An individuals place, and success, in society is
almost entirely determined by neurological functioning.
Many of societys most persistent problems stem
from a single source pregnant women drinking alcohol
causing neurological damage to the child. The injured
child is unable to meet the demands of parents, family,
peers, school, career, adherence to rules, and goes through
a lifetime of failures. Often the neurological damage
goes undiagnosed, but not unpunished.
Our Mission - Teaching
and Research for the Identification, Understanding
and Management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum
The TRIUMF Project is
a concept proposal
for a series of self-sustaining residential village /
farm / campground / rehab and conference centres specializing
in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
and other disabilities.
The process begins with diagnosis, preferably as an infant,
but more likely as an assessment referral by a school
or the courts. Many referrals will come through adoptive
and foster parents who have struggled with a child who
does not respond to normal behavioral interventions. Formal
diagnosis must be made through a specialized clinic such
as the Fetal Alcohol Diagnostic Clinic at St. Michael's
Hospital, Toronto, Ontario.
diagnosis includes a complete physical examination, personal
history review, caregiver interviews and a series of adaptive
tests to determine functionality in a variety of areas.
From those results, a multi-disciplinary team develops
a plan, accessing suitable existing resources within the
community and developing other interventions where advisable.
In some cases, the diagnostic results and recommendations
will form part of a pre-trial or pre-sentence assessment.
A key objective is to identify women who are at risk of
producing additional FASD children and to develop effective
Although FASD and its sub-diagnoses is a medical diagnosis,
recommendations and referrals are rarely medical in nature.
Many referrals center on education-related issues. These
can range broadly because there is such a wide variation
in disabilities among affected individuals. Referrals
are directed toward existing community-based programs
and resources that are not necessarily FASD-specific,
but can still meet the family's needs.
Early FASD diagnosis has been shown to be a strong
protective factor against secondary disabilities such
as mental health problems, dropping out of school, trouble
with the law and substance abuse. After
diagnosis, parents often find that their ability to cope
with the child's behavior changes dramatically when they
understand that the problems are most likely based on
organic brain damage, rather than the child's choice to
be inattentive or uncooperative.
Professional and Caregiver Training
The TRIUMF Project will operate training
facilities and seminars for physicians and staff at CHC's,
teachers, social workers, police officers, corrections
officers, lawyers and judges as well as FASD oriented
parenting courses. Children with FASD are very high needs
and require very unique parenting and teaching skills.
TRIUMF facilities will be able to provide education and
work experience for students in university and community
The TRIUMF Project will work closely with Provincial
and local FASD organizations to assure they are the
primary focus of FASD family and community support. They
have the on-the-ground experience and can provide local
child advocacy support and local training support. They
will also facilitate local parent support networks and
access to Internet support groups, such as FASlink.
The TRIUMF Village and Farm
be a self-sustaining, working village / farm / campground
/ conference & rehab center. Individuals
with FASD are targets for predators and the unscrupulous.
They are followers, easily misled, conned and set-up in
the normal urban environment. They act impulsively and
dont understand consequences.
They are the "pigeons". There is a need for
longer term facilities with various levels of specialized
residential care and security, special education, job
training and career opportunities. Parents of children
with disabilities are deeply concerned about their child's
long-term future, particularly after the parents can no
longer physically care for them or have passed away.
TRIUMF Villages are
designed to be self-supporting and revenue generating
after initial start-up. They will include farming, light
manufacturing, rehab (particularly for pregnant women
with their families), camping, entertainment and conference
facilities. This is NOT an institution. It is a "theme
park" designed first for those with disabilities
and then for the general public. TRIUMF facilities are
designed to be run by those with disabilities and to attract
revenue from the general public.
Resident Education and Training
Individuals with FASD learn quite differently from the
way the traditional schools teach. Emphasis will be on
life and work skills. Adaptive technologies, such as computer
assisted learning, will be emphasized. Teaching will use
both an indoor school setting and hands-on experience
in various enterprises. Abstract concepts will be converted
to concrete learning systems. Much
of the construction at TRIUMF will be done by the residents
themselves as they learn a variety of skills, under close