Walking Towards Hope

Inspiration exists in all forms and they are so important when traveling down unpaved road.

Thanks to our FASD service provider, the hubby and I recently joined a cohort of parents and caregivers for a weekly support group.

It’s an 8-week pilot initiative hosted by Surrey Place, an amazing organization that has supported T since his toddler years, including providing his assessment and diagnosis earlier this year.

These virtual sessions take place over the lunch hour, which is great, as I can join from work.

The sessions are informal, with short presentations, resource sharing, and time for parents to ask questions and to meet special guests.

During the fourth session this session, we had special guest, Myles Himmelreich, an individual with FASD.

When we first received T’s prognosis six years ago, it was quite the emotional punch, and we went through the usual cycle of grief.

I tried to search for success stories. They were few and far in between but Myles’ story repeatedly came up over the years.

So it was so wonderful to meet him.

He spoke about what it was like to live with a brain and body disability, covering similar points from this video he filmed years ago.

It was refreshing to hear his candor about his struggles and reassuring to hear about his many successes, including his work as a motivational speaker which takes him all over the world.

Even though we’ve read and learned a lot about FASD over the years, it was still sobering and heartbreaking to hear Myles speak about his many struggles – being misunderstood and unsupported at school, drug use in his adolescence, homelessness in young adulthood.

During the Q&A session, one parent asked him for advice on how to help kids who threaten to hurt themselves. I listened intently as the hubby and I see some these behaviours emerging in T when he’s very disregulated.

I asked Myles for his advice on friendships, as this is an area where T struggles, and the two-year disruption of the pandemic certainly wasn’t helpful in this regard.

What resonated with me the most about Myles’ message to parents was the importance to create a safe, supportive and accommodating environment in helping kids like T to thrive.

I left the session feeling recharged.

I have no doubt there’ll be lots of bumps along the way, especially as T enters adolescence, but it was inspiring to see there are positive outcomes ahead, thanks to individuals like Myles.

Our service coordinator let us know they are looking at piloting other initiatives in the near future, including meetup events for families and kids, like outdoor hikes and equestrian therapy, and possibly an opportunity for kids like T to meet role models like Myles.

I think this is so important, not just for parents and caregivers, but especially for kids like T. To see that there is a path, many paths, that lead towards hopeful and positive outcomes.

15 thoughts on “Walking Towards Hope

  1. Oh wow, Myles is very inspiring! I’m glad you found such a great support group. And I’m glad you feel recharged. You truly amaze me with how you handle everything. And that’s very exciting they are working on piloting other programs, can’t wait to hear how those work out in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! He was an inspiration indeed and I’ll happily report back on the other programs in the near future. Hope you have a nice week ahead!


  2. It’s great that you’re able to participate in this pilot for a weekly support group to connect with other parents and share information and experiences. Hopefully they’ll make it permanent. It sounds like the special guest session with Myles Himmelreich was a smashing success. Having a meetup sounds like a wonderful idea. And agreed, I think it’s super important for everyone, especially kids like T, to see someone like them in a positive light.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Linda. Really thankful for the amazing services that Surrey Place provides. Such an invaluable service to the community. 😊 A lived experience perspective is so important for parents and kids alike. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW! This guy … these videos … at one point I was on the brink of tears, but watching these videos was so inspirational! He is terrific! And, he gives me hope that T, also, can work through the challenges and not let FASD define him. I’m so glad you’ve found him, for perhaps he can help you guys, and one day when he’s a little bit older (T, not Myles) he will listen to and watch Myles’ videos and understand himself just a bit better. Hugs to the three of you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so cool! When T one day understands more about FASD and how it affects him, it’s great to know that there are people out there like Myles who can serve as an inspiration for T and show him that his future can be bright too, just like other people. And what I love about what you and your husband have been doing is you proactively and consistently look for things you can do to help T.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Bama. For sure having positive role models and success stories are going to be so important. And it is my deepest wish that T will similarly be an inspiration for others that come after him too. 😊🙏 Hope you’re having a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so awesome! How cool to have a support group where you can not only talk with other parents but also people like Miles! I love your line that you left the session being recharged. That is so incredibly important as a parent as a someone knowing that this is a long game and you need to have some good recharging along the way. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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