Drug and alcohol exposure

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FASD: it’s not just the brain

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

New research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure impacts the entire body, not just the brain.

A whole-body disorder

For the past several decades, the widely held assumption in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) research has been that a fetus’s brain is by far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol exposure than any other part of its developing body.

FASD: It's not just the brain

Source: 
Focus on Adoption Magazine

New research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure impacts the entire body, not just the brain.

A whole-body disorder

For the past several decades, the widely held assumption in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) research has been that a fetus’s brain is by far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol exposure than any other part of its developing body.

Open hearts, open wounds

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My daughter Libby was born as I held her birth mother Carla’s hand, breathing with her through the agony of labour. When her daughter drew her first breath, Carla looked at me and said, “Congratulations on your new baby.” Then she asked me to cut the umbilical cord.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Imries

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Meet the Imrie family: Jody, a special education teacher and foster-turned-adoptive mom who lives in Vancouver; her daughter, Kristina (6); and her son, Krillen (7).

How did you get started as a foster parent?

From the time I was a teenager, I always knew I wanted to adopt children.  I just always felt that there were so many children in the world who needed a home, and I wanted to give one to some of them rather than bring more children into the world.  I didn’t feel a need for my children to be biologically related to me. 

Everyone has a story: Meet the Milners

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

As the eldest daughter in a family with 13 children, Rosaleen Milner knew all about life with many siblings. She also knew she wanted something different for her own future, something bold and adventurous. She wasn’t going to get married, and she definitely wasn’t having kids. That all changed when she met a handsome engineering student named Roger at Bible camp the summer she turned 15. A new vision started to take shape, one that would lead her on an overseas adventure, yes—but as that engineer’s wife, and the mother of their six children.

Finding my abilities

Source: 
Speak-Out Youth Newsletter #3

I grew up in care from the time I was two years old until I turned 18. I don't really remember a lot of my first foster home or much of my childhood. I was abused by my mom and ended up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was also diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

I do remember moving into my grandparents' house at the age of four. I lived there until I was 12. It was then that my disabilities began to show. I wasn't sure how to express myself or my feelings in a respectful and mature way, and it was getting hard for my grandparents to take care of me.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Clarkes

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The waves break on the shore. It’s summer on the west coast, and the Clarke family farm is in full bloom. Sara Clarke, 40, her husband Jack, 45, and their three kids, Taylor, 13, Anna, 7, and Hugo, 5,* wake up surrounded by fields of flowers ready to be cut and arranged for the busy wedding season. They live on 23 acres, four of which they dedicate to nut orchards, flowers, a vegetable garden, fruit trees, 50 laying hens, and barns. The rest of the property is natural forest.

Q&A: FASD and adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

Many doors, no master key

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

When emotional development is delayed

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

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