99 Days Around the World for FASD

mackiesworld99 Days! GO!(1)

Mackie and Furry are on a mission. A big job for a little boy and his best friend penguin. They are running around the world raising awareness about FASD. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders with their friends. From June 1 to September 9; that’s 99 days every year Mackie and Furry are busy rocking their Red Shoes.

Why Red Shoes? Learn more from my friends from Edmonton, Canada.

If you have noticed if you look in all the “It’s Mackie’s World” cartoons, Mackie is wearing Red Shoes. Mackie’s has FAS.  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because his birth mother drank alcohol while pregnant.

Learn more about FASD from our friends at the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Yes, Mackie and Furry have friends all over the whole big globe.  From right here in the United States of America and Canada to on the other side of the world to Austrailia, New Zealand, to South Africa and many friends in many countries in Europe like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, and Spain so far.

Mackie’s friend RJ Formanek started wearing Red Shoes to start a conversation about FASD five years ago.  Mackie has been ringing the bells since he was very tiny and joined RJ and his friend Jodee Kulp and ever since have been teaching about FASD in a big way.

This cartoon “It’s Mackie’s World” is our way to share Mackie’s adventures in cartoon form in an endearing and educating way.

Head on over to Red Shoes Rock and learn about FASD and follow us as we Educate, Advocate and raise awareness about FASD.

Go Mackie and Furry Go! An extraordinary little boy and his penguin are spreading the word in a mighty big way!

Mackie’s Trivia:  Did you know that one in twenty children may be affected by FASD, and that it is more common than children with Autism and most will never be diagnosed?




Ice Fishing Anyone?

itsmackiesworldString-StimmingMackie loves strings of all sorts.  Well, fishing poles cannot be left unattended!
Enough said.

Mackie’s Fact for the week:
Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movement of objects common in individuals with developmental disabilities, but most prevalent in people with autistic spectrum disorders.

Learn more about stimming in Autism, FASD and in other developmental disorders. 

Mackie’s Mom

What do you do if you are intolerant to Ice Cream? Mackie found a solution


When you cannot have dairy, nuts, dyes, gluten and you want ice cream, Mackie found a solution! Have you ever heard of mashed potato ice cream cones? Well Mackie loved his.

Kids with Fetal alcohol syndrome and other neurodevelopmental disorders often have food intolerances and those foods we love, have consequences for them triggering struggles with attention and behavior.

Mackie has food allergies and intolerances that make life challenging to keep him on track. Gluten-free, that is not a problem at our house as most of my family has celiac disease and I have been Gluten-free now for 35 years and raised my children without gluten in the house. Dairy free is more of a challenge, then add his intolerances with soy, proteins, and he reacts strongly to food dyes. Add in his peanut allergy and the fact we limit sugar as kids/adults with FASD crave sugar from their prenatal exposures to alcohol. Sugar addiction is real.

Taking off on Mackie’s Trivia thread: Did you know that many Red and other food dyes are banned in other parts of the world? And here in the US we feed it to our children without thinking. Recently Aldee Grocery Stores and other US manufacturers, restaurants are promoting dye free food products.

Did you know that even white foods or medications can contain blue dye? Marshmallows sometimes have blue dye, the same with some ice creams? I don’t get this!

Not only are food dyes in our foods but also medications. We have found dye-free over the counter medications but the pharmaceutical manufactures have not followed suit. We have to limit his antibiotics to ones that have no dye or his therapists, teachers and sisters will pay the price, but most of all Mackie. He will become over the top irritable and lose impulse control and do things he would never do normally. Mackie says “Dye turns me into a werewolf”. Be sick or in trouble from the medication? Not a good option.

Food labeling laws are wonderful and if I am not sure, we google the manufacturer and ask. Our pharmacists has been known to call to verify before giving Mackie medications. But the medications need the same level of labeling as are required of the food companies.

Mackie is no longer eating mashed potatoes ice cream and we have found coconut and almond alternatives. So far he only has a peanut allergy and not a nut allergy. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime there is science behind the fact Mackie reacts to food dyes. Check out the science and read this article. Banned in Europe, Safe in the US. and decide for yourself.

Mackie’s Mom

That Boy Looks Just Like Me

2.Mackies World Real Boy Adventures

Mackie’s cartoon character was drawn for the Red Shoes Rock campaign to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

One day I was working and Mackie noticed the cartoon Mackie and announced “Hey, that cartoon looks just like me.” Mackie meet cartoon Mackie and the idea for It’s Mackie’s World was born.

Creating an endearing cartoon that opens the hearts and minds to kids with neurodevelopmental dis-Abilities and who are medically complex.

Every Monday we will post a new It’s Mackie’s World cartoon and teaching post. Come back and check them out and giggle at our amazing boy and his sidekick Furry his Emotional Support Partner and their adventures.

Thank you for meeting Mackie!
Mackie’s Mom

Happy New Year


It’s a New Year and we are at long last launching It’s Mackie’s World. 2018 is the year of educating the world about the extraordinary Mackie and his challenges and gifts he brings.

Visit us on Monday’s for an new Adventure with Mackie at “It’s Mackie’s World”. Enjoy the laughter and learn lessons that he has taught us.

Mackie Trivia Challenge:
Did you know that there was another cartoon that was inspired by another little boy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

No peaking… do not read on before guessing.  It’s the rules according to Mackie.

Hank Ketcham, the creator of Dennis the Menace, modelled the cartoon character after his own son, who had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD which premiered Dennis made his first appearance in the funny pages on March 12, 1951.

Were you stumped? We often are. Mackie is full of trivia and he loves to play stump the grownup with his incredible library of questions.

Thinking about how we can educate about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and other disabilities we launched It’s Mackie’s World. Kids with disabilities are breaking through with the barriers on television, in advertising and it is time to follow in Hank Ketcham’s footsteps and make a new cartoon come to life.

It’s Mackie’s World is now live.

We hope you enjoy Mackie’s adventures!

Mackie’s Mom

Happy Holidays from Mackie


Mackie where did you come from?  He had been busy and off silently moving around in the house.  Mackie requires external supervision to do well.  He has been silent and out of sight. I was thinking what did he get into and where do I search to find out what he was up to and what kind of mess do I have to clean up.

Well…  he had quite an answer that I hadn’t planned on.  The concrete language of kids with neurodevelopmental disorders requires thinking on how you phrase things.  Well, I didn’t think this one through.  But the answer was enlightening anyway.

Yes Mackie, you are our gift.

For those who do not know Mackie’s story. Mackie was adopted from the foster care system and he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome plus two genetic disorders, has involuntary movement disorders and is medically complex.

Come back each Monday to see It’s Mackie’s World cartoons and share in Mackie’s adventures.

Happy Holidays from Mackie and our family to yours.

Mackie’s Mom

No Floaties


Mackie loved Lego Land. Becca and Mackie stood in the long line to ride the little boats in the lagoon for over an hour. Finally it was his turn and he announces “I cannot go on the water, I do not have my floaties.”

Lesson to Mom: When heading to the theme park, pack Mac’s floaties so he can do water rides.

Mackie’s is a rule guy. We cannot change the rules, once he has learned them. I am careful to not change the rule as it then is the new rule.

With water, he knows he has to wear his pool floats or life jacket in and on the water. But knowing this, we still do not trust that he will always remember as impulsivity is part of his disorders and he will then remember after the fact.