The Swiss Cheese Brain Effect and Cheesecake Emporium...(or how I learned to live with and accept FASD with RJ and Mustang Annie)
About
Mustang Annie is aka. Ann Kagarise. She has FASD and Autism. Don't let those diagnosis' fool you. Even though she has both, she has overcome a great deal. She was unable to do the basic requirements of  kingergarten. Having been diagnosed with failure to thrive and deaf and mute as an infant, she has turned this around and to be an advocate and voice for those on the spectrum. She blogs for Autisim Speaks and helps run the Cheesecake Emporium. She is the assistant director at IDEA House Educational Services. She teaches social studies and helps advocate for students with disabilities. She was told she would not graduate high school, but earned an undergrad degree in psychology and  masters degree in counseling.. Behaviors and connections are her specialties. She is also a phtographer.
Her photographs can be viewed and purchashed at Spectrum Photography. She does event photography, too. She was a news journalist for eight years and has a passion for capturing people's stories in word and in photo. She also has blogged for her LIving with FASD...and Autism. 
RJ Formanek was born to a single mother who gave him up at birth, but he was then taken in by his grandmother who raised him from birth. When mom married RJ was then adopted into the new family, but ended up back with his grandmother a few years later. Remaining there until the age of 14 he entered the foster system, however was removed from the system by emancipation at age 15. From that point, considered an adult he went through his life facing a number of personal challenges, not the least of which was non diagnosed FASD. Recieving a formal diagnosis of Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at the age of 47 put many things into perspective for RJ and lead to many changes. Currently as head administrator on Flying With Broken Wings and administrator in a number of other groups has given RJ a chance to reach out to others, especially others who also live with FASD. Education and support are the two key pillars of success RJ strives to get across to those who are on this journey in his writing and his videos. RJ writes, trains in person, speaks publicly, both in person and through videos and audio podcasts in an effort to further all who live with, or care for those who live with FASD.

RJ Formanek

Ann Kagarise


RJ is also the spokesperson for Red Shoes Rock - Stop FASD 

where we seek to make an impact and let the world know we are not invisible any longer. It is our way of showing the world that with proper supports and educations we CAN change the world, one step at a time. In Red Shoes, of course.
Red Shoes Rock. Stop FASD.
 
RJ runs the facebook page Flying with Broken Wings. It has over 2000 members. This is where RJ and Ann met over three years ago. Ann is an admin on the facebook page. It is a place where caregivers and fasders help each other. They talk about anything and everything FASD. It is a closed group. Just ask to join. 
The Swiss Cheese Brain Effect and Cheesecake Emporium (or How I learned to live with accept with RJ and Mustang Annie is our facebook page. Feel free to join and add to the comments on this page.

Living with FASD and...Autism.

Ann has been writing off and on for blogs for the last five years on living on the Spectrum. She has taken an approach from living with both FASD and Autism; however, they are very much the same. Dealing with Sensory and other issues are covered in this blog. Living as an adult with FASD is written through this blog. LIVING with FASD and Autism  is the only option. Thriving and succeeding is the only way to make it...day by day. Obstacles are there. Struggles are there. Realness is there. But we can do it. 
Ann Kagarise runs a photography business for those on the Spectrum. Autism and FASD alike. A phography studio is in her dreams to help those on the spectrum to learn to run a business. Spectrum Photography i s dedicated to those with FASD and Autism.  Looking throug eyes of someone on the Spectrum gives you a different perspective. 
I DEA House Educational Services is owned and operated by Angi Shumate who is a behavior interventionist genius. Her gifts in reaching students and adults with disabilities and RAD is something to be modeled. IDEA House is a model program for schools dealing with kids on the spectrum, FASD and Autism. She is Ann's boss and has tremendously helped her get where she is as an adult. She is a contributor to our show.