Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

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Diary of an Adoptive Mom #35

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 35th of our series, our mom finally receives a diagnosis for her daughter--and it’s not the one she’s expecting.

We just got the results from the assessment that was done on Lynn. I’m really conflicted about the information in that report.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #36

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the 36th of our series, our mom struggles with a teacher who has quite a different view of her daughter’s needs.

I stand corrected - kind of. After having the FASD key worker go over Lynn’s assessment report with me, I’m somewhat calmer.

Thank goodness she had the patience and knowledge to read through the report with unbiased eyes. She reassured me that the report doesn’t say Lynn does not have FASD; the report says that there is not sufficient information to give a definitive diagnosis.

Are you up to parenting a child with FASD?

Source: 
AFABC Supplement: FASD and Adoption

When I met Susan Bell* in her large, Surrey home, I was immediately struck by how ordered and tidy it seemed, especially considering it’s home to several teens. I had pictured a far more hectic, cluttered place.

Susan ushered me into her equally immaculate office, and we spoke for two hours about parenting kids with FASD. Susan, an adoptive parent, is direct, honest, and she doesn’t sugar-coat any aspect of this complicated issue.

Family is big to Sean Carlo

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Sean Carlo is father to 15 children with 11 of them still at home. How does he cope? One child at a time.

Sean Carlo and his wife Debbie started thinking about adoption some time after their fifth child, a daughter, was born. They often looked after four neighbor girls and found it too quiet and boring when the girls went home. They knew then that they’d like to have other children living in the home, but they didn’t want children to come and go--they wanted them to stay.

Journey to recovery

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

This powerful story was the keynote speech at Growing Together: a retreat for parents of persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in January 2010.

Hi, my name is Nicolas. First of all, I’d like to thank the organizers of this retreat for asking me here to share with you. I’d also like to thank and welcome all the parents and families for being here today.

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

Solutions in strengths

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Taking a child's strengths as the starting point to solving their problems, and involving family and community, can work wonders.

Chris Mundy sees his job as a combination of detective and anthropologist. After our interview, it’s easy to see why.

Grandmother struggles with parenting second time around

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.

Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.

FASD support group - a parenting lifeline

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

"Are we scaring you?" the facilitator asked me in a very concerned voice.

"Not at all," I lied.

My husband and I had recently brought home a sibling group of two, both of whom had been prentally exposed to alcohol and drugs. Despite all the reading and education we had done in advance, nothing prepared me for the reality of an FASD support group meeting.

Many of the parents were over 50 and most had adopted their kids when very little was known about FASD; some were parenting grandchildren who had been diagnosed with FASD.

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