My Kind Of Mind
A tool to guide understanding of atypical neurodevelopment including factors common to FASD.
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Service Planning Guide
The Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and Neurodevelopmental Disorder Service Planning Guide is designed for professionals organizing treatment and care plans for individuals with complex neurodevelopmental profiles. This tool is informed by a deep understanding of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, emerging best practices, and the issues that require enhanced responses to improve outcomes.
Tools To Inform And Guide
My Kind of Mind (and My Kind of Mind “at a glance”) captures the individual’s perspective on strengths and challenges to inform interventions. FASD & ND Service Planning Guide helps professionals organize client information to inform interventions.
Sheila Burns has been an FASD instructor, coach and consultant since 2002. Sheila is a strong advocate for improving the way FASD is addressed at local levels where those with FASD live, learn and work.
Offering tailored workshops, consultation in-service training, client-specific consultations and Community of Practice facilitation to increase awareness and build capacity for a more effective response to FASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
What is FASD?
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a complex but manageable neurodevelopmental disorder. Improving the understanding of FASD can ease the burden of living with a disability, challenge myths that contribute to stigma of the diagnosis, and instill hope that we can do better. FASD affects between 1-3/100 Canadians. Multiple areas of brain can be impacted by prenatal exposure to alcohol resulting in diffuse brain injury. The outcomes for individuals with FASD has been adversely affected by the lack of understanding of their complex neurodevelopmental profile. This has resulted in caregiving and teaching strategies that aren’t aligned with development; and mental health treatment and other social supports that misunderstand the inconsistent pattern of behavior, function and development.
With better understanding of the disability and the individual neurodevelopmental profile, we can shift our approach and resources toward more helpful strategies, reducing the incidence of FASD and enhancing the quality and effectiveness of caregiving, teaching and community engagement.
Tailored training options allow communities, agencies and caregivers to build workshops with topics and themes to address general knowledge or specific priorities ranging from comprehensive exploration of FASD and appropriate accommodations and interventions to review and discussion of individual profiles that enable professionals and caregivers to enhance the response to those living with the disability:
explore diagnosis and diagnostic process
understand how alcohol has affected the brain
identify the FASD profile
discuss impact of secondary disabilities and adverse outcomes
develop practical and strategic responses to ease the burden of this disability on the individual and their caregivers
explore opportunities in the systemic response to enhance the effectiveness of services
implications of disability on education, treatment and caregiving
FASD and the justice system
organizational needs: developing care protocols and service pathways
Agency or community-sponsored events are tailored to address specific training needs. The workshops vary in length and are designed to improve the understanding of FASD and facilitate a change in practice.
Agency discussions on FASD and how the disability impacts the needs of clients, programming elements, policies and protocols.
Develop disability-informed plans of care for individual clients. This consultation includes review of existing assessments and priority concerns related to a specific client.
Community of Practice training and support
Research (D. Badry) suggests that the most effective approach to enhance long-term outcomes for FASD prevention and effective intervention is to use existing resources and systems. For this to be effective community partners need:
good information about FASD and the needs of women who drink during pregnancy
coaches caregivers and professionals toward more FASD awareness
builds protocols for enhances and effective care
framework for collaboration and partnering to integrate program elements that are FASD-informed
realign service provision to incorporate enhanced programming that recognizes a lifespan of need and diverse functional capacity
The Planning Guide is part of a commitment to professional capacity building so expertise in FASD can be embedded in the service system where individuals with FASD live, learn and play. The Planning Guide is appropriate for professionals who have some knowledge of FASD.
It is available for $10 a copy and 15% off for orders of 25 or more or when combined with professional development training. The Planning Guide complements “A guide to understanding My Kind of Mind”, a self-reporting booklet designed for individuals for whom we have limited access to information, who present confusing learning and behaviour profiles, who struggle to explain their needs, or who would benefit from an engaging way to express and explore issues that affect their daily lives.
Tools To Inform And Guide
My Kind of Mind and My Kind Of Mind “at-a-glance”
A tool to help guide thinking about client-specific neurodevelopment that includes factors that are common among individuals with FASD. Seven themed questions identify preferences in learning, memory, processing, sensory, adaptive and executive function, sleep and emotional regulation. Six questions seek to understand priority issues from the client perspective to help inform treatment and caregiving strategies. A companion “at a glance” piece is a cue-card for caregivers and others to remind them of key information from the booklet to help build and consolidate effective responses.
Sheila Burns has been an FASD instructor, coach and consultant since 2002. Sheila is a strong advocate for improving the way FASD is addressed at local levels where those with FASD live, learn and work. Her background in children’s mental health, youth justice, women’s issues, and community development position her uniquely to advance a holistic and collaborative approach to addressing FASD. Sheila focuses on capacity-building within the context of the existing system of care for the prevention, management and diagnosis of the disability.
Sheila shares her extensive practice-based expertise about this complex neurodevelopmental disorder with compassion, humour and hope. She supports caregivers, educators, child welfare and mental health agencies, integrating Community of Practice theory: the concept of common language, and the value of systems’ collaboration into workshops and consultations. She presents information and tools that enhance the effectiveness of services and enrich the lives of individuals living with the disorder.
Sheila has held leadership roles in FASD Ontario Network of Expertise (Network Chair and the Justice and Diagnostic Capacity Action Groups) and is a member of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services FASD Expert Group. She received a Law Foundation of Ontario Fellowship, has conducted research and authored status and action reports to inform the provincial response to FASD.
Provide research-based FASD information so that professionals and caregivers have current, accurate and system-sensitive knowledge to contribute to optimal outcomes for individuals living with FASD and help prevent the disability.
To support professionals, caregivers and community services in their understanding of FASD, by providing tools to deliver informed and effective practice, so that individuals with FASD can participate fully in their communities.
FASD and Justice Report (PDF)
FASD ONE Call to Action (PDF)
Toronto Star Op Ed (PDF)