Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


A Sofa Full Of Memories

A New Sofa, A New Era!

Today, I’m getting a new sofa. My old one is twenty-two years old, sagging, food stained, crumb-filled, and most likely a bit smelly. But, oh my gosh, does that couch hold memories! I purchased it way back in l993—one year before I bought a sweet, little, black and white kitten who eventually died at the old age of twenty; two years before I discovered my teenage daughter was pregnant; three years before I took custody of my eldest grandson; six years before I had custody of my next two grandchildren born eleven months apart, and nine years before I was granted custody of my youngest granddaughter.

A sofa full of memories!

That sofa has seen a lot of activity—it’s been jumped on, screamed on, napped on, had food spilled on, climbed on, been vomited on, drawn on, watched tv from, and been timed-out on. It has had baby’s diapers changed on, Christmas and Birthday gifts opened on, and tears shed on (mostly mine).  It’s been dusted, vacuumed, and washed umpteen times. It’s been moved around rooms and moved to another house. But it’s now so uncomfortable that I had to slide a piece of wood under the cushions so I wouldn’t sink down to the floor when I sit. Even visitors avoid it.

So, it lies, a sorry sight, out in the yard waiting to be picked up by the garbage collectors. How sad it looks, as if it knows it is no longer welcome in our home. And sadly, it isn’t.

A sofa full of memories!

I can’t wait for my new sofa to arrive! It’s like waiting for the New Year’s Eve disco ball to drop in Times Square, because a new couch means a new era in life—hopefully a happy one. And, even though, my grandchildren will destroy it little by little, it too will embrace our memories as I continue to raise my grandchildren, write blog posts and books, and advocate for those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Its only consolation being, by the time it reaches twenty-two years of age, I will most likely not be around to replace it!

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Live Webinar on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This just in from

Hamilton FASD Parent & Caregiver Support Group!

Copied from the website:

Join Us for a Free Live Webinar: 
The Powerful Truths of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders 

This free webinar, hosted and moderated by Mike Berry of the popular site Confessions of a Parent: Hope and Humor From the Trenches, will feature:

  • Mike and Kristin Berry, co-founders of and parents of two children with FASD.
  • Dr. Ira J. Chasnoff, award-winning author and professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago.
  • Gabe Chasnoff, Director/Producer of the acclaimed documentary film: Moment to Moment: Teens Growing Up with FASDs.
  •  John and Nicole Goerges, parents raising two children with FASD.

Live Webinar on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Details: October 1st, 2015 at 5pm PT/8pm ET


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Event: Stoney Creek Author Festival

Memoir Reading at Stoney Creek Author Festival

To be seen at the event: Memoir Writers' Expo

Barbara Studham’s memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers

Event: Stoney Creek Author Festival

Please come out and support your local authors at the Local Author Festival

On Saturday October 3rd, 2015, I will be discussing, and reading from, my memoir:

Two Decades Of Diapers


Stoney Creek Local Author Festival.

Event: Stoney Creek Author Festival

Stoney Creek Library

777 Hwy #8, Stoney Creek, Hamilton ON, L8E 5J4

Saturday October 3rd, 2015

My Reading: 10:30 a.m.

Festival time: 10 – 3:00

Having spent twenty years raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I have a wealth of knowledge to share on this life-challenging mental illness, so please come to the festival to support me and other local authors.

Event: Stoney Creek Author Festival, Flyer

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A New Event: Memoir Writers’ Expo

I will be speaking at the following event!

To be seen at the event: Memoir Writers' Expo

Barbara Studham’s memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers

A New Event: Memoir Writers’ Expo hosted by Viga Boland

Where: Turner Park Library: 352, Rymal Road East, Hamilton, Ontario

When: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Time: 7:00 pm

A New Event: Memoir Writers’ Expo

Please come and hear me speak on my memoir: Two Decades of Diapers, describing my twenty years raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Also speaking will be, authors: Eva Marsh, Salvina Grice, and Richard Campbell, a recognized author and mentor for Memoir writers.

So if you are interested in hearing real life stories, or learning how to compile a memoir, then this event hosted by author, Viga Boland is essential. Also, if you enjoy discussing memoir or have tips to offer memoir writers, consider joining the group: Memoirabilia on Facebook, which is hosted by the author of four books, Viga Boland. Visit her websites at: and

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Upcoming Events, not to be missed!

New Events!

Upcoming Events, not to be missed! The following events were posted by Mark and Savanna, co-founders of Hamilton FASD Parent & Caregiver Support Group.

Their contact info:

Upcoming Events, not to be missed!

Fascets Canada – Demystifying FASD and other Neurobehavioural Conditions

Special 2 Day Training for Professionals and Caregivers!

  • When: February 29th and March 1st, 2016
  • Where: Carmen’s Banquet Centre,  1520 Stone Church Road, Hamilton
  • Time: 8:30am to 4:30pm
  • Cost: $260.00 for both days  ($150 for parents & caregivers)
  • (Registration cost includes continental breakfast and full lunches on both days)
  • Registration Closes: February 12, 2016

Please see for more information.

Upcoming Events, not to be missed!

There is an FASD Conference in Sault St. Marie on Tuesday October 27Thursday October 29, 2015

Cost: $50 for the conference, includes lunch and refreshment breaks.  Note: Limited bursaries may be available for parents of/ or individuals living with FASD as well as graduates of AEI program. Maximum bursary amount: $500/ family.
Keynotes include:
  • Dr. Edward Riley, FASD- An Update on Recent Research and New Developments
  • Dr. Sterling Clarren– New Canadian Guildelines for Screening and Diagnosis
  • Dr. Lori Vitale Cox– Medicine Wheel Toolkit
  • Myles Himmelreich– What to Expect During a Full Body Diagnosis

Workshops and Sessions Include:

  • Seeing Through the Eyes of your Heart- Rebecca Martel & Jean Tait
  • Parent Child Assistance Program From a Rural Perspective- Tracey Knowlton
  • Heart Work, Long Ours Quilt- Cindy Peltier & Alison Trantor
  • Healing our Hearts, Accommodating our People- Richard Willier
  • ‘Cause It’s Still Not My Fault: Applying Best Practices for Students with FASD in the Classroom- Allan Mountford
  • Living Outside the Box- Tina Andrews
  • How to Communicate a Diagnosis of FASD to Children and Youth- Dr. Brenda Stade
  • Let’s Set the Stage- Debbie Michaud & Rhonda Konrad
  • Panel Discussion – Savanna along with RJ Formanek (FB FLying with Broken Wings), James Gideon and Matt Sinclair.

For information on any of the above events, please contact Mark & Savanna at:

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One way to promote FASD Day!

Memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers at Eden Mills book fair.

Promoting FASD awareness. 

One way to promote FASD Day!

In my previous post: FASD Day, September 9th, I lamented the fact I had no time nor money to promote FASD Day. Now, I have thought of a way! And while the actual day is past, as a grandma raising grandchildren with FAS, every day is FASD day, so here is my promotion.

Eden Mills: Sunday September 13th, 2015, noon-6:00pm.

This Sunday, September 13th, from noon-6:00pm, I will be at Eden Mills Writers’ Festival book fair, offering my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers for sale. It describes the twenty years I spent raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. My memoir is written in three parts. Part One describes my adoption of a baby girl with FAS, Part Two expresses the difficulties and challenges I faced during the years raising her, plus her subsequent teenage pregnancies. Part Three focuses on how I became my grandchildren’s primary caregiver and the overwhelming trials I faced for the next two decades while raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

So, what’s the promotion, you ask. Well, my memoir in paperback format retails for $15.99, but on Sunday, September 13th, 2015, noon-6:00 pm only, I will be offering my printed memoir for only $5. This easy price gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, thereby promoting its awareness!

Yes, you read it correctly!

My memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers will be available for only $5 at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, September 13th 2015. So take advantage of this low price to buy a copy and become aware of FASD and the effect it reaps on families, and individuals.

See you there!

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FASD Day, September 9th

It is FASD Day on September 9th!

FASD Day, September 9th

September 9th each year is FASD Day to promote awareness of the disorder


September 9th of each year is FASD Day. Someone recently texted me to ask if I was doing anything special to promote awareness of FASD on this special day. To my shame, I could not generate one idea of how to highlight FASD, the most preventable form of mental illness. For twenty years, I have raised grandchildren with FASD, so I cope with the disorder on a daily basis, but to create an advocating event, for me, proved impossible due to time and financial limitations.

So, today, September 9th 2015,  I am relying on this blog to advocate for me. It’s where I post content about FASD. Although getting people to read it can be a struggle in itself. To give you an idea of that struggle, take note of what happened regarding my previous blog post.

As a blogger advocating for FASD, I naturally joined Facebook groups to find members who do the same. And, when my teenage granddaughter, who has FASD, offered to advocate for students with FASD through strategies for teachers, and allowed her strategies to be posted on this blog, I was ecstatic. Is this how it works?—I thought—one person raises, the next generation advocates? Perhaps my twenty years of overwhelming stress is finally paying off!

FASD Day, September 9th.

Excited over her contribution, I turned to one FASD advocating Facebook group that boasts over seventeen thousand members, to post a request for members to read my granddaughter’s strategies then offer her encouragement to continue advocating. Naturally, I hoped they would also “share” or “like” the post, but a supportive comment would have sufficed.

No, I didn’t expect seventeen thousand people to respond to my blog post, but one would have been nice. But the reaction was a disappointing zip! Last time I checked, there were two comments, not from members of the Facebook group, but from friends who care. Of course, I appreciate their supportive comments, but where are the advocates? Isn’t that what FASD day is all about—promoting and advocating? If not one in seventeen thousand advocates are interested in supporting a newbie advocate like my granddaughter who struggles daily with FASD, why would we expect people who know little to nothing about FASD to show interest in the topic?

This turning of backs by people on the front line needs to end. So, fearing I might become one of them, while it is too late this year, I promise to promote awareness of FASD on FASD Day, September 9th 2016! Please join me!

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