Jacob's Story a play about the challenges of living with FASD premiers live & online Nov. 7

November 5, 2013

Kingston, Ontario - The story of Jacob - and the terrible, awful, no good, very bad thing that happens to some kids will premier Nov 7 at  Kingston FASD Action Network's one day event, "FASD - A Brighter Future?"

Rendered as a play performed by local actors, "Jacob's Story" follows the life of Jacob, a little boy with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Although Jacob is a character in the play, he represents many because the issues he faces are the issues that confront every child, adolescent, and adult living with FASD.

NeuroDevNet's FASD Research Group has supported and participated in the development and mounting of the play and its first production, as part of an information-rich community offering targeting health, social service and education professionals, parents,caregivers and people living with FASD. Ongwanada -  Community Networks of Specialized Care Eastern Ontario will webcast the performance, accessible via instructions attached below.

The goal of Jacob's Story is to take the audience on the emotional "roller coaster" ride that kids and their families face. It is intended to help educators understand the whole picture and the extent of the heartache FASD creates in the lives of the children they are intended to help. It also has at its centre the hope to bring the "data and research" to life and give the numbers a face.

About the Play
In the prologue, Jacob introduces himself and closes with the statement, "I'm broken on the inside...in my brain...but people can't see that part so they usually don't like me. And don't want to help." This is the central theme of the piece...how important it is for all those in the life of someone with FASD to understand this invisible disability.
We are introduced to Jacob's parents, whose relationship is failing because of the challenges of parenting a child with FASD. We are introduced to Jacob's teacher and administrators in the school system who don't understand the nature of FASD as a physical disability. We see Jacob's mom and in her despair as she struggles in vain to get the help she needs. We meet one of Jacob's teachers who does "get it" and see the glimmer of hope for redemption when an individual just cares. Finally we see Jacob as he is confronted by the Criminal Justice System, which acknowledges that it is unprepared to deal with his disorder as it conflicts with the rules of society.

Ongwanada, a non-profit organisation that supports individuals with developmental disabilities, is supporting the webcast together with the Kingston FASD Action Networkin hopes of reaching a larger audience and increasing community awareness about FASD. "The theatrical performance of Jacob's Story is an unique and moving way to increase understanding from the perspective of an individual with FASD," says Rachel Brace, who works at Ongwananda.

English Instructions for accessing the webcast of Jacob's Story - 9:00-10:30 a.m. EST
French Instructions for accessing the webcast
Title page with graphic