Videos and testimonies

Testimony:Joseph Munn

Joseph is an 18-year-old grade 12 student who was recently diagnosed with FASD. He is an amazing and talented young man with many interests. He is friendly, funny, helpful, kind, compassionate, athletic and musical. Since he was young, he has always loved being on the go physically and being outdoors on his bike or climbing trees.

Joseph spent several years in Cubs, Scouts and Army Cadets. These were all very structured programs based on consistency, team work, and life and survival skills, and through participating in these programs, Joseph grew and thrived. Unfortunately, the course curriculum changed for these programs as Joseph aged through the clubs. The expectation was that there be more self-initiative, more self-direction and more independence and leaders started stepping back.

FASD creates a struggle for people to be self-motivated, self-directed, independently engaged, consistent and accountable and have positive self-esteem. His father and I were unaware of the magnitude of these issues as Joseph was that happy, funny kid who was doing fair in school and had a girlfriend and friends who appreciated him. As time went on, however, we started noticing changes. Interest started to fade and bullying became common for Joseph. He was not wanting to participate in his programs, he and his girlfriend broke up, and the school contacted us with concerns about Joseph’s safety.

Joseph, like many kids and young adults, became depressed and didn’t understand what that meant. Joseph’s anxiety increased and his safety was at risk as he became suicidal. At the point, my husband and I acted quickly to initiate a system for Joseph that would be able to support him the best way we could.

Joseph was put into horseback riding and pole sport. These sports are both very different but served very important purposes. Horseback riding was used to help with how his emotions and behaviours affect others, as horses are very sensitive to their rider. Confidence is key to get your horse to trust that you are going to keep them safe while riding. Pole sport also requires confidence and allowed Joseph to be physically active again.

Joseph became passionate about pole sport and pole art after Coach Ashley Wiggins from Brass Monkey Aerial Studio (a POSA Certified International Master Trainer) approached him and invited him to a CPSAF (Canadian Pole Sports and Arts Federation) summer training camp. Joseph accepted this opportunity and has not looked back. He met a group of amazing people who appreciated and accepted him. They praised his natural talents but also stressed the importance of safety and proper training.

After this event, Joseph was encouraged to attend other classes (offered by other CPSAF certified coaches), holiday parties and fundraising events and had the opportunity to compete in the National CPSAF competition in Fredericton where competitors came from all over Canada and abroad to quality for the POSA Worlds Championships. CPSAF President and Coach Ashley Wiggins and CPSAF Coach Nhu Trieu felt Joseph had the potential – with discipline, dedication and willingness to be trained – to compete and quality for the POSA Pole Art World Championships in Fredericton NB on June 5-6, 2020. Joseph accepted the challenge! After only four months of practising and training three or four days a week and two or three hours a day, Joseph delivered an awesome performance at Nationals and earned a bronze podium finish that qualified him for Worlds. There will be over 30 countries and 300+ athletes in attendance at this event.

The level of confidence, maturity and responsibility that Joseph has developed has been wonderful. He is appreciated and supported by all the members of his home studio, Brass Monkey Aerial Studio. He was applauded by his fellow competitors as well as praised for his kindness, sportsmanship and encouragement. His self-esteem has grown by leaps and bounds. This newfound support system and confidence has spilled over into his life skills and education. He is managing his own school work with some supports, recently obtained his learners driver’s licence, and is expected to graduate in June of this year.


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Accessing services to address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can sometimes be difficult and a bit scary.

This video was created to give you a sense of our holistic approach to health care services and to help you make the best-informed decision for you, your child, and your family.

The NB FASD Centre of Excellence takes great pride in providing a safe, kind, caring, and empathetic environment for all their clients and families.

We worked very hard in creating a safe and compassionate space for individuals and families to share their unique stories and experiences in order to move towards a place of hope and healing.

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The FASD Dream Catcher service delivery model places the child and the family in the centre of the healing journey.


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