Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


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Mental Health LInks

Mental health links from The Prevention Coalition

FASD 2016

FASD 2016. Speak Up, and make this year the last year for FASD.

I was recently contacted by The Prevention Coalition with suggestions of mental health links for people looking for information on specific issues.

Links

Here are a list of topics and the Coalition’s selection of links to visit.

How Kids Can Talk to Parents About Depression
http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/talk-depression.html

Treating and Living with Anxiety
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_anxiety_treatment

Addiction and Depression: Treating Co-Occurring Disorders
http://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/addiction-and-depression-treating-co-occurring-disorders-9718.aspx

A Navigation Guide to Self-Discovery During Your Addiction Recovery Journey
http://www.treehouserehab.org/self-discovery-addiction-recovery/

Recognizing and Treating Depression During Pregnancy
http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/depression/

Marriage and Mental Health: How to Cope When Your Spouse Has Been Diagnosed with Schizophrenia
https://www.littlechapel.com/how-to-cope-when-your-spouse-has-been-diagnosed-with-schizophrenia.html

7 Tips for Creating a Healthy and Positive Work Environment
http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/creating-a-healthy-and-positive-work-environment/

A Healthy Home is a Happy Home: How to Optimize Your Home for Healthy, Stress-free Living
https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/10/a-healthy-home-is-a-happy-home-how-to-optimize-your-home-for-healthy-stress-free-living.html

The Prevention Coalition’s website is http://thepreventioncoalition.org.


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The Dreaded Wait List

Oh, the frustration!

When governments announce a new service to aid children with developmental disabilities, invariably the news quickly trickles down to caregivers overjoyed that “at last” someone has heard their pleas for support and acted accordingly.

The Dreaded Wait List

Trouble is, caregivers are often oblivious to the fact that the new service is bound to be underfunded, and therefore understaffed, causing long wait lists. Add to that, the fact that the child’s disability has to fit a long list of requirements to be eligible for the service, and that services cannot be “doubled-up” which means, should the child be receiving support from one agency, he cannot receive similar help from another. In addition, should an urgent case for the new resource surface, names on the non-urgent list are pushed down a space, making wait times even longer.

Oh, the frustration!

During my twenty years raising grandchildren with FAS, I learned not to hold my breath while waiting for services, especially where the Children’s Aid Society was concerned. Despite their frequent promises of support should I ever need it—which I often did—I was invariably brushed aside due to lack of funding, or told my requirements were outside of their service. Now, as my grandchildren approach adulthood, the DSO (Developmental Services Ontario) referrals for adult services come with guaranteed wait lists. Here we go, again!

FASD Pumpkin

The FASD Pumpkin: Remember some Trick or Treaters have mental challenges.

Be Patient!

Exercising patience while waiting for services is difficult, however, we can demonstrate patience toward all trick-or-treaters this Halloween by remembering there are children in our neighborhoods with developmental, physical, and mental disabilities, and act appropriately when they approach our doors. Despite my protests that my grandchildren are too old to knock on doors for candy, given their mental immaturity, they never outgrow Halloween, so I insist they at least dress the part, thereby giving householders a reason to hand over that much coveted chocolate bar. So, please, if you are approached by teens who you believe are well over the age of trick-or-treating, remember there could be an underlying health reason for their wanting to join in the neighborhood fun.

My author link: http://www.barbarastudham.com


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Pregnancy kits and FASD

Getting the FASD word out!

FASD 2016

FASD 2016. Speak Up, and make this year the last year for FASD.

One problem with FASD is, people are unaware it can be prevented, so here is a thought: One way to let mothers know how to keep their baby FASD free, is to print the words – AVOID ALCOHOL WHEN PREGNANT—not only on the packaging of pregnancy test kits, but on the testing unit itself. Though no method is foolproof, especially when the mother has drunk alcohol before realizing she is pregnant, this one could help. Having that advice printed clearly and in bold letters on the testing unit, could convince a woman who has just discovered she is pregnant, to abstain from alcohol during her pregnancy. What do you think?

A front line perspective on FASD

If you would like a front line perspective on FASD, read my two ebook memoirs, Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, both of which address my twenty years raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. and available from your Amazon, these links, and many other ebook distributors. Both are only .99 cents (usd).

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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Hello? Is anyone listening?

Does anyone really care?

Is it just me, or does the incident I experienced recently also shock others. I was so appalled by what I saw that I contacted The Hamilton (ON) Spectator newspaper, the ODS (Ontario Disability Services), the Hamilton mayor, Fred Eisenberger, Monique Taylor, NDP MPP for Hamilton Mountain, and Scott Duvall, MP for Hamilton Mountain, to get their reaction to the event.

A letter of concern

By reading the following email I sent to those recipients, you will discover what concerned me:

“During the past twenty years, I have raised four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a severe disability caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. So, you can imagine my horror when, on Tuesday, August 30th, 2016, I arrived at 119 King West with my granddaughter for an appointment, and saw a long line-up of people with disabilities outside the government building, waiting behind a sign clearly marked “ODSP Line-Up”. When I asked one person what they were lining up for, I discovered that ODSP cheques were being hand distributed due to the probability of a postal strike.

The area is precarious with heavy traffic, excessive noise, and bustling crowds, and that morning was no exception. Exposing people with disabilities to those elements in that manner undermined their safety and their right to privacy as ODSP recipients.

From my experiences raising grandchildren with mental health issues, I am fully aware of the intense disdain harbored by many in our city toward the mentally disabled. Such contempt makes them vulnerable targets in such situations. Given the intense challenges associated with organizing large gatherings of disabled persons, it only makes sense that outside line-ups on public streets should be avoided at all times.

I hope you seek the opportunity to ask the organizer of that planned line-up what they were thinking by putting convenience above the safety, and privacy of our citizens within the disabled community.”

I sent that email on August 31st 2016. On September 2nd, I received this reply from Mayor Eisenberger:

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for reaching out to me and I am sorry to hear of your recent experience at 119 King Street West. I have copied MPP Horwath’s office as the office is in her riding, and please again accept my apologies.

He’s right, I should have contacted MPP Horwath, as the incident happened in her riding, but despite the mayor forwarding my email to her office I have yet to hear from her, and wonder if I ever will. Neither has The Spectator, the ODS, nor the MPP or MP answered my email. So my question–Am I the only one shocked by such disregard toward individuals with disabilities?–remains unanswered. Perhaps, you, my blog reader, can answer that question for me. If you are a person with a disability, or are involved with one, I would love to hear your comment on this matter.

If you have never been involved with an individual with a disability, you might not fully understand, nor share my concern, so I have put the situation in perspective through the following illustration. Note the signs forcing people to reveal their medical information to all who happen be in the vicinity, which is what the ODSP office did to their recipients.

Disregard of Privacy

Disregard of Privacy

 


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FASD & Homelessness

Homelessness is a serious consequence of FASD!

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FASD & Homelessness. Children with FASD are often described as ten-second kids in a one-second world, meaning they are always behind in the race of life. While true, through my experience raising grandchildren with FASD, I would suggest a change to that teaching: lifetime kids in a one-second world.

Continual repetition of a directive is vital for children with FASD. While the child lives at home, such repetition is available from a supportive caregiver, but once the child becomes an adult and leaves home, the support often stops, and the individual is left to their own devices. One consequence of this is homelessness.

Homelessness is a serious issue for adults with FASD. The stress of homelessness can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, isolation, loneliness, substance abuse, and criminal activity. One might believe homeless people are lazy and should pick themselves up, get support, and make some kind of effort to get off the streets, but guess what, a person with FASD is not always aware of available supports. No one is born knowing the availability of social services. Unless someone makes the effort to inform a disable person of the supports available, chances are they will believe they are entirely on their own when it comes to making change: an impossible task for someone with FASD.

FASD & Homelessness.

To learn more about the struggles and challenges associated with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, read my second memoir, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, the sequel to my first memoir, titled, Two Decade of Diapers.

FAS: The Teen Years

Now Available: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years. Barbara Studham’s memoir sequel to Two Decades Of Diapers

The following is an excerpt from that memoir…

It is two in the morning. I am lying on my bed. My mind races while my eyes droop sleepily but not until I hear the front door open and my fifteen-year old grandson, Cracker, walk inside, will I allow myself sleep. Yes, he will be high, that’s a given, and he more than likely shoplifted to pay for his weed… but, is he safe? Please, please, let him be safe.  

Normal teen activities elude Cracker. Arrested numerous times for criminal activity including shoplifting, stealing bikes, vandalism, threatening with a knife, and resisting arrest, he is released back into my custody each time because his Fetal Alcohol Syndrome deems him less of a delinquent and more of a victim.

“Next time, Buddy,” the police officer says, giving him a stern look. “Next time, you won’t be so lucky. Next time you will be charged. Next time you will have to pay… next time… next time… next time.”

Despite the warnings, during the four years he has broken the law, next time has never come. Will it come today? At times like this, when fearful over Cracker’s whereabouts and craving reassurance, my thoughts slip back fifteen years to when I first saw him… excerpt from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. Chapter 3. Copyright 2016 Barbara Studham.

Barbara Studham's ebooks

Barbara Studham’s ebooks

FASD & Homelessness.

All my books, memoir and fiction, including Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, are available from your Amazon Store, the following links, and many ebook distributors.

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

For more information visit my author blog at 

http://www.barbarastudham.com

 


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Dads and FASD

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Can a father be responsible for FASD in their newborn?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, does not get the attention it deserves, which is sad, because both parents, through the abstinence of alcohol, can prevent the disorder during conception and pregnancy.

Both parents, you say?

Yes, you read it right. Information is coming forward that fathers can also be responsible for causing FASD in their child, so now the world can stop mother shaming. Or, as my author friend, Viga Boland, put it, “Good to know we can stop putting the blame solely on women for yet another social ill.” And, believe me, she knows what she is talking about because I have heard people blame her for her father’s incestuous abuse during her childhood. (Read her book: No Tears For My Father).

Dads and FASD

To learn about the seriousness of fathers drinking at conception, browse the following websites for information.

http://www.allparenting.com/my-pregnancy/articles/970449/dads-can-also-cause-fetal-alcohol-syndrome

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214075405.htm

Free Downloads

Time is running out to download my two memoirs for FREE, Two Decades Of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, from my website: http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com. The website will soon be closing and replaced with my new website http://www.barbarastudham.com.

 

 


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Great Expectations

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is preventable, not curable.

FASD 2016

FASD 2016. Speak Up, and make this year the last year for FASD.

 

After twenty years of raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, my care-giving duties are winding down and will eventually end. For my grandchildren, however, FAS will never end. For their entire lives, they will wake up each day facing mental illness. My heart cries for them, especially when FAS is preventable.

Great Expectations

Societies’ expectations for individuals with FAS to overcome the challenges associated with mental illness and achieve success are considerable. However, despite my intense care-giving, their special education, and services they receive for people with mental disabilities, every day, my grandchildren struggle to fulfill the basics of daily living, let alone have the ability to reach some idealized expectation placed upon them by the world. Why waste time setting far-fetched goals for people with FAS? Instead, learn about the disability, their individual needs, complex behaviors, social skills, and learning disabilities, and, despite the limitations of mental illness, strive to make them feel worthwhile within their communities.

My Memoirs

For a limited time, my two memoirs describing the twenty years I raised my grandchildren with FAS, are FREE to download to an e-reader from my website:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com.

They are also available to purchase from Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook distributors.