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Supports to improve the lives of adults with FASD : an enthnographic study of a mentorship program



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This ethnographical study provides a better understanding into the daily lives of adults with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), it demonstrates how mentorship can increase their quality of life and finally it provides recommendations on how to best support them. FASD is a life-long disability that diminishes a person’s cognitive and adaptive functioning. In this study, adults with FASD and their mentors were interviewed at the CUMFI (Central Urban Métis Federation Inc.) Wellness Centre, a mentorship program for individuals with cognitive disabilities in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to determine the adult’s need for support, what supports were received, how effective that support was and how to improve the support. This research was approached through critical ethnography and the result is a call for social change to help individuals with FASD. The CUMFI Wellness Centre is an effective mentorship model that could be used to design other mentorship programs for adults with FASD across the country. In this study, it was determined that the adults with FASD involved in the mentorship program at the CUMFI Wellness Centre had increased self-esteem and a better quality of life. Mentorship can help adults with FASD to find housing, buy groceries, receive community supports and maintain a healthy lifestyle which will help them function better in society. Support and mentorship provides safeguards to decrease the likelihood of adults with FASD ending up on the streets, in jails, hospitals and treatment centers. We must respond to the needs of these individuals and their families and provide supports for them. It is ethical that we do so as these individuals were not responsible for their cognitive disability from the prenatal alcohol to which they were exposed. It is practical and cost-effective to assist this population so that they can healthy and productive members of our society.



accessing services, education, money management, employment, legal issues, substance abuse, mental health, justice



Master of Education (M.Ed.)


Educational Psychology and Special Education


Educational Psychology and Special Education



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