Angel Aspden Feature

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My name is Angel. I am 33 years of age and I actually didn't get my diagnoses until I was 27 years of age. So needless to say I was one of the ones who fell through the cracks. Going un-diagnosed meant I was not labelled "slow or special" but instead labelled lazy, rebellious, dumb or troubled. So with schooling I basically just kept getting passed along (to become the next teachers problem).
I actually remember for the majority of the time I was in the hall, office or suspended.

What I hated most was "shrinking" when it was time to pass our exams back one to be marked or when a teacher tried helping me to understand by showing me on the black/white board in front of the entire class. It was not long before I withdrew completely and ended up dropping out.

Within a short time after dropping out my life became the "typical life" of someone who had FASD...which was a drug addict, into crime/ in and out of prison, on and off conditions, one who simply was headed in the direction of destruction and or death. Suicide attempts and hopelessness to follow as I fought my way out of addiction. I still couldn't find purpose to life. I felt I just didn't fit in or belong. It was then I knew I needed help. I was clean and sober but battling all consuming thoughts of wanting to die thinking life was just not worth it. I thought it was rehab before I relapsed or it was a mental ward. Well the dream center then accepted me to come in the following A.M. so that's what I did. I got life cleaned up and in fact, this is where I came to surrender my life to Christ....I knew I couldn't do it on my own.

I have been on a journey since. I am now 10 years clean from the chemical addiction and life has changed completely.

Shortly after my life got cleaned up I had my mom reach out and tell me I got to get checked for FASD in which I did. It was then I was diagnosed ( like I said at the age 27). I shortly after reached out to community connections and began building. My life then started to really be focused around FASD. I became the consultant on the Alberta FASD Advisory Board and from there began doing public speeches and presentations around FASD. I today am well known for my voice, fight and determination.

I have went back and completed my schooling. Follow by getting my Early Childhood level one, teachers aid course, child psychology course along with many courses and training events in regards to children and trauma.

Today I currently am a kinship caregiver of 3 very precious beautiful children. I am a voice not only for FASD affected but also a voice for other children falling through the cracks still today. I am a trainer and a mentor and volunteer in countless areas. Most of all though I am a story that says with support, determination and love life can be changed. We can help change a life simply through compassion. Or being one who simply stops to listen. I can truly say I am only where I am today because of that " one person" along the way that would show genuine support and care. We were created to do life together I believe. In saying that I want to just thank everyone who helped me through love, compassion, patience, listening etc. Its because of you all I can be a voice and success today. An overcomer.