Allison Pooley is the Program Director at the Asante Centre. She assists individuals, family members, and service providers in understanding the diagnostic process as well as the implications for providing integrated post-assessment supports and services. Allison has been involved in FASD prevention and intervention efforts for numerous years both in northern B.C. and the Lower Mainland, including work in early childhood education, the public school system, the criminal justice system, and adult support settings.
Drug and alcohol exposure
Brandan’s story – and mine
As the adoptive parent of 10 children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, I know how difficult it can be to access services and develop a support network for people with FASDs. I regularly give presentations about FASD to groups, using the story of my son Brandan’s life (with his full permission) to illustrate these difficulties. I’ll share a condensed version of his story in this article.
Your adopted child’s early life experiences may have caused a delay in their emotional development. Child and family counsellor and behaviourist, Carol Olafson, explains how paying attention to emotional development can help you and your child.
Emotional development is thought to be one of the most important factors in individuals being able to function well in the world. In fact, researchers have coined the term “emotional intelligence” to refer to how well a person uses both his or her cognitive and emotional development to succeed as adults.
Jan Radford is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years of experience working with children as a clinician, administrator, researcher and educator. She worked with substance-exposed infants and children for many years as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children and in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. In her recent “semi-retirement” she has returned to the Downtown Eastside to continue working with mothers and children whose lives are impacted by violence, substance misuse, mental illness and poverty.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) are classified under Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is a medical diagnosis for a birth defect syndrome caused by alcohol use during pregnancy. Alcohol is a “teratogen” that is toxic to the baby’s developing brain. Damage can occur in various regions of the brain, depending on which areas are developing at the time the alcohol is consumed.
In BC there are a host of services to help diagnose special needs and offer support to families. This guide explains where BC families can go to get help and what to do if it isn’t forthcoming.
Infants 0 - 6
Infant Development Program
Thoughts on the tricky business of understanding medical reports for children available for adoption, particularly from other countries.
Dr Julia Bledsoe could be described as a medical detective—she knows when something doesn’t sound or look right, what questions to ask, and how to find the answers.
The basics on FASD and some of the provincial services available to families for their kids with FASD
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is used to describe the problems resulting from alcohol use during pregnancy.
An honest account of the fun and frustration involved in growing up with twin brothers who both have FASD.
When I was in kindergarten, my parents adopted two-year-old twin brothers. They brought with them a double-dose of both love and of calamity.
In the 32nd of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily, Grant, and Lynn--finally has some hope after she connects with an FASD key worker.
I can’t believe it - she actually understands us. Why did I wait so long to contact her?