Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

FASD: Different, Impossible, Disregarded

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Feeling Left Out!

FASD 2016

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

Many individuals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome experience isolation through societies’ apathy toward those with mental disorders. FAS is not always recognizable through physical differences, so when a child’s behavior is seen to be unpredictable, they are often labelled as different. Because people are afraid of different, the needs of children with FAS often get overlooked, or worse, disregarded.

FASD: Different, Impossible, Disregarded

While raising my four grandchildren with FAS, I witnessed people disregarding their needs and their being treated as unemotional beings with no need of inclusion in social activities. But, those to be pitied were not my grandchildren but the people (mostly adults) who misunderstood the mental disorder and saw my grandchildren as trouble. It appeared to take only one wrong step on the children’s part before they were considered impossible and therefore a lost cause.

FASD: Different, Impossible, Disregarded

Including children with FAS in neighborhood activities gives them a sense of belonging but, so often, neighbors ignore this need out of fear of losing control over the activity. To avoid losing control, if you know of a child in your neighborhood with FAS, or other mental illness, and would like to include them in an activity such as your child’s birthday party, considered inviting both the child and the caregiver to the event. Advanced plans made with the caregiver, should anything untoward happen during the party, will offset your fear of losing control. Be aware that loud noises and gatherings can overwhelm a child with FAS, so a shorter length of time for the child to attend the party would make sense; preferably missing the first half-hour when all the kids are arriving, and definitely the time when caregivers are arriving to pick up their children. Simply plan to have the caregiver slip quietly out with the child, but do remember to leave out a party loot bag for the child to enjoy at home, and a phone call to the child expressing your delight at having had them attend will make them feel special. It is called planned inclusion and will boost the child’s confidence, and give them a sense of belonging.

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Author: whereasi

For over twenty years, I have parented four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a disorder caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Please read of our family struggles and challenges at My two ebook memoirs available on Amazon titled: Two Decades Of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, describe the struggles my grandchildren and I experienced during their youth and teenage years. I have also written fiction, including a six-book English seaside series, titled, Under the Shanklin sky. I am now embarking on a new adventure creating children's picture books, designed specifically with kids with FAS in mind. The two main characters of the book are Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The first titled The School Day focuses on the special supports the twins need at school for a successful outcome. The book is due out in the fall of 2017, to be followed by more in the series, all focused on the daily challenges faced by children with FAS. For more info, see my author blog at

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