The growing body of knowledge about interventions and supports that promote success for people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) often overlooks sensory sensitivities, which can compound their other challenges. While most of us can unconsciously screen out the slight smell of a cleaning product or the faint hum of a computer, many people with FASD cannot. In this article, David Gerry answers some of your questions.
In recent years, over 40% of adoptions in B.C. have been completed by foster parents who adopt their foster children. To find out more about this unique path to building a family, we interviewed a mom who’s been there and done that--more than once!
Jane and her husband have been foster parents for more than a decade, and are also parents to twelve children (seven biological and five through adoption).
In School District 59, a ground-breaking program works with Aboriginal students, coach/mentor teachers, families, and communities to improve outcomes for Aboriginal students.
According to District Vice Principle Caron Jones, a coach/mentor teacher in each school guides a collaborative process that places Aboriginal student achievement at the forefront. The result has been increased successes in many areas including reading scores, course completion, and graduation rates, which rose from 45% to 62% over five years.
Open domestic adoptions, where the birth family and adoptive family get together regularly for visits with the child, are the norm in British Columbia. In between visits they stay in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messages. If this is what an open adoption looks like, how can openness be possible in an international adoption where time zones and geography create barriers and birth parents may be unknown?
Adoption across the Rockies
At any given time last year, there were about 5,300 children and youth in permanent government care in Alberta. In the same year, 449 of these children found a loving and permanent home. Alberta children are almost always placed with Alberta families in order to keep them connected to extended family, culture, community, and resources.
Sticks and stones
Remember that rhyme you learned as a child? “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Obviously words can’t cause physical harm, but I’ve learned they definitely can cause emotional pain, the kind you hold in your heart and wear on your sleeve. The kind that leaves scars that never really go away.
Lose your expectations
When Ethan came into our family, he was very angry. My family and friends wondered what he had to be angry about. All they could see was that he was part of a loving family. They thought he should be grateful. It was interesting to me that these usually empathetic folks couldn’t immediately see the loss suffered by this child. Before I could understand what was going on, I had to abandon my expectations of them--and of Ethan.
A passion for culture
June 2015 will mark the eighth annual Roots Celebration within Okanagan First Nation Territory, the land of the Syilx people. The event serves Indigenous children and youth in care by helping to instill in them a sense of pride, honour and respect for their identity and heritage. Organizers and participants represent many Nations and bring together the best of what they have to share over a weekend rich in Indigenous cultural experiences focused on children and youth.
Each year, around 550 children are adopted by BC families. There are probably children in your class who have joined their family through adoption. We have prepared this information to help you understand some of the issues that adoptees can face at school and how you can help them.
There are many good reasons to be sensitive to adoption in the classroom:
Adoption is only the beginning
In the spring of 2013, my husband and I completed our first adoption--a process that we found gruelling, confusing, and bewildering. We didn’t know much about the ins and outs of adoption through foster care when we asked if we could adopt our precious foster daughter, who had been with us since birth. We didn’t even know what “CCO” (continuing custody order) meant. All we knew was that we loved her and wanted her to be part of our family forever. When the adoption went through, we were over the moon, but it was only the beginning.