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 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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Compile an FASD Information File

Make life easier!

While raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I found compiling personal files for each grandchild helped when I reached out to service providers. In each file, I recorded my grandchildren’s medical appointments, diagnosis and results, attached school records such as reports and IEP’s, all school suspensions letters, their interactions with police, and sports/activity dates, etc. I also listed their strengths, what triggered their meltdowns, their behavior, and typical supports required. Files such as these take time to compile but offered me credibility in the eyes of professionals.

To read of the challenges and struggles I survived as a grandparent raising grandchildren with FAS, see my two ebook memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, at your Amazon store, or follow the links below.

Two Decades Of Diapers

Two Decades Of Diapers

Two Decades of Diapers. Genre/Memoir,

Ebook, Price .99 cents (usd), Ages 18+

Are you an individual with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or a caregiver/support worker to an individual with FAS? Are you considering raising or fostering a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Or are you a reader simply interested in the effects of mental disorders. If so, then for these, and many other reasons, Two Decades of Diapers is essential reading. During my twenty years of raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the temptation to run from this often uncontrollable mental disorder and all the struggles it brought into our world, was significant. Despite my grandchildren’s strengths, their Fetal Alcohol Syndrome caused severe behavioral issues, eventually overwhelming my parenting abilities resulting in a breakdown of the family unit I had fought so hard to maintain. Offering an insight into the challenges of FAS, Two Decades of Diapers is a down-to earth, no holds barred reference to the struggles associated with mental disorders. In my memoir, I describe the challenges my adopted daughter with FAS endured, her teen pregnancy, how I became a grandmother raising grandchildren, and the crises, shattered dreams, and strength and love we share.

FAS: The Teen Years

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. Genre/Memoir

Ebook, Price .99 cents (usd), Ages 18+

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years is the sequel to my first memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers. In each memoir, I give insight into how family life can be ruthlessly disrupted by behavior disorders caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a mental disorder caused by pre-natal exposure to alcohol. Through my wealth of experience with the disorder, I lead the reader through my desperation, fears, hopes, and prayers while coping with my grandchildren’s teen years. Nevertheless, I would be the first to admit that while FAS brought a whirlwind of emotions into my life, my grandchildren’s struggle to cope with the mental disorder far outweighs any trauma I have endured. Often labelled defiant, odious, caustic, and wayward, individuals with FAS are more victims of brain damage overwhelmed by the demands of everyday life, than the disposable people society deems them. If you are an individual considering adopting or fostering a child with FAS, a mental health worker, or someone who is interested in learning more about this distressing disorder, then Two Decades Of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years are essential reading.

Both Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years are available from your Amazon store, or the following links:

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

https://www.kobo.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com


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Parents Beware!

I never thought it would happen to me!

Despite the few months I babysat a six-month old child being raised by his grandparents, as a young mother, the thought of one day having to raise my own grandchildren, never entered my mind,  In Canada, a growing number of grandparents are now parenting and raising their grandchildren. So much so, that it is time government officials raised their heads out of the sand regarding the ability of grandparents to do so. Not all grandparents have the energy to raise their grandchildren and, if the child has a mental or physical infirmity, it can be nigh on impossible. Though it appears in the best interest of the child to be placed with family, growing up with grandparents is not necessarily the optimum option.

Let grandparents be grandparents!

Too often, children’s agencies take advantage of grandparents when at their most emotionally vulnerable—i.e. when they learn their grandchild is in need of a home. There is a growing need for available foster homes where the child can be nurtured by young caregivers who have energy and use contemporary parenting strategies. Despite the propaganda, not every child placed in foster care is subject to abuse. My personal experience with foster parents has been very positive. There are many compassionate foster parents in Canada willing to give children the care they need and deserve.

Parents Beware!

Two Decades Of Diapers

Two Decades Of Diapers

FAS: The Teen Years

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years

So, parents of today, for various reasons, you might one day be faced with the decision to raise a grandchild. Life has a way of presenting us with disquieting choices that can change our lives forever. And if you believe it could never happen to you, read my two memoirs, Two Decades Of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, which describe my twenty years raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Both are available in ebook format from your Amazon store, the following links, and many other ebook distributors.

 

 


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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