Woman Pours Love into Life with FASD

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneers –
Teresa Kellerman – Thank you!

A one-woman, Little Engine That Could, created ripples that affected caregiving and FASD in a positive light for the past 20 years.

Teresa KellermanTeresa Kellerman —is a certified FASD trainer for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the Native American Alliance Foundation, The Arc, and SAMHSA’ FASD Center for Excellence. Her personal experience and success as a parent, her extensive knowledge of current research, and her unique incorporation of original materials such as skits, poems, and props have made her a top-rated speaker. Her websites, of which there are many, are some of the most extensive available to parents interested in research, ideas, and strategies to help the person they love. Her websites boast visits of over 50,000 people a month. Her YouTube is Baby Born Free.

Teresa has an extensive library of articles. She has designed presentations on prevention, awareness, education, and intervention of FASD. She has been a tireless advocate, and we appreciate her creativity and knowledge shared to help so many other individuals. Teresa provides support and information for families, consults with professionals, trains foster parents, and facilitates support groups for birth mothers, adoptive parents, and caregivers. Teresa has been called the Queen of FASD Acronyms. 

Some of our favorite work of Teresa Kellerman includes:

The Birth of FASDay: The Real Story

By Teresa Kellerman August 2005

(Shared from FASDay.com) where you can discover all sorts of excellent information and materials to help you build your own local campaign.

The official version of how it all began
(according to the Senate Congressional Record):

In February 1999, Bonnie Buxton and Brian Philcox of Toronto, Canada and Teresa Kellerman of Tuscon, AZ, all parents of fetal alcohol children, asked each other a question.

The question was,What if a world full of fetal alcohol parents all got together on the ninth hour, of the ninth day of the ninth month of the year and asked the world to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy a woman should not drink alcohol?” They asked, “Would the world listen?”

This simple question launched a worldwide, grassroots movement, organized on e-mail list serves and on the World Wide Web to ask that communities everywhere observe Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day on September 9. The first  International Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day, or FASDAY as it is known, was celebrated on September 9, 1999. In the ensuing years, the number of communities observing FASDAY has grown and grown.

What actually happened (according to the fly on the wall who heard it all):

In October of 1998, Bonnie Buxton and Brian Philcox escaped the brisk chill of autumn in Toronto, Canada, and traveled to sunny and warm Tucson, Arizona, where they met with Teresa Kellerman, director of the FAS Community Resource Center. Bonnie asked Teresa, “What if the three of us started an international organization to raise awareness about fetal alcohol issues around the world?”

Teresa responded, “What! Are you crazy? I’m having enough trouble just raising awareness here in Arizona. It’s just too big a plan. We can’t do that.”

Undaunted, Bonnie replied, “Yes we can! I’ll draw up the paperwork, and you put it out there on the Internet. Okay?”

“Okay!”

And that was the beginning of FASworld, which in turn gave birth to FASDAY, an idea that originated with Brian Philcox while he was shoveling snow.

Bonnie chose 9/9/99 to remind everyone that a woman can remain alcohol-free for all nine months of pregnancy and selected 9:09 for a moment of silence.

Teresa spread the word on the Internet, and the first International FAS Awareness Day was celebrated on 9/9/99 at 9:09 all around the world. Activists in small rural communities and large metropolitan cities eagerly communicate by mail list and share new information and exciting ideas through the website www.fasday.com.

In the ensuing years, hundreds of crazy but beautiful people in communities in every time zone volunteer their time and energy to organize FASDAY activities, where parents and professionals alike join forces in this phenomenal grassroots movement that now involves thousands of participants. Is the world listening? We think so! The FAS Community Resource Center that provides the majority of the information for FASDAY activists has 50,000 people each month visit its web pages that contain a wealth of information on research, prevention, and intervention of fetal alcohol issues. Parents, professionals, teachers and students alike visit the popular website to educate themselves and to share information with others by downloading the hundreds of articles and handouts available there.

The FAS Center web site can be found here  If you would like to join the excitement of raising awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or want to learn more about FASD, please visit one of the above websites. You will find books and bracelets and “Fasknots” and Smarties cards and lots of fun and easy ideas to make FASDay a success in your community.

Some more great links from Teresa Kellerman’s great website:

Facing Judicial Issues – Ideas from Teresa Kellerman

Bruce-RitchieTOMORROW YOU WILL MEET THE MAN BEHIND THE INTERNET SCENES THAT MADE FASDAY POSSIBLE – Bruce Richie

It really is a thrill to be part of this fantastic worldwide movement! Join us today!

2 thoughts on “Woman Pours Love into Life with FASD

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