Welcome to the tenth episode of "FASD Informed", sponsored and produced by the North Carolina nonprofit organization, NCFASD Informed. This interview is titled "FASD, Skilled Trades and Work Experiences". Podcast Host, Natalie Vecchione, interviews Cindy LaJoy, who is the founder of Blue Collar Homeschool. Cindy and her husband live in Colorado with their five young adult children, all of whom were adopted from orphanages in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Three of her children have a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Cindy has homeschooled all five of her children for the past eleven years. Passionate about those who need other avenues in life to achieve success in adulthood, Cindy created "Blue Collar Homeschool", which is an 8,000 member Facebook group and website where homeschool families can find encouragement for learners who are not headed down the traditional college path. As a part of their journey, Cindy led her children through an exciting, year long adventure of creating "Buckaroos Slices and Scoops", a pizza and ice cream restaurant they developed and built by themselves, and which her young adult children run autonomously, with occasional mentoring from mom and dad.
Topics included in this episode include:
- Cindy and her husband's journey in building their family through international adoption, learning about FASD and their decision to homeschool their children.
- What led Cindy to create "Blue Collar Homeschool".
- Why skilled trades / creative arts / work experiences are SO important to our kids/teens/young adults with an FASD (or other brain based diagnoses).
- How parents need to create opportunities, mentor their children and focus on what CAN be done (not what can't) for the future.
- Ways to help kids/teens/adults with an FASD learn their passion or gifts by paying attention to their interests, exposing them to a variety of "real life work experiences".
- Why it is SO vital for any expectations to be developmentally appropriate...and the importance of brain based parenting.
- Shifting the mindset to think about SKILLS and RELATIONSHIP FIRST.
Cindy LaJoy, Blue Collar Homeschool (group on Facebook)
Buckaroos Slices and Scoops Restaurant-
Podcast Host- Natalie Vecchione