Fort and Temenos: Helping families with FASD reach their full potential
A typical classroom is filled with children of many different needs and learning styles. Today’s education system offers a broad range of accommodation to help students succeed. However, the specific needs of those who are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) require a unique support system not found in the average classroom. FASD is a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body of people who have been exposed to alcohol in the womb. Individuals with FASD carry with them both gifts and challenges. If supported early in life these individuals can have positive outcomes and learn valuable skills that they can carry as they move into adulthood. The Carizon Fort and Temenos programs aim to provide a roadmap of support, tangible teaching, and tools for individuals with FASD and their families.
Fort and Temenos
Fort and Temenos are more than classrooms – our teams work with children, youth, and families both at home and in our self-contained classroom settings. The Fort program runs for grades 2-8, while Temenos supports high schoolers. Everything about our programs is centered around FASD, including our policies, programming, staff training and physical environment.
What’s different about a day in Fort and Temenos?
- Mornings are focused on connection with peers and staff
- Mental health check-ins happen on arrival and before dismissal
- Movement breaks and utilization of sensory space are encouraged
- Academics are focused on life skills such as money math, budgeting, journaling, and cooking
- Social skills development includes lessons like labelling emotions, mindfulness, kindness and conversation skills
- Therapeutic elements like nature therapy and emotional freedom technique groups are integrated into our programming
We work with individual and family skills and strengths. We believe that caregivers can do far more for their child than a classroom ever could, and we work together to support them so they, in turn, can better support their children. We are committed to working with each family’s unique goals to help prepare them for their lifelong journey with FASD. Some examples of our work with them include helping to establish consistent routines, registering for recreational activities, sharing FASD information with other service providers, supporting transitions in/out of the classroom, and so much more. We have a high staffing ratio for support with 3 highly trained classroom workers for every 6 students and a WRDSB teacher.
There is no better way to understand the story of a child with FASD than to hear it directly from them. Watch this video and hear our students advocating for themselves and sharing how the Fort and Temenos programs are making a difference to them.