Compassion builds communities

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Audrey Salahub – Thank you!

In 1993, citizens from the community of Maple Ridge, BC, began a coordinated and strategic process to address the issue of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). 

This grassroots-based group implemented their community action plan, which resulted in the creation of the FASD Society for BC (formerly known as the Greater Vancouver Fetal Alcohol Society) evolving into The Asante Center.

The founders of The Asante Center included:

  • Dr. Kwadwo Ohene Asante, Retired Medical Director Emeritus and Pediatrician, is recognized as an expert in the area of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and was one of the first pediatricians to study and publish on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in Canada. Dr. Asante was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal of Canada in recognition of more than thirty years of dedicated service for individuals, families, and communities impacted by FASD.
  • Dr. Julianne Conry, from the opening of the Asante Centre until her retirement in 2016, she provided psychological assessments of children, youth, and adults with FASD and other developmental disabilities as part of the multidisciplinary teams at the Asante Centre. Dr. Conry was active in research and the clinical assessment of individuals with FASD for over 30 years and appeared as an expert witness on FASD in the Provincial and Supreme Courts of British Columbia and the Yukon. Following completion of a research study on youth in the criminal justice system, she published a book with Dr. Diane Fast entitled, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System.

And —- Drum roll
Red Shoes Rock recognizes founding parent advocate

Audrey Salahub
Audrey photo taken by NOFAS at the 6th International Conference on FASD in Vancouver, Canada, March 4-7, 2015 “We Can Prevent FASD!”

Audrey Salahub, (Retired Executive Director)

Audrey is the parent of two adults, one of whom has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a diagnosis within the spectrum of FASD.  Audrey has been a driving force behind broad community efforts to address the issue of FASD throughout British Columbia, Canada.  Her vision and her outstanding efforts to mobilize individuals, families, and organizations were fundamental to the establishment of the Asante Centre. 

Circle of support

When Audrey Salahub learned her adopted son had FASD, she educated herself and surrounded her family with a supportive community which included her Fraser Valley neighbors.

Typical effects of prenatal alcohol exposure may include physical, mental, social-emotional and behavioral issues, with lifelong implications for the individual. Each person affected will have variable patterns of disabilities and strengths.

In addition, life circumstances, relationships and experiences will enhance or inhibit life purpose and success. Audrey knew that rather than independent living, her son and the children of so many other parents she became connected to needed adult lives of interdependence in a compassionate community. With increase in stress and caregiving, so do their parents—everyone needed a full circle of support.

The community of humanity in the life of a person with FASD has a tremendous big influence on their success.

And because the brain injury and metabolic issues surrounding FASDs never fully resolve themselves, an individual with FASD will rely upon a supportive community their whole adult lives.

“I thought, if my son were to ever survive in this world, he would need to be able to be in communities that knew about FASD,” Audrey shares.

asante logoThis was the CIRCLE OF SUPPORT needed for our families and our children.

One night, that vision of a protective circle of caring and understanding people crystallized in her mind.

“I saw this baby nestled in the petals of a lotus. and then I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s my son. The petals of the lotus circled him and cushioned him, protecting him so that he could enjoy his life.'”

Each petal represents training and education and diagnosis and all of those things we need. Also acceptance, understanding, compassion and patience. The image became the logo of the Asante Centre, a clinic providing diagnosis and social services for people with FASD, which Audrey co-founded.

Audrey also was the project coordinator for the development of the book Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Criminal Justice System,” written by Dr. Julianne Conry and Dr. Diane Fast

Connect with Trainers who live with FASD!

That the Asante Centre supports adults with FASD who offer training on FASD and its implications on their lives, as well as what types of strategies have been helpful. 

Current Dynamic Experts with FASD trainers include: (Click to connect)

  • Myles Himmelreich is a well-known motivational speaker on FASD, having presented nationally and internationally for many years, sharing his experiences in living with FASD.
  • CJ Lutke is a well-known speaker on FASD, having presented at conferences, adoption seminars and other events. She shares her experiences in living with FASD. She also has provided training for second year medical students and does video work.
  • Paul Thompson and Glenda Jansen share their lived experiences – as both an individual living with FASD who has been navigating homelessness, incarcerations and trauma for over 30 years; and a woman working to support him through, and out of, these situations.
 
Please contact the Asante Centre for more information or to book a training event either with a individual trainer with FASD or for an integrated session with a second Asante clinical or program staff trainer.

 

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