FASD, PCAP and Coaching

What do you do when someone tells you that you can’t do something or shouldn’t do something?  I recall as a child and trying to convince someone that they shouldn’t smoke.  After that conversation, the habit became even worse.

Communication with “at risk” individuals can result in an experience of shame. After being “helped” there is a risk that they feel worse than they did before they came in for help.

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behaviour and learning. Often, a person with an FASD has a mix of these problems.”

“FASDs are caused by a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol in the mother’s blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. When a woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby.” 

“A person with an FASD might have:

• Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip (this ridge is called the philtrum)

• Small head size

• Shorter-than-average height

• Low body weight

• Poor coordination

• Hyperactive behavior

• Difficulty with attention

• Poor memory

• Difficulty in school (especially with math)

• Learning disabilities

• Speech and language delays

• Intellectual disability or low IQ

• Poor reasoning and judgment skills

• Sleep and sucking problems as a baby

• Vision or hearing problems

• Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones”

-Centre for Disease Control and Prevention

Did you know that the Government of Alberta has a program for FASD prevention? It’s called PCAP (Parent Child Assistance Program) and it’s comprised of compassionate and wise people throughout Alberta.  PCAP makes a difference by working with women who are at risk of having an alcohol affected pregnancy.


What if coaching skills could be employed, to empower at risk individuals?  What if coaching, along with other tools, could help those at risk of an alcohol affected pregnancy to formulate goals and inspire them to develop an action plan for how they will achieve their goals?

I recently had a second opportunity to work with PCAP at their AGM where they take time to come together and participate in learning sessions and a lot more.  Last year they asked me to share relevant Daring Way themes that would be most applicable to their context like a deeper dive into compassion, empathy, values, shame and trust.  This year they asked me to facilitate a full day coaching workshop.  They had a whole day of learning new, highly effective questioning skills, connecting with each other and learning from each other.… more tools for their tool belts.

In this workshop they learned what coaching is and what it is not.  They also had the opportunity to learn coaching techniques and tools by practicing coaching skills and by being coached.  To facilitate a day with so many committed, compassionate and skilled individuals was an experience that I won’t soon forget.

If you know anyone who is at risk, please look up PCAP.  No one should have to struggle alone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *