If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.
We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.
Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.
By: Lisa Friesenhahn
My family just returned from a trip to Disney World.
We had a great time although I do need a vacation from my vacation.
We wore matching shirts the entire time, both for solidarity and to keep track of those who strayed from the flock i.e. we have those who wander/run away! Having those shirts was both a blessing and a curse. When we had someone stray, they were able to spot us quickly or we were able to find each other quickly. The curse, when my kids were acting out, I couldn’t act like I didn’t know them since it was obvious they belonged in my group!
We did an extended trip this time so that we could have ‘down/relaxation’ days alternating with ‘park’ days. It was a good option. However, 27 days of togetherness out-of-state can wear on anyone’s nerves, especially parents with children who have, how shall I say it nicely, um, behavior issues. Yes, they were boisterous, rowdy, inappropriate, aggressive, whiney, grumpy, happy, sleepy, dopey……now it’s starting to sound like the 7 dwarfs, but you get the idea. Holding a calm, peaceful, fun-loving attitude 24/7 was a feat I’m not sure even Mother Teresa could have done while tending to my children, although she is much closer to sainthood than I ever will be! I could have used a Mary Poppins on many occasions and never getting a break was also a bit exhausting.
There was heat, humidity, and crowds as one would expect in peak season in FL at the theme parks but the saving grace was what Disney calls the “Guest Assistance Card.”
It allows people with special needs of all kinds, not just physical but includes mental/behavioral as well, to enter an alternative entrance. Generally, this meant a shorter wait through their Fastpass line. This was a lifesaver. Had we not had this card, we would not have been able to handle nor enjoy what Disney has to offer.
As we showed our card to enter the line, Disney cast members (employees) treated us with respect and did what they could to accommodate us. I felt guilty at first thinking about those waiting in the longer lines while we went through more quickly but as my children misbehaved or melted down in the ‘short’ line, I realized I was making Disney doable for my child and making life easier on those around me by NOT having my child in a long line forever, making it miserable for others. As a parent with children who have special needs, I rarely ask for help or extra favors but as time has gone on, I have realized that this is not the route to take. If asking for help means a better day for my child, myself, and those around me, it makes sense to do just that…ask for help!
Would I go to Disney or any theme park again after all the drama? You bet. And, you know what else? I’ll ask for help by getting that card or any special assistance I need for my ‘special’ family to make the experience that much more magical for ALL involved.