Neil who looks after two children with FASD says:
“I’m Neil, my wife Beth and I look after two siblings with FASD, Lina and Michael and they are great children, and been a real pleasure to have around and it’s a great privilege to have been able to do so.
Well the good thing about these two is that they’re just so bright and happy and they just, they just want to be part of the family, they just want to be part like everybody else.
When she first started at school four years ago, it took the school a good two years, one to understand her and to realise that the supports we’d put in place also needed to be put in place at school. And so she started the, the, her schooling as one of the worst children they’d ever seen and now four years later sits in class and is just a very very normal child sitting there doing the best she can.”
Paediatrician Associate Professor Raewyn Mutch says:
“I think there needs to be more work done within education services to understand that some of the behaviours that are manifest in children in their classrooms are actually behaviours arising from them struggling to learn and remember, not being wilfully naughty, and that important change in perspective is not yet, I think, easily understood.”
“So what day is it today, do you know?
Visual cues are an amazing aid for these children because it helps them understand without being under pressure. These kids have trouble with instructions, and a picture is plain and basic and it gives them the opportunity then to be able to do it.
So today is Thursday and its rainy, so what will tomorrow be?”
Associate Professor Raewyn Mutch says:
“Those children are successful because of Neil, and because of the nurture and the love, and the healing that he’s enabled and the advocacy that he’s undertaken. So they are very blessed to have someone of his ah capacity, and um fire, to walk beside them.
I’m gonna get upset [laughter]."
“The more support you get, the more likely you are to be successful. And we have a fantastic round of uh social workers, and psychs, and speech therapists, and OT’s and they have all made amazing difference. The thing about these kids is that they just want to be like everybody else. Then if we could get more people to understand that, all these children and their parents would be better off.”