Announcing the Me and My FASD Break it Down Board

Board and cards

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For immediate release

30 March 2021 (London) –  The National Organisation for FASD is pleased to launch an all-new resource to help young people with FASD break down situations, explore strategies that help and focus on their strengths. 

The Break it Down Board was developed at the urging of Susan McGrail, a member of our Experts Committee and a leader of FASD Greater Manchester (a sister organisation in the FASD UK Alliance). Susan came up with the idea after her son came home from school and had a meltdown after a particularly hard day. She wished she had a visual board to help her son walk through the incident and explore how things could be different next time.

She discussed the need for such a product with Neale Hayward-Shott of OurBoards, a company that focuses on visuals for people with neurodiversities. Together they approached National FASD to collaborate on the project. 

The idea for the Break it Down Board came from me trying to understand when something had happened when I wasn't with my son. I think visuals are brilliant because they really, really help.

Susan, Mum to a young person with FASD and leader, FASD Greater Manchester

The name for the board came from Nyrene Cox, a member of our Adults and Young Adults with FASD Advisory Committee. She often urges people to “break it down” for her, when she is trying to learn new things or think through situations. Nyrene was thrilled to know her strategy has inspired a visual tool like this can help so many others.

I will always say, 'can you break that down?' and it will have to be broken down to where I would understand it. It's been a big thing in our household.

Nyrene, Member, Adults/Young Adults with FASD Advisory Committee

OurBoards is a company founded and run by a dad of a neurodiverse woman. It creates many types of visual boards. This was their first specific for those with FASD.

Sandra Butcher, Chief Executive of National FASD said, “The team involved in creating this board has been exceptional. We love that it grew out of ideas shared by people with lived experience and we are especially appreciative of the collaboration with OurBoards. They were a sponsor of National FASD’s last Brain Base and have been supportive our organisation in many ways. We were impressed at how quickly they scaled up once we had the talented artwork done by James Craker of www.crackerjac.com. Everything about this project has been exciting and a joy. We hope it helps people with FASD break down good times, to see why they worked and also to think through the not-so-good times to see if things can change moving forward once they have some new strategies in place, based on their strengths.”

OurBoards is delighted and privileged to have been able to be part of the project to bring the "Break it Down" boards to life. I'm convinced that they will be a real help and support for people who want to understand their own FASD and start to manage their thoughts and feelings. The "Break it Down boards, with the packs of cards, will help more people more cost effectively than therapy alone ever could. Congratulations to the team at National FASD for instigating this project and I would encourage every council and health authority in the country to get behind National FASD and provide these simple, easy to use, cost effective resources to every relevant family in your area.

Neale, Founder of OurBoards

This board is created as part of National FASD’s partnership with Seashell, funded by the Department of Health and Social Care.

It’s part of a new Me and My FASD Toolkit that is the basis for our 3-day training for practitioners to help them work with young people with FASD to help them understand and own the diagnosis.

It was developed with input from our experts committee and the Adults and Young Adults with FASD Advisory Committee. 

More information about the Break it Down board is here, including printable PDFs. It can be ordered by those in the UK from here.

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