People with FASD not suffering victims, event hears

Experience shared
Myles Himmelreich shares his experience living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder during the NorWest Community Health Centres’ training event on Thursday in Thunder Bay.Jodi Lundmark

Myles Himmelreich grew up knowing he had fetal alcohol spectrum disorder but didn’t understand what it meant.

It wasn’t until his 20s when he started attending conferences on the disorder that he developed a true understanding of how it affected him.

“Once I learned, understood and made sense and became accepting of my disability, that’s when I learned, understood and made sense and became accepting of myself,” he said, noting he could see what had been seen as bad behaviours and realize it was part of his fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which is commonly referred to by its acronym, FASD.

Himmelreich was a keynote speaker at the NorWest Community Health Centres’ 21st annual Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder training event on Thursday at the Victoria Inn.

The message he hoped to share with the crowd was that people with FASD are not victims who suffer.

“There is a lot of shame, blame and stigma associated with FASD,” he said.

Himmelreich said his mother was a young teenager when she became pregnant and had relationships filled with abuse and neglect and substance use.

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