Adopting a Child Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

November 21st, 2012

1319861_children_crossingFetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to describe a range of effects that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol in the pregnancy. FASD occurs in all economic, racial and religious groups around the world. Not all individuals prenatally exposed to alcohol are necessarily affected. Yet, many have physical, learning, and/or sensory challenges that result in behavioral issues. Although similarities exist, no two individuals are affected the exact same way. It is considered a whole body disorder. It is a lifelong medical diagnosis that the child will not grow out of. Although there is much in the media describing isolated tragedies of living with FASD, there are also many, many stories of hope and success. There are over… [more]

Once Your Child Starts School Does it Matter How the LD Began

July 27th, 2008

There are special clinics that a parent can take an adopted or foster child to for a Fetal Alcohol evaluation. It takes at least all day and sometimes more than one day for a complete evaluation. This very thorough investigation may include brain images as well as physical and developmental evaluations. The results should conclude whether your child was subjected to alcohol exposure during those critical forming months in the uterus. Many people who have adopted older children have their children evaluated at these clinics. However, I have to wonder, once your child starts school does it really matter how the LD began or what caused it? Once your child has a learning disability (LD) the public school offers services. These services may include special… [more]

Can Children With Fetal Alcohol Understand Themselves

June 27th, 2008

A wise friend, Rachel, and I were chatting about our daughters. Both 14-year-old teenagers, both adopted as young children, not infants, both exposed to alcohol before birth. A combination of the Fetal Alcohol exposure, poor early parenting, and possibly genetics has left our daughters challenged. They are challenged academically, developmentally, and socially. That seems to be very common with children like ours. Rachel pointed out that most teenagers are thinking about the direction they will take in life. Most teenagers spend more time with friends and try to act or operate like adults wanting to understand the world by themselves. We both realize Rachel pointed out, that the world is a complex place that demands flexibility and quick judgments by those who desire success. Either… [more]

Does Your Adopted Infant Have Fetal Alcohol Effect? Blinking Eyes May Tell

February 12th, 2008

Does your adopted child have difficulty in school, with relationships, and processing information? Have you ever wondered if your child may have been exposed to alcohol while in utero, but thought there was no way to ever know for sure? Some children have facial features that indicate fetal alcohol exposure. Some of these indicating features are small eyes, low-set ears, or lack of a groove between the upper lip and nose to name a few. For children without these features we could only guess about fetal alcohol effect if we did not have contact with birth family. Now Researchers have identified a test, “Eye Blink Conditioning” (EBC), which identifies subcortical deficits that are specifically affected by prenatal alcohol exposure. Study first author, Sandra W. Jacobson, a professor… [more]

Consequences – Surprise! Living With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

September 28th, 2007

My friend Rachel had the following observation about her daughter’s reaction to consequences during one of my recent posts. I wanted to share it with you because she offers insight into the mixed processing of children with fetal alcohol syndrome. She also shares the frustration that so many of us feel while parenting our children with fetal alcohol syndrome when they don’t seem to learn anything from their experiences. “Things just happen to her (surprise!!) and then she is happy or unhappy. That is the way she experiences life anyway, so why stress myself out with turning it into a "learning moment?" Nothing seems to be learned anyway, except by me. I usually learn (again) that she does not respond to consequences.” Logically, I… [more]

Self-Regulating – Living with FAS

May 14th, 2007

tempertantrumOne of my readers commented on one of my blogs that my teenage daughter with FAS might be having trouble with self- regulating. She felt it would explain why my daughter is only able to control herself while I am at home. When I leave, even for brief periods, she inevitably gives the person in charge a difficult time; she sneaks, lies, abuses her assumed authority, and destroys property; for several years, my own mother wouldn’t baby-sit for her. The suggestion that she couldn’t behave because she is unable to regulate herself intrigued me, so I decided that I should do some research and then blog on it. The brain constantly senses and responds to what the body needs by monitoring internal systems like… [more]

What is FAS or FAE

February 26th, 2007

fasIn some ways I feel sorrier for the children that only have FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effect) as opposed to those that have FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.) Why would I say something so strange? Think about it for a minute, if your child has FAS, anybody can look at your child and tell that something isn’t quite right. If a child looks somewhat abnormal, people tend to lower their expectation for that child. That in turn can make life somewhat easier for the affected child and the parents of the child. However, a child who has FAE tends to look completely normal. Therefore people who come into contact with the FAE child tend to have normal expectations for the capability of… [more]