Dufferin Wellington Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder


Keynote Speaker

Janet Carioni

Keynote Speaker & Breakout Speaker

Janet's FASD journey began many years ago as an Occupational Therapist working at a children's treatment centre. Her curiosity about this thing called FASD drew her to her first conference, which then led to her raising her hand to join a multidisciplinary FASD assessment clinic team. Her growing curiosity about FASD ignited her passion to learn more and she connected with the FASD research community. Janet has been invited to speak about FASD across our beautiful nation, from the west coast, to the east coast, and to the north coast.

Along her professional FASD journey she recognized a similar path was being carved out at home with her two sons. She was no longer just journeying through FASD at work, her personal life came along for the ride too. As she continues to grow in her learning, her greatest teachers have been her sons and the many individuals with FASD who she has the privilege to work with or call her friends. 

Possibilities Start with Safety

All of us who interact with individuals with FASD at home, at work, or in the community, regardless of their age, have a role to play in fostering growth and nurturing possibilities. To encourage participation, we must first foster safety and build trusted relational connections in order to find regulation together. 

Join us for a one-day conference that will highlight the power of connection and relationships to further our understanding and build capacity as professionals, caregivers, and contributors to the network of support. 

Janet will weave together her experience as an occupational therapist who has walked alongside individuals with FASD and their families in rehabilitation settings and embedded in the school system and her lived experience as an FASD parent with the clinical models of practice that have been pivotal in her growth and have influenced her shift to FASD-affirming practices at work and at home. 

Participants will:

- be introduced to models of practice that offer practical ways to support individuals with FASD at home, at school, at work, and in the community across all sectors of service 

- be invited to dig deeper beyond the behaviours seen on the surface and chase the why

- be taken on Janet's mindshift journey towards FASD-affirming, trauma-sensitive, sensory-aware, and neuro-inclusive practice

Breakout Sessions

Dr. Shaniff Esmail

Breakout Speaker

Dr. Shaniff Esmail is a highly respected Occupational Therapist and professor, currently serving as the Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Alberta. With a focus on sexuality and disability, his clinical and research interests have earned him recognition as a best-selling author. As a dedicated educator, Dr. Esmail teaches various courses within the faculties of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta. He is also recognized for his innovative contributions to the field, including developing the first Canadian post-graduate certificate in sexual health at the University of Alberta.

Dr. Esmail's areas of expertise include sexuality and disability, sexual health education for individuals with disabilities, and the use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. In addition to his academic achievements, he serves as the Vice President of the Alberta Society for the Promotion of Sexual Health, further demonstrating his commitment to promoting sexual well-being for individuals with disabilities.

Navigating Sexual Health for Individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): Overcoming Barriers and Promoting Healthy Expression

This interactive session aims to enhance healthy sexual expression for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), who often face unique challenges in this area of their lives. Mainstream cultural narratives often oversimplify individuals with FASD as asexual or deviant, ignoring the distinct sexual needs of neuro-atypical populations. Despite the emphasis on harm reduction in traditional sex education programs, many aspects of sexuality for this population remain unaddressed. Research indicates that individuals with FASD have lower self-esteem and less satisfying social lives compared to neurotypical populations.

During this session, we will explore the impact of FASD on sexual identity and functioning and provide practical strategies for promoting healthy sexual expression. We will address the individual, structural, and attitudinal barriers that hinder healthy sexual expression and provide practical guidelines for addressing specific sexual health concerns. This session is designed for healthcare professionals, educators, healthcare aids, general service providers, family members, and front-line staff and will present the information in an accessible, meaningful manner.

Janet Carioni

Breakout Speaker 

Think Sensory Health: Fostering Growth and Nurturing Participation through Co-Regulation and Creating Sensory Safety

As human beings we are experiencing the sensory world around us everyday, across our lifespan. Each person has their unique way of interpreting the sensory information they receive from the world and their internal senses. Sometimes processing sensory information can be a bit more challenging and gets in the way of being able to do the things we want to do and need to do. Prenatal exposure to alcohol impacts the developing brains capacity to process sensory information. Learn strategies that weave together a trauma-sensitive understanding and sensory-aware perspective that embraces each child's authentic expression of who they are. 

Darlene Durand

Breakout Speaker

Darlene is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and part time professor at a local College in the ECE program. Her passion for FASD was sparked when her family became a foster home for newborn babies. They have been blessed by adoption and their 15-year-old daughter who has FASD, is the reason for Darlene’s passion. Finding ways to guide and support her daughter with strength-based modalities has driven Darlene’s advocacy in the community and most recently in the Healthcare system alongside her daughter. Darlene’s passion and energy is supported by her husband Chris, who is the brakes to her gas pedal at times but together they find success even amidst some of the most challenging moments on their parenting journey. 

Team LOVE is what the Durand Family has called themselves as they navigate situations, leading with love. Knowing that to help anyone be the best they can be, they need to know they are loved first and foremost. Team LOVE is also involved in cheering on caregivers, providing opportunities for connection and community, to give those raising children the hope and strength they need to get through each day.

Darlene will be sharing a unique spin on her caregiving journey that will be sure to help caregivers and service providers, see their day to day work in a new and exciting way! Your Backstage Pass is waiting for you!

Shannon Butt

Breakout Speaker

After a lifetime of slipping through the cracks of our healthcare system,  Shannon finally received support for living with the impact of Prenatal Alcohol Exposure/FASD at age 33. Shannon believes in storytelling as a way of sharing perspective; she has created a life around sharing hers to empower others to discover, and perhaps share their own.

Parent/Caregiver Evening 

Janet Carioni

Parent/Caregiver Evening Speaker

Creating a Sensory Safe Home

Join Janet for a candid conversation about sensory health. Janet will share stories from her personal and clinical experiences that will walk you through the realities of creating a feeling of sensory safety at home for you and your child. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm 

Live Event

Brant Ave Public School
64 Brant Ave
Guelph, ON