Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


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A Mother’s Tears

The Window

The Window

The Window

I can’t believe I cried on the bus. It would not have happened if I had driven to my dental appointment, but, with traffic heavy and parking nonexistent in the downtown core, I use public transportation on dental day. 

After an intense tooth cleaning, and consultation, I caught the bus home. Five minutes into the drive, the bus stopped in dense traffic, and there it was … the window.

At the sight, my lips trembled. Sudden tears flowed down my cheeks. I could not hold back. Amid my horrendous embarrassment, I stared at the beast. It glared back, cold and indifferent. I imagined my daughter, standing there, smiling, as she had twenty years before.

The previous day she had given birth to her first child. At fifteen she had no idea of what the future held, yet she managed a smile as she spotted me approaching the hospital to visit her and my new grandson. Today, I cried on the bus at the memory of her at the hospital window, and recalled the trauma of the past two decades. 

To read of the details of what happened during those twenty years, read my two memoirs Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. If you are a caregiver to a child with FASD, you and your child would enjoy my children’s picture book titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Along with my fiction, my memoirs, and children’s book are available from your Amazon or the following link.

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

 

 

 

 

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FASD children’s picture book

NOW AVAILABLE!

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover.

FASD children’s picture book.

Meet Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)! With over twenty years of experience parenting four grandchildren with FAS, through my perception of the disorder, I have created the children’s picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Illustrated in the first of the Strawberry & Cracker series, titled, The School Day, is the twins’ use of visual aids, the necessity to attend a special needs class, and living with a caregiver other than a biological parent. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces the reader to a typical school day in the life of a child with FAS, and the supports required for a successful outcome.  

FASD children’s picture book.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the picture book series, is designed to fulfill several needs:

  • To offer children with FASD a fun picture book highlighting daily challenges they can relate to.
  • To help children with FASD accept their diagnosis with dignity and self-respect.
  • To offer caregivers a tool with which to introduce their child with FASD to the disorder.
  • To bring awareness of FASD to the public.

Story by Barbara Studham. Illustrated by Heather Lamb

Genre: Family and relationships/special needs children. Glossy front and back cover. The picture book includes twenty-six inside pages with color images and large print. Size: 8.5” x 8.5”.

Price: $9.99 USD

Available from your AMAZON


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FASD Day

Being aware of FASD

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the book.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, printed picture book.

Hi, after a busy summer, I am back to blogging about the effects of FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). My contribution to FASD Day is the creation of my children’s picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker.

Now, you might be wondering how a children’s picture book can contribute to FASD awareness. Well, the two main characters of my book are Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a diagnosis within the range of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and is caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. FAS can be responsible for birth defects and complex behavior issues throughout the life of the individual. Having parented four grandchildren with FAS, I have over twenty years of practical knowledge of the disorder, and have used my perception of their struggles to create my children’s book.

The first in the Strawberry & Cracker printed picture book series is titled The School Day, and created to be enjoyed by children of all ages. Highlighted in the story is a typical day in the life of a child with FAS. This includes the use of visual aids, attending a special needs class, and living with caregivers other than parents. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces readers to the complexities of the twins’ school day, and the supports required for a successful outcome.

As an advocate for bringing much needed attention to FAS, I aim to use my experience with the disorder to inform parents, educators, support workers, and medical professionals on the adversities associated with FAS. With plans to expand Strawberry & Cracker: Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome into a series, with the help of the wonderful illustrations of artist, Heather Lamb, I hope to highlight the numerous challenges faced by children and families struggling with the disorder.

So, when will Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome be released? It is in printing now, so keep posted. As soon as it becomes available I will release the details of price and place of purchase. In the meantime, check out my author’s blog,

http://www.barbarastudham.com

Also visit,

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

and download my two memoir ebooks titled, Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. Both contain a wealth of information regarding the challenges associated with parenting children with FAS.

 


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FASD: Childhood Memories

Many children with FASD have fond memories of their childhoods.

Despite the challenges and struggles associated with parenting a child with FASD, the child will often remember their childhood with fondness. Despite the child’s complex behaviors involving meltdowns; screaming, and defiance, which the caregiver would rather forget, the child appears able to ignore the troubled times and recall happier moments.

For example, all four of my grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), who I parented from birth, are now teenagers. Their “do you remember when…” recollections include special family days at Port Dover, Wild Water Works, and Confederation Park. The play area at McDonald’s also holds fond memories, as does shopping at Walmart for new shoes, and toys at Christmas. Though I remember them being difficult to control during our outings, I’m pleased when their recollections include a portrayal of a happy me.

My two ebook memoirs on parenting grandchildren with FAS

are available at the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

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

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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FASD Friendships

Understanding FASD friendships!

Many individuals with FASD find friendships complicated, perhaps more so than initially forming the friendship. Social protocol often stands between the individual and his/her friend, forming a barrier between the two. The complex behaviors associated with FASD can cause breakdowns in communication. As the individual often does not understand people’s need for personal space, they might stand too close or interrupt when the friend’s focus is elsewhere.

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FASD Friendships

Supervision is vital during your child’s play. When with friends, it is important he/she is playing considerately, and enjoying playtime. Before the two meet up, parents of the children should communicate with each other. Knowing where the children are going helps with the decision of supervising. Remember, the longer the child with FASD plays, the more risky the situation becomes. Time opens the door to tiredness, feeling overwhelmed, and, if outside, other kids’ bullying. This usually leads to physical fights. The child with FASD becomes frustrated, and, knowing no other way, might lash out at the kids, goading them into a fight.

Role playing can also help the child with FASD. When the child is in a quiet, stable mood, invite a friend into your home. When your friend arrives, greet them accordingly. Teach your child how to react toward your friend. Role playing can also help your child understand and cope more adequately with stranger-danger.

Cue cards can also help. Play out stories and ask your child to point to the card that holds the key to his/her success. Praise them when correct, direct them calmly when they misunderstand. 

For more information on raising children with FAS, see my two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, both available from your Amazon, the following links, and most ebook distributors. 

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

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

 


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Danger of Pregnancy & Alcohol

Couples, please avoid alcohol during conception and pregnancy!

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Katie is a medical student enrolled in an Anatomy and Physiology class studying for her bachelor’s degree. She recently contacted me with information on avoiding alcohol during pregnancy. Katie explained that one of her goals is to share resources about having safe and healthy pregnancies before childbirth. She wanted to share her resource because it explores the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant that cause fetal alcohol syndrome.  I am happy to post Katie’s link on my FASD blog. To read her post in full, click the following link.

http://www.dwiminneapolislawyer.com/resources/drinking-alcohol-and-pregnancy/

If you would like to contact Katie for more information, please use the contact page on my blog, and I will forward your request on to Katie. Thank you, Katie, for reinforcing the dangers of drinking during conception and pregnancy.

 


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FASD Visual Aids

Using Visual Aids

While raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, visual aids helped them understand “what comes next.” Visual aids are especially helpful for morning and evening routines, such as getting ready for school, and preparing for bedtime.

What are visual aids?

Visual aids are usually pictures specifically created as reminders: toothbrush and paste, hairbrush, medication, pull-ups, clothing etc.; posted on a chart where the child will see them. Initially, and at frequent intervals, the child will require direction on how to apply each routine. Repeating each routine in easy-to-follow steps, until the child is confident to follow the picture prompts without help, is vital for success.

However, if your child with FASD is like my grandchildren with FASD, they might balk at the idea of having large poster-sized visual aids posted around the house, especially when friends come to visit. If so, flash cards showing routines can be effective and less invasive.

Example of Flash Cards

FASD flashcards

FASD flashcards

My FASD memoir links for

  • Two Decades Of Diapers
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years.

http://www.amazon.com/BarbaraStudham

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com