Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

About

FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a term used to describe the full range of disabilities caused by pre-natal exposure to alcohol. The individual diagnoses included in this term are:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS)
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)

My grandchild have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: the most severe form of FASD. FAS can present as physical irregularities and mental deficiencies. Because the physical disabilities are not always easy to see, individuals with FAS often struggle with social, learning, and behavioral problems, without receiving support or compassion from others.

Sensory issues, attention deficit, hyperactivity, and attachment issues also challenge my grandchildren. While an official diagnosis of FAS is difficult, it is the only way to know for sure if an individual has the disorder. Despite their FAS, my grandchildren have many strengths, but need support with everyday tasks like attending school; hygiene; managing money, and socializing. Individuals with FAS are more likely to develop dependency on alcohol or drugs, and invariably have trouble keeping the law.

CHALLENGED HOPE reflects my life as a Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FAS in the city of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Locating services and resources appropriate to their special needs has been an ongoing challenge. So, I began this website with the intention of sharing my struggles while raising grandchildren with mental disabilities, and to provide other caregivers who may be facing similar challenges, with information on appropriate services in the Hamilton area.

 

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29 thoughts on “About

  1. Your are an amazing woman! It is not an easy life. Your grandchild is very lucky to have you.

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  2. You certainly have a heart of love. I am raising one grandchild and the thought of four makes me feel stressed. To know yours have so many challenges and that you have given your life to them is heart warming indeed.
    I was drawn to your website when I saw the post about being a Recycled Mom because my own blog is called Recycled Moms Raising Grandchildren. We truly are recycled aren’t we? I am so glad to be here with my beloved grandchild even in hard times. Bless you. I shall keep you and your precious ones in my prayers.

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  3. Thank you for your comment and your prayers. I enjoyed visiting your blog too!

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  4. Hello Barbara. I have lost your email address. I was thinking that for my guest post for your blog that I would just give you my about page info. How does that sound?

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  5. Nice to find your blog! And thanks for visiting mine. I pray that God continues to bless you as you raise your grandchildren. I’m sure He’s got plenty of rewards waiting for you … both in heaven and here on earth!

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    • Thank you Alana. There are so many caregivers raising disabled children nowadays, some parents and some grandparents. Do you think there will be enough room for us all in heaven?

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  6. Sorry is taking me so long to “visit” your sites….your are a very special lady, and God has giving you a very special task/gifts.

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  7. Seems like you actually fully understand quite a
    lot about this specific issue and this demonstrates thru this article, named “Challenged Hope | Grandmother Raising Mentally
    Disabled Grandchildren” T I S . Thx -Marisa

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    • Thank you for your comment. I wish I did fully understand mental health, but like people, it is so varied and everyone suffers in different ways and so often in silence. The stigma of mental illness needs to be removed so people can get the help they need without feeling embarrassed. – Barbara

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  8. God Bless you dear lady. My husband and I have been raising a grandson for nearly 15 years now. Though it has many blessings, it has its challenges. I cannot even begin to imagine 4 with disabilities. God is with you all the way!

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  9. My goodness…FOUR! I have raised two grandsons, now ages 19 and 21, and homeschooled them. The 21 y/o with severe ADHD and the 19 y/o with Aspergers. I am trying to get the 19 y/o on disability so he will be able to get the meds he will always need. We have been denied twice so now will have a hearing. I can’t imagine raising FOUR with disabilities. Kudos!

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    • Thank you for your comment Cathy. There are so many grandparents raising grandchildren but accessing the services we need can be complicated and often frustrating. I hope you get the help you and your grandson needs – Barbara

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  10. It is so good to come across your blog. I have 2 diasbled siblings, no others. I am solely responsible for their care(have an elderly mother 83, but she too now needs help) I feel so alone, wishing to have someone to speak too and give me encouragement. That is why I was looking for some kind of support group, when I came across this website.Any suggestioins would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you and God Bless!
    Brigi

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    • Hi Brigi: Thank you for your comment. Calling your doctor, public health dept., or info dept. at your library would be ways to locate support groups, and also to find support for your particular situation. Ask where you can get help caring for your siblings. Your local Council on Aging should be able to give you information regarding help available for your Mom: i.e. respite for you, home help for her. If your community has a volunteer hub call and find out if you qualify for volunteer help. When we caregivers need help we have to be persistent, as we so often get overlooked leaving us feeling alone. I hope you find the services you need, but it’s important to find time for your own interests apart from care giving. That keeps us strong. – God bless you too, Brigi, and remember that you are the most important person in your loved-ones lives, even though sometimes we doubt this – Barbara

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  11. Hey Barbara!
    Thanks for following me on Twitter. Followed you back. Good to find you here. What a great blog you have. Kudos! How is the book coming? Finished reading it yet?

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    • Hi Viga: Thank you for your comment and for following me on Twitter, and I’m glad you like my blog. I am still reading your book No Tears For My Father, and have no idea how you survived such horrendous abuse. Telling your story is going to help so many other people, as I hope mine will eventually. I’m looking forward to our next session – Barbara

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      • I’m sure your book will be an awesome read when you get it finished and feel very privileged to be able to help you with it. Thanks for putting your faith in me. Looking forward to our next Memoir writing session and if there are others you feel might have a book inside them just begging to be written, don’t hesittate to bring them along!

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      • I’m going to add your website to my Page: Useful Websites on the top menu bar. Perhaps some people who visit my page are suffering with incest and would find help on your site. Hope that’s okay – Barbara

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      • Of course it is. I’ll put in a link to your blog too as conversely, many abuse victims suffer with mental health issues as well as a result of the abuse.

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      • Thank you Viga. It’s always good to get the word out to people that they are not alone. Anyone reading these comments, please consider reading Viga’s book: No Tears For My Father about the incest she suffered when young. You can also purchase her book at http://www.vigaboland.com. She is also leading a Memoir Writing program at Turner Park Library in Hamilton, ON. Please call the library for details.

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      • Thanks for the promotion of my book Barbara. Much appreciated. As for the MEMOIR SESSiONS, details of any events I do, like my upcoming BOOK TALK, are available on the EVENTS page of my website: http://vigaboland.com/events/

        Folks can also subscribe to my other blog there, RANT, RAVE, REJOICE, which will shortly become a serialization of the sequel to No Tears For My Father. Meaning? Folks can subscribe and read my sequel chapter by chapter as it’s posted … and it’s free to subscribers!

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  12. Barbara: see my page here for the link back to your wonderful blog, CHALLENGED HOPE:

    http://vigaland.blogspot.ca/p/incest-and-child-sexual-abuse-blogs.html

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    • Thank you so much! I was just looking at your blog. I need to subscribe!

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      • Go for it Barbara. But that blog is focussed 100% on incest. If you’re looking for the blog that will carry my sequel, that’s the RANT, RAVE, REVEL BLOG on my personal website (and that blog name may yet change!) Tossing around having a totally separate WordPress Blog for the Sequel. All so complicated LOL

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      • Okay, thanks for the redirection. It’s often difficult finding the best possible way to present our topics, as there is so much choice.

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