Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


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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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FASD Facts: Mental Illness

I’ve heard there is a high rate of mental illness in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Given my twenty years experience raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in that city, I would add: there is also a high rate of contempt toward individuals with mental illness. That needs to change.

My memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers describes my twenty years raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol  Syndrome. Available in paperback and ebook from:

Also available in ebook format from:

 


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FASD Fact: Service providers

It’s essential for service providers to understand FASD. Many times their knowledge and education centres around ADHD, but successful discipline strategies differ for each diagnosis. An FASD training program for professionals and parents is available in the Hamilton-Wentworth, Ontario, Canada, area. Please see http://www.fasdhamilton.ca for information. #FASDFACTS.

To purchase my memoir describing my twenty years raising grandchildren with FAS, please visit http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com. My book is also available at this Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Studham/e/B00S3ZJ5R8. It is also available at Kobo and other fine ebook distributors.


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FASD FACT: No Cure

Did you know there is no cure for FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)? When the fetus brain is damaged by alcohol during pregnancy, it cannot be reversed. Some moms drink while unaware they are pregnant, others drink during pregnancy out of ignorance of the danger, others knowingly drink alcohol during pregnancy due to addiction. Let’s get the message out that no amount of alcohol during pregnancy is safe. FASD is a life sentence. #FASDFACTS. See my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers. Available at http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com. Also at Amazon, Kobo, and other fine ebook distributors.


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Understanding Teenage FASD

With the exception of my youngest granddaughter, my grandchildren are now teenagers. While I appreciate the extra time I now have to explore my own identity after years of discovering my children’s and then my grandchildren’s, raising teens with FASD is not much different from raising youngsters with FASD. Both stages bring their own fun times, surprises, achievements, challenges, and stress, but one thing I’ve noticed with FASD teens is their struggle to achieve independence which, of course, raises concerns over what happens when they eventually leave home.

With guidance and support, non-disabled teens usually achieve independence, but FASD teens need guidance and support just to get through each day. Without that support they can become disoriented and anxious, unsure of what step to take next, especially regarding daily routines like bathing, brushing teeth, regular meal times, laundry, managing allowance, etc; all aspects of life necessary for successful independence.


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Raising Your Child’s Child

After almost two decades raising grandchildren with mental disabilities, I have become aware of the many challenges parents can face should they take custody of a grandchild. I have posted some of the challenges in the top menu bar of this website under the heading: Raising Your Child’s Child. If you are considering raising your grandchild, please read through the first Eight Chapters and in Chapter Nine discover the many questions you should be asking yourself and others before taking custody of your child’s child.

Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: What’s The Rush?
  • Chapter 2: Invincible or – Invisible?
  • Chapter 3: Grandson plus – Baggage?
  • Chapter 4: Oh, The Expense!
  • Chapter 5: Interests & Supports
  • Chapter 6: Grandchild with Mental Health Disorders
  • Chapter 7: So Many Appointments!
  • Chapter 8: Your Health & Aging
  • Chapter 9: Making an Informed Decision


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Council For Exceptional Children

  • Council For Exceptional Children, Hamilton-Wentworth Chapter 289, “Yes I Can” 2013 Awards

My youngest grandson who suffers with mental disabilities won an award. And I say that with pride because despite his struggles, and challenges caused by his disabilities, he was able to forge ahead and do something to benefit his community!

I attended the Award Ceremony with my grandson and his sister who, incidentally, looked beautiful wearing her graduation dress. There were hundreds of attendees at the program, all of whom enjoyed a delicious supper, but not before we watched, mostly on large screens around the banquet hall, students who suffer with mild or intense disabilities receive their awards and hear some very positive and encouraging personal remarks from the speaker. The looks on the children’s faces and the whoops of delight emanating from their families as each child‘s name was called, spoke volumes.

It was a very special evening. Not only because of the happiness experienced by the students, or the pride that was bursting from every caregiver in the room, nor the delicious dinner of pasta and chicken, or the awesome ice-cream dessert accompanied by steaming hot coffee, but rather because of the camaraderie between caregivers and their friends and families, teachers and other staff, and the students themselves. A camaraderie that was shared by mostly strangers who had come together to enjoy the simple pleasure of watching their children who are so often ignored, or even despised, by society receive an award for their achievements no matter how small they appear in the eyes of those who don’t understand mental illness.