Sharing my own thoughts. As I learned my sib set had FASD, I often thought of the kids biological Mom. She had developmental challenges of her own, she came from a family where dad was an alcoholic, she was young, rebellious and schools had failed her. With six children, living in poverty, addiction, little ability to care for herself, little self esteem she became fixated on an abusive relationship. Could she help herself, probably not. She fits the profile of someone with FASD and she couldn't provide for her children, couldn't parent them and couldn't understand that she wasn't. Her limited insight on her psychological profile shows that. I have had periods of anger, but not at biological Mom, but at the system who time after time closed the file and ignored numerous red flags to help them. Kids shouldn't eat grass, shouldn't be diapered in maxi pads and plastic bags, 8 year olds shouldn't have to parent babies and feed them sugar water from the condiments section at Burger King. Kids shouldn't have to experience the horror stories of what my children faced. But also their Mom deserved to not be expected to handle all this on her own, she couldn't even handle her own day to day needs, much less her reproductive health.
My little guy's biological Mom walked away from social services after they took her son away. She had lost two other children in two other states, she has developmental delay, an undiagnosed genetic disorder, child of an alcoholic, bio dad wanted to help little guy, but he had been raised in the foster care system since the age of 10, child of an alcoholic and finally decided his child needed more than he could offer and walked away.
What I realize for my children who came from the system, their parents mental health needs, their stories, their prenatal exposures, their poverty and the multitude of issues they couldn't do it and thus the services had to intervene.
My daughter once asked me if I am angry at her bio Mom, I told her no, she had her own illnesses and challenges and if it was not for her... they would not be in my life.
My husband and I took my middle son to meet his mother and I finally after 16 years met the woman who gave birth to my children. It took but 5 seconds to realize that she had developmental issues, I could see the look in her eyes of the sadness in seeing them and the joy to be reunited. But my son found that she thought everything is all better now that he is back and like nothing ever happened. She could not understand her circumstances and how any of it affected them. It is just how her brain works and her challenges prevented her from parenting. I had to help my son come to terms with his bio Mom and help him understand her compassionately.
After entering the FASD realm I realized that my own brother may have been affected by prenatal alcohol exposure back many years ago. Back in the 1970's my mother was given alcohol IV's to stop her premature labor at 5 months. He would have learning challenges and we helped intervene with his dyslexia by
It has now been 18 years since we brought our children into our lives, I have learned one thing... Anger doesn't change anything. It only hurts.
I have had to forgive the system for failing my children, I have to stop being angry at Alcohol and addiction. But I do not have to like it. But turn my anger and sadness into something positive.
I am not a productive parent if angry. My kid's little PTSD radars sense it and their healing and stability depends on me being the best mom that I can be. I can be honest, sad and answer them with honesty, but blame is never productive.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Resource: Professionals Without Parachutes: Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Having resources to share with our schools and professionals who work with our kids is a must.
Here is a great resource to pass on.
Professionals Without Parachutes: Supporting Students with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
"A key to supporting students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is having a good understanding of FASD and how individuals with FASD are impacted. This resource provides an explanation of FASD, its impact on the brain as well as explores behavioural patterns in students with FASD. Strategies for designing classroom instruction and routines to support students with FASD are also highlighted. The resource was developed by Dr. Jacqueline Pei and her colleagues, Stephanie Hayes and Alethea Heudes."
Pass this on to help train those who work with our kids.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Confabulation is a term that is very common in the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum World and when we find out about it, it is only by living it and sometimes finding out the hard way. Our kids filling in the gaps, pleasing the question asking professional and sometimes the harm it can do is often harmful and traumatic.
Confabulation: An Introduction for Psychologists
An important bookmark worthy resource to explain proactively to those who will be in the position of having to talk to our kids and for those who find themselves the hard way of learning, to give to our lawyers when the Child Protective and well meaning professionals have believed our children's faulty memory and realities.