Why are we named The Change Starts Here Collaborative?

Nov 11, 2022

Why are we named The Change Starts Here Collaborative?
by Aubrey Page, Co-Founder
Well let’s start with who we are? We are a collaborative that supports individuals with brain-based disabilities and those who support them. We provide resources, courses, consultations, and support groups to meet the needs of this population.
We are The Change Start Here because we believe that change begins with us. It begins with us as a support person for an individual with a brain-based disability. We change. Not them. It begins with us as citizens, we change the world around us to better work for the disability population and don’t wait for change to come to us.
We are a Collaborative because collaborative is an adjective that describes an effort in which people work together. We are made up of parents and professionals who support individuals with brain-based disabilities. We are also made up of people who have brain-based disabilities. We...
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Speaking Truth in Love

Oct 15, 2021
by Shannon Iacobacci, Collaborator
Sometimes as foster parents we find ourselves in situations we don’t understand or know how to navigate. The hardest one…our own personal feelings. We’ve signed up to care for kids that have suffered some form of abuse or neglect from the very people that are supposed to love and care for them. Their safety was compromised, and we have volunteered to help heal their wounds the best we can. We pour out our love for them, provide for them, and hold them close through emotional roller coasters when they come. And then what?
The family visits arrive, court dates occur, and it seems as if our “mama bear” mode kicks in. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Am I feeling these feelings for my foster child and what they are going through, or because of my own selfish wants and needs?” It seems harsh to put it so directly, but we need to. We need to evaluate our own reasons for foster care. Are we...
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"All About Me" for My Kids

Aug 12, 2021
by Shannon Iacobacci, Collaborator 
Is it just me, or am I the only one feeling jittery about school starting back up this year? Maybe it’s post pandemic, maybe it’s the uncertainty that if I send my children back into school are they just going to shut it down again and we will be back to virtual learning, or maybe it’s just that my children are going into school and I’m nervous about how they will be treated because of their varying disabilities.
I don’t have the answers to all my jitters, I wish I did. Life sure would be a lot easier and relaxing, wouldn’t it? I started thinking, what I have been most concerned about? My child being understood. Understood by her teachers and her peers. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became as a parent about sending my children to school, and the more my children would feed off that anxiety of mine.
I decided to ease my anxiety and my children at the same time by...
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The 5 C's of Responding to an Escalation

Mar 09, 2021
by Shannon Iacobacci, Collaborator
I am often asked "What do you do when your child is having and emotional escalation or episode?" That is such a hard question to answer because each child is different, especially those with FASD, brain-based and neurobehavioral conditions. However, in my experience, there are a few things that I have come up with to help me with my own children. I must first remember that this is a brain issue, not a behavior issue. What I am seeing and experiencing is my child’s brain-based disability in action. That being said, first and foremost, safety is key. Keeping my child safe and those around her safe is THE most important thing, and we do what we need to do for safety first. 
I have come up with my own 5 C's to remind myself in the middle of an escalation:
  1. Stay Calm- This is THE HARDEST thing to do. When my child is turning over furniture, slamming doors, screaming, hitting, biting, throwing things, and everything in between,...
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A Cry Out

Nov 18, 2020
by Shannon Iacobacci, Collaborator

Have you ever just sat and held your little one with FASD after a major episode and just sobbed? Have you ever just laid by their bedside after it was all said and done and cried out to God to help you do this better? Well I just did…again. 

I have just spent the last 30 minutes crying my eyes out because I continue to see the challenges of this disability. I mean, I know it, I’ve seen it in others, but I am in the trenches more and more every day. It’s like my baby has snapped and things are getting worse. Here I am learning more about brain-based disability so that I can help others understand it, and advocate for children with this disability. Here I am being the “teacher” on what to do when this happens, and yet in the moment, when this is happening in my own real life, I get triggered too.

Why? Why can’t I just recognize it in the moment of daily life and just roll with it? Why am I finding...

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