The Asante Centre is pleased to support adults with FASD who offer training on FASD and its implications on their lives, as well as what types of strategies have been helpful.
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.
In his work as a mentor to other youth and adults with FASD, Myles has helped them to understand and accept that we all share similar struggles and the desire to succeed. As well, working as a consultant, Myles has done a great deal of work with the media.
Most recently, Myles was co-lead of a ground-breaking study on the health and physical issues of adults with FASD.
Myles' goal is to help others with FASD find their voice and to help society understand that we are greater when we are united and work together.
Paul Thompson and Glenda Jansen will 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.
Their back-and-forth presentation style combines facts with stories, humour and love through desperate times. It highlights the critical importance of relationship and advocacy in supporting positive outcomes. Paul and Glenda will share their ups and downs of accessing social services and supports which brought about personal and societal change.
Paul Thompson lived for more than 40 years with the undiagnosed effects of FASD, of which 30 were spent on the streets or in the prison system. He also experienced severe childhood trauma which affected many areas of his life.
In 2009 his life changed when he met Glenda and her husband at a Sunday dinner outreach to the homeless. Paul later moved in with Glenda and her family for 18 tumultuous months – during this time she was instrumental in Paul's adult diagnosis, care, and subsequent advocacy and support. Now 50 years of age, Paul is living independently in Vancouver and has created a stable, healthy life with the necessary supports in place for success. He exemplifies why it is never too late for a diagnosis.
Glenda Jansen has worked with Special Needs individuals for the past 12 years, and the past nine as a Special Education Assistant at an independent private school. Her last assignment included providing ongoing support to a student with FASD through Grades 5 to 8, which was challenging but extremely rewarding.
Glenda attends workshops and conferences to further educate herself on a subject she has become passionate about, and is also a committee member of the FASD Collaboration Roundtable in BC. In addition, Glenda volunteers her time reaching out to the marginalized in her community, building relationships with many and advocating where necessary.
Glenda and Paul have presented together for health care professionals, frontline staff, social workers, lawyers, educators, FASD keyworkers who support families, caregivers, college students and middle school students. In addition, Paul has spoken on several conference panels. In the past year, they have traveled twice to Nunavik, Quebec to speak to First Nations & Inuit elders and young people from 14 different communities, on FASD and its effects.
In 2015, Paul and Glenda began presenting their story at conferences in a back-and-forth style which has proven effective in demonstrating why “relationship is key.” Paul shares his experiences living with FASD before and after diagnosis, while Glenda gives a brief overview of its cause, effects and strategies, and the importance of relationship, support and advocacy in creating practical results.
What Others are Saying:
“Paul Thompson and Glenda Jansen presented at the 2nd annual Downtown Eastside FASD 2015 Conference in Vancouver, providing a view of what it’s like to be an individual experiencing FASD, living his life from childhood into adulthood without appropriate accomodations, until he met his godsend caregiver who assisted him to create a healthy, predictable, caring and worthy lifestyle. Their story is inspirational and highly recommended.”
-Richard Willier, FASD Specialist
“Paul and Glenda’s collaborative storytelling approach is a perfect balance of heart and mind when it comes to what it can be like to live with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Paul’s story is one of personal resilience and community compassion. Listeners will inevitably leave with a new understanding of the many challenges people with an FASD face, as well as a conviction of what major differences kindness can make in our lives. If you have not yet heard Paul and Glenda speak, you must!”
-Allison Pooley, Program Director, The Asante Centre