Circle of Support for Teens and Adults
with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
The acronym COSTA stands for Circle of Support for Teens and Adults. Club COSTA is a group in Southern Arizona made up of self-advocates who have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and their support persons. Most teens and adults with FASDs need support persons, who might be parents or guardians or mentors, who help guide them through life. The group is an outgrowth of the Fetal Alcohol Resource Center, part of the Division of Developmental Disabilities in Southern Arizona. Teresa Kellerman, director of the Center, is a member of The Arc and is a certified trainer with the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence.
The idea of a self-advocates group for young adults with FASD began with the formation of SAFA – Self Advocates with FASD in Action, a national group started with a partnership between The Arc and the SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence about a year ago. Teresa Kellerman and her son John have been integrally involved with the SAFA project from the beginning. John is one of ten self-advocates who were invited to national organizational meetings. The Kellermans had been thinking about starting a local support group for youth and adults with FASD to help them learn about their disability and to guide them and their families in finding needed services and support. The SAFA project motivated the Kellermans to follow through with their dream to start a local self-advocates group.
Healthy Peer2Peer support = success
What do we mean by success?
- Finishing school, getting a degree
- Finding a job, and keeping it, doing something we enjoy
- Becoming as independent as possible in a safe environment that will ensure continued success
What do we mean by falling into the cracks?
- Running away, living on the streets, with the “wrong” crowd
- Getting arrested, going to jail or prison, losing independence
- Getting fired from a job, evicted from a home, not being able to be self-supporting.
We want to avoid...
- Depression and suicide attempts
- Dropping out or getting kicked out of school
- Getting in trouble with the law
- Inappropriate sexual behaviors
- Substance abuse
- Ending up in an institution (prison, mental health facility)
Get together with other adults who have hidden differences from prenatal alcohol exposure and create your CLUB COSTA.