This is Me is a Visual Learning Tool
This is Me is a visual learning tool designed to assist people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), along with their families, caregivers, educators, practitioners and others, to gain a better understanding of common strengths and challenges.
Who Can Benefit from Using This is Me?
This is Me can be used in a variety of ways for self-learning or working with others. Those who can benefit from the interactive presentation include:
- Community Organizations
- FASD Practitioners
- Health Workers
- Justice Officials and the Courts
- Correctional Staff
- Police Services
This is Me was originally inspired by a need to provide individuals with FASD a better way to understand their diagnosis. During development of this visual resource, it became apparent this presentation could benefit a much broader audience. The scope then expanded to include caregivers living and working with individuals with FASD, such as teachers, service providers and people working within the criminal justice system. This is Me strives to celebrate the strengths and resilience of persons with FASD, the reasons why some individuals may have challenges in particular situations, and the strategies that promote success.
This is Me Expands Online
Originally provided to professionals working with individuals with FASD, version 1.0 and 1.01 (2007) were initially only available on CD-ROM. As the recognized use for the learning tool expanded, a joint initiative between New Directions; FASD Family Support, Education and Counselling Program, the Manitoba FASD Centre and the FASD Youth Justice Program was formed to develop this website for broader audiences in early 2019.
This is Me offers respectful, visually interesting, animated examples of the strengths and challenges faced by people with FASD, in addition to strategies for accommodation.
Used as a Self-guided Learning tool or Facilitator-Led Workshop Tool
In addition to giving individuals with FASD a better understanding of their strengths, challenges, and actions, This is Me has been designed to be flexible for both self-guided learning or as part of a facilitator-led workshop. It is intended to help stimulate participant creativity in developing strategies for adapting environments to be a better fit for people with FASD.
An Important Tool for Understanding FASD
We hope This is Me will help clinicians; families and others have a better understanding of FASD. We believe This is Me will be an effective tool to reduce confusion and bring a deeper appreciation of the strengths and diversity of people with FASD, while introducing effective strategies for improving their outlook and quality of life.
Individuals with FASD Easily Relate to Me
Often people with FASD quickly and easily identify with the Me character – usually with a sense of “oh, that’s me” – This can be in relation to the challenges Me faces along with the responses of others or the emotions Me experiences. This ability to identify with Me can be effectively used to assist people with FASD in a variety of ways, including:
- Explaining the disability following an assessment of FASD – a visual aid to help make a link between his/her behaviours and brain function.
- Opening discussions about strategies – using questions like, “What would have helped Me in this situation? What did Me need from others?”
Scenarios in This is Me are designed to…
- Help others understand an individual with FASD’s experience and that their challenges with behaviour and learning are brain-based.
- Encourage discussion about the value and effect of modifying environments and attitudes –“How do we change our environment and our expectations to help the individual have a positive life experience?”
- Develop empathy for Me, and also others in the scene. This empathy can help engage others in problem solving and identifying strategies for greater success.
- Provide a more interactive way to learn about FASD.
Meet The Characters
ME – is a great and interesting character with many friends. The charming Me character visually represents an individual dealing with the challenges of living with FASD. Me also teaches us through action about the many strengths and experiences Me faces while trying to understand the complex world Me lives in.
SPECS – Is a good friend and classmate of Me. He learns and guides – or is sometimes perplexed by Me‘s reactions to certain situations. Specs and Me learn that school and life’s adventures can sometimes be a challenge… but they get through it together.
PIGTAILS – Is a classmate to Me and Specs. When faced with certain challenges she helps Me along the way and sometimes gets caught up in the misadventures or learning experiences that Me faces day-to-day.
TEACH – Like most educators, Teach tries to guide Me the best way he can, while keeping the best interest of his class in mind. Teach finds along the way that even he can learn from Me to help their relationship improve.
SHADES – Often seeks opportunity for his own gain. When dealing with Me, Shades often tries to take advantage of the situation for his own benefit or distracts Me to make decisions that are not always to Me‘s benefit.
FATHER – Like most caregivers, Father is tasked with making sure Me does his daily chores and makes the “right” life choices. Even Father sometimes learns that guiding Me in his growth can be an adventure for them both.
COACH – Active and persistent, Coach tries to keep Me involved and participating in sports. Coach quickly learns that to connect with Me, he needs to rethink his techniques and coaching style.
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2003). Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD): A framework for action. Ottawa
Available at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/publicat/fasd-fw-etcaf-ca/index.html (accessed July 26, 2007).
- (From “Research Update: Alcohol Use and Pregnancy: An important Canadian Public Health and Social Issue. Submitted by Colleen Anne Dell and
Gary Roberts, 2005).
- World Health Organization Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. (2004). Global Status Report on Alcohol. Geneva.
- Public Health Agency of Canada. (2005). Research Update: Alcohol Use and Pregnancy: an Important Canadian Public Health and Social Issue
- Network Action Team on FASD Prevention from a Women’s Health Determinants Perspective in association with the Canadian Northwest FASD Research
Network. (2007). Coalescing on Women and Substance Use: Linking Research, Practice and Policy. For more information, contact Nancy Poole at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Salmon at email@example.com
- Chudley, A. E., Conry, J., Loock, C.,Rosales,T., & LeBlanc,N. (2005) Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Canadian guidelines for diagnosis. Canadian
Medical Association Journal, 172 (5 suppl.), s1-s21. Available at http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/172/5_suppl/S1 (accessed July 26, 2007).
- Healthy Child Manitoba. (2007). What Educators Need to Know About FASD – Working Together to Educate Children in Manitoba with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Winnipeg.
- Healthy Child Manitoba. (2018). What Educators Need to Know About FASD – Working Together to Educate Children in Manitoba with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Winnipeg
- New Directions, FASD Family Support, Education and Counselling (2018). The Hidden Disability – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Winnipeg
- Stephen de Groot, Myriad Consulting, www.myriadconsult.com
Funding for This is Me was provided by New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families
New Directions; FASD Family Support, Education and Counselling Program gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the following individuals and partner organizations in the development of This is Me, 2nd Edition:
- The Manitoba FASD Centre, Specialized Services for Children and Youth (SCCY)
- Mary Cox Millar B.A. Cert. Ed
- Dorothy Schwab O.T. Reg (MB)
- The FASD Youth Justice Program, Manitoba Justice
- Teresa Brown B.A., C.Y.C.
- Dan Neault
- The FASD Family Support, Education and Counselling Program of New Directions
- Anita Posaluko B.S.W., RSW
- Melanie Anonuevo O.T. Reg (MB)
- Andrea Auch O.T. Reg (MB)
- Betty Hosein B.A. M.A.
- Devra Buhler B.A.
- Q-Power Communications Inc.
- Dr. Sally Longstaffe FRCPC, for her vision and passion to develop this tool.
- Carol Robson, M.S.W.
- Jocelyn Bjorklund, M.S.W.
- Kristy Semaniuk, B.A.
- Susan Opie, M.S.W.
- Deborah Kacki, B.A.
- Gwendolyn Kydd, B.S.W.
- Diane Malbin, M.S.W. and FASCETS Inc.
- Character Development and Animation (for the original character development and animation that created the engaging character “Me”)
- Doug Fedrau
- James Gillespie
- Raelene Hanna
- Lewis Communications
- Red River College Graphics Art Department, The Graffiti Gallery