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]

Could Lecithin Supplements Help My Fetal Alcohol Effect Child

August 11th, 2008

Talk is all over the Fetal Alcohol Support Groups at Yahoogroups about the positive effects of Choline on the brain. It is especially powerful on the developing brain. The researchers say that when taking during pregnancy it builds an excess memory capacity that seems to endure throughout life. As far as its effects on the older child and adult brain, they say it seems to have the most effect on those tagged as slow learners. This led researcher to question whether the slow learning was actually the result of a Choline deficiency, which the supplement corrected. I don’t know about you, but I am definitely going to the health food store tomorrow to buy some Lecithin for my child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS. Why wouldn’t… [more]

Teaching Your Special Needs Child

August 5th, 2008

Whether you have decided to homeschool your special needs child, utilize public, or private school, you will still need to teach your child. Special needs children require much more practice and reminders to learn than “normal” children do. They take more time to complete their work. They need more assistance than other children do. What that means to the parent is, homework help all evening, every evening. Sometimes it means your child will cry with frustration. You will still be teaching your special needs child long after other children have begun to run their own lives and families. We all know that special needs children can learn. It is just so much harder for them to grasp concepts and to retain the information. Teaching our special… [more]

What is a Life Skills Portfolio

July 30th, 2008

When you have a child with special needs who attends public school, you usually negotiate an IEP for your student with the school. The IEP, Individual Education Plan, outlines the special services your child will receive during the school year. For example, some children go to another class for reading, math, and spelling. Some children receive speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy during the school day. Some children even have a one-on-one aid who goes through the school day helping a single student. There are children who have so much difficulty with typical education that the school focuses more on teaching these students life skills. Special education students require additional assistance from teachers and support staff to be successful in school. They may also require… [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]

Was It a Disservice to Homeschool My Adopted Daughter With FAS

July 23rd, 2008

Today I received the results of my teenage daughter’s achievement test from the public school. If you have been reading for the past few weeks then you already know about the IQ test results. If not, here is the link to read about my surprise at her new IQ despite having FAS. My daughter has been at homeschool with me for the past four years. I removed her from public school for several reasons. I felt they were not trying to challenge her; she was stealing, forging my name, and cheating as well. Previously my adopted daughter qualified for special education services because of a cognitive impairment. At public school, she was receiving speech therapy, occupational therapy, and went to a special education room for… [more]

Can You Help Your Special Needs Child Succeed at Summer Camp?

July 18th, 2008

Are you sending your special needs child off to a week of summer camp? It will be a week of fun and adventure for your child no doubt. It should be an enjoyable week for you, the parents, as well. You and possibly other family members get a well-needed break from your child’s constant special needs. Summer camp can be an inexpensive alternative to respite care. You don’t feel like you are punishing your child, or getting away from your child when summer camp is the destination. You can feel good about the situation all the way around. Are there ways you can help your special needs child succeed at summer camp? Does your child have trouble remembering to put on clean underwear, finding clothes that match… [more]

Can a Change of Medication Increase a FAS Child’s IQ

July 14th, 2008

In a recent post, I blogged about my surprise that my daughter’s IQ continues to increase despite the fact that she has FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.) A reader wrote an interesting comment about her child who is diagnosed with inattentive ADD. She said that their family psychiatrist told them to expect their child’s IQ to increase after she had been on medication for a while. While I had never heard this before it really could help to explain my daughter’s IQ increase. Momtomany wrote; “Actually, just the medication alone can help. Our psychiatrist told us that we could expect to see a jump in our child's IQ scores, once she was on medication for a while (inattentive ADD). We did-- about an increase of 10-12… [more]

Adopted Daughter’s IQ Score Continues to Increase Despite FAS

July 8th, 2008

Our daughter came to live with us just weeks before her fourth birthday. After nine months of doctors’ appointments and evaluations, her previous foster family finally called it quits. They did not feel competent to deal with her special needs nor a mentally retarded child. They adopted her two younger sisters a couple of years later. We had provided respite a couple of times so we already knew her. We knew she was cute and sweet albeit a bit on the wild side, but so are most of our children. Originally thought to have an IQ in the mildly retarded range it has continued to increase over the years despite her FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) diagnosis. She also has been diagnosed over the last several… [more]

Public High School for Learning Disabled Daughter or Homeschool

July 7th, 2008

Our daughter just finished the eighth grade, well sort of; she is making up three classes over summer school. She has been attending homeschool for the past four years. We didn’t feel that she was challenged enough in special education. That was part of our decision to homeschool our learning disabled daughter. However, she struggled with stealing, forgery, cheating, and lying at public school as well. I understand these are common problems among children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. However, now we are considering reintroducing her to public school for high school. Public school offers job training services, as well as transportation to various jobs, for learning disabled students. The schools make an active effort to train these students for independent living. I am feeling rather apprehensive… [more]