DATE:  Saturday March 2, 2024   8:00am-4:30pm

Hybrid event …. 

              Live (IN PERSON) event –  $50
               * includes full day, continental breakfast, lunch, snacks and beverages,
                  materials and free parking.
                  Location:  Burlington Holiday Inn – (3063 South Service Rd.,Burlington 
                  LINK for MAP

          or Webinar / Virtual event – $10  (for individuals not able to attend in person) 



  • Living with FASD – Candid Table Talk (FASD Round Table) 
  • Ask the psychiatrist: FASD Best Practices in Mental Health
  • Team LOVE – Building Bridges
  • Understanding Experiences, Strengths, and Needs of Youth with FASD in the Criminal Legal System
  • Microboards focus on self-determination, empowerment and supports 

Conference Summary: This (long awaited) LIVE and VIRTUAL event will provide “real life experience” information on FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and the importance of Connection to not only provide helpful strategies and methods to enhance support for individuals living with FASD, but to enable them to achieve their full potential.   

Event flyer: FLYER LINK -> 2024 FASD Conference Flyer

Speaker Sessions:

Team Love – Building Bridges 

Darlene D is a Registered Early Childhood Educator and part time professor at a local College in the ECE program.  Darlene will be providing a Team LOVE Building Bridges will share creative ways to connect and create relationships based on hope and understanding




Justin                    Jen                      Savanna              Tracy

Living with FASD – Candid Table Talk (FASD Round Table) 

Justin, Jennifer and Savanna will answer your questions and openly share their life experiences with FASD, connection and what made a difference in their lives…. Tracy will provide a parent’s perspective!  The panel will be chaired by Darlene D.  You won’t want to miss this session!!

 Understanding Experiences, Strengths, and Needs of Youth with FASD in the Criminal Legal System


Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan    Chantel Ritter

Session description: This session will provide an overview of the experiences and needs of youth with FASD who come into contact with the legal system, as well as caregiver perspectives on strengths and protective factors that can be bolstered to support healthy outcomes. 

Bio: Dr. Kaitlyn McLachlan is an Associate Professor in the CPA-accredited Clinical Psychology program at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and a member in good standing of both the College of Psychologists of Ontario and British Columbia (out of province status). The overall focus of Dr. McLachlan’s research seeks to improve outcomes for vulnerable individuals, including those with neurodevelopmental disabilities and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), as well as a specific focus on justice-involved individuals, across the lifespan. Dr. McLachlan is the current Research Lead for Justice with the Canada FASD Research Network, and her scholarly activities focus developing and translating evidence to inform effective policy responses in the criminal justice system and more broadly.

Bio: Chantel Ritter is a PhD student in the PLAN lab, who completed her Master of Science in School and Applied Child Psychology at the University of Calgary. Chantel’s research interests include the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents with neurodevelopmental disorders, with particular focus in the criminal justice system context. Chantel is passionate about research and clinical practice with children and youth that have experienced trauma, and/or have neurodevelopmental disorders, and complex forensic or mental health or needs. Chantel is currently completing her clinical psychology residency at Reach Out Centre for Kids. 

Ask the psychiatrist: FASD Best Practices in Mental Health

In this session, Alex will share some of his experiences in working with young people and their families in assessing/diagnosing FASD. He will also discuss ongoing management and treatment by addressing both the strengths and challenges that come with FASD. This will be an interactive session with plenty of time for Q&A.

Bio: Dr. Alex Drossos is an Assistant Professor at McMaster University, and a Child Psychiatrist at McMaster Children’s Hospital and for the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut. Alex has specialized training and expertise in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, with a focus on the mental health aspects of FASD. He is also passionate about Inuit and more broadly Indigenous mental health, as well as virtual care and the use of other technologies in psychiatry and mental health.  

Microboards focus on self-determination, empowerment and supports


Karen Bell        Kathleen Gifford

Session Description:  Learn about how Microboards focus on the person’s self-determination, empowerment, and supports planning using a person-directed approach

Bio:  Karen Bell, Executive Director, Microboards of Ontario, has over twenty years’ experience in progressive positions in the developmental services sector. She has an extensive background in communications, government relations, and strategic and operational planning. She has worked at both local and provincial levels, chairing committees on communications and marketing across the DS sector and supporting one-voice advocacy initiatives. Karen is currently chair of the Provincial Network’s DS Workforce Initiative’s Communications Task Group.

Bio:  Kathleen Gifford, Parent & Board Member of Microboards has first hand experience and values the impact and opportunities that come with establishing an entity of a Microboard; Kathleen and her husband, Terry are proud parents of their wonderful adult children Shannon, Randi and David, who has had a Microboard since 2018.  Kathleen is also a former Independent Facilitator; she is currently on the board of Microboards Ontario and Ingersoll Support Services. Kathleen believes that the vision and values of Microboards Ontario align beautifully with what many parents and families have been seeking as a path of support not only for, but with their loved one who lives with a disability.


** We wish to gratefully acknowledge the tremendous support of The Ontario Caregiver Organization and Health Nexus for providing funding for the event!