFCCA Family Supports Program (PRE-RECORDED ON-DEMAND IN ENGLISH – 43 MINS)
Start
2:00 PM
End
2:15 PM
Sylvie Bigras
Closing Remarks / Mots de la fin (BILINGUAL REPLAY / REDIFFUSION BILINGUE – 13 MINS)