Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


Leave a comment

FASD: Following Directions

Easily Distracted

FASD 2016

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

 

FASD: Following Directions. Individuals with FASD often have difficulty following directions as external stimuli cause distraction. While instructing my grandchildren, who struggle with FAS, in a particular task, I’ve lost count of the number of times they were distracted by a single sound or movement in the room. Getting them back on track meant starting all over again; only to be interrupted by a similar distraction.

FASD: Following Directions

To offset the distractions, it is important to provide as quiet an environment as possible then keep the instructions short and understandable. Showing the child what to do, as opposed to explaining the expectation, will produce a more positive result.

FASD: Following Directions

Having the child repeat the directions might help. Giving them plenty of time to fulfill the expectation is vital; as is, watching for undue stress, and reminding them of instructions along the way. Never set up a child with FASD to fail. Positive reinforcement of their attempts to succeed will encourage them to keep trying.

My Websites:

www.challengedhope.com

www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

My Books, available from:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors

Advertisements


2 Comments

FASD: Change Default Setting!

Because it is 2016 !

FASD 2016

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

 

Our new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, made headlines recently for, not only bringing a breath of fresh air to Canadian politics but, when asked why he chose to fill his cabinet equally with men and women, he said, “Because it is 2015.”

Well, folks, it is now 2016, the year for Canadians to recognize the struggles of the mentally ill. No kidding, it is time to change our mental default settings from indifferent to supportive of those with mental disorders.

FASD: Change Default Setting!

But how does a person change their point of view toward individuals with mental disorders? Surprisingly, there are many ways. Of course the most obvious would be to volunteer your time working with the mentally disabled, but if you are don’t have the time, nor the inclination, there are other ways.

FASD: Change Default Setting!

First, if you know any woman who is pregnant, please encourage her not to drink alcohol during her pregnancy as she runs a high risk of her child being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: a severe form of mental illness. Your encouraging her to abstain throughout her pregnancy is vital, especially during times of celebration. It is difficult for a pregnant woman who normally enjoys a glass of wine or two, to see others drinking during birthdays, anniversaries, and holiday events, when she cannot drink herself. So, show support by promising to avoid alcohol along with her during her pregnancy.  If she has an upcoming celebratory event, offer to send her reminders to avoid alcohol via email or social media,

FASD: Change Default Setting!

Second, because many adults with FAS run the risk of becoming homeless, another way to show support to those with mental disorders is to pledge a monthly financial donation to your city’s local homelessness prevention programs. Most do not solely offer shelter, but also programs of support. Check for local locations and programs on the Internet and see what you can do to help.

FASD: Change Default Setting!

Third, wise up! Learn as much as possible on the subject of FAS and its symptoms. Knowledge is power. The power associated with understanding mental disorders will show in your compassion toward those who struggle. The simplest act like, not getting angry when a child in melt-down mode upsets your shopping exhibition will have a positive effect on both the child and caregiver. We’ve all been there; strolling the aisles when a child shopping with a caregiver begins screaming and writhing on the floor. Naturally, we put it down to the child wanting a candy bar, and blame the outburst on bad parenting skills. But in 2016, think again.

Due to the increase of children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the child melting down could be a victim of mental illness and overwhelmed with the amount of people in the store, or the noise of the shopping carts being pushed close by, or the smells of cooked food that so many supermarkets offer nowadays. All these are sensory triggers for individuals with mental disorders, and can cause a meltdown as easily as any chocolate bar.

So in 2016, please resolve to change your default setting from indifferent to support of individuals with mental illness, and expect to be seen as cool as our new prime minister.

My Websites:

www.challengedhope.com

www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

My Books, available from:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors

 


Leave a comment

FASD: Getting the Word out!

Speak Up!

 

FASD 2016

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

FASD: Getting the Word out! In 2016, let’s get the word out on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Let’s give those with this mental illness a voice. So often, individuals with FASD don’t speak out because they either don’t know how to, or don’t know who to ask for support. It is up to us caregivers, support workers, and people who care, to be their voice.

FASD: Getting the Word out! Speaking up for those who struggle with mental illness is not difficult, especially if you like to voice your opinion through social networks. Discuss Fetal Alcohol Syndrome with your followers. Do they know what it is? Do you know what it is? If not, read the following, then forward this post to your contacts through emails and social networking sites.

Speak Up!

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? According to health information, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most severe form of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): a term used to describe the full range of permanent birth defects caused by prenatal exposure to alcohol. Meaning, if a woman drinks during her pregnancy, she runs the risk of her child being born with a mental disorder. Physical signs of FAS include growth deficiency, craniofacial abnormalities, and brain damage that presents as structural, functional, and neurological impairments. Significant traits of FAS affect the memory, the ability to plan or process directions, reasoning, judgment, and assessment.

FASD: Getting the Word out! For twenty years, I raised four grandchildren, each with a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Responsible for their relentless behavior disorders, social anxieties, sensory issues, and defiance, FAS disrupted our world. With no cure for the disorder, their futures look bleak because without continuous support, children with FAS are more likely to grow into homeless, law-breaking adults, with substance addictions, and a loss of family ties.

Securing a diagnosis of FASD can be difficult. In some locations, a diagnosis will only be confirmed when symptoms are present and the birth mother admits to drinking alcohol during her pregnancy. Some argue that a woman might drink alcohol unaware she is pregnant or what alcohol can do to the fetus, and are therefore blameless for the child’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. But if a woman is planning a pregnancy, is sexually active without using birth control, or is relying on an unpredictable form of birth control, it makes sense for her to avoid alcohol at all times.

FASD: Getting the Word out! Given the high rate of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in children, one has to question if enough information is available to women on the risks involved when drinking alcohol during pregnancy. To encourage responsibility, the woman’s partner, family, and friends also need such information. Their encouraging the mother not to drink alcohol while sexually active, or pregnant, will lower the risk of the child being born with FAS.

Testing for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be arduous and expensive but is the only sure way to discover if an individual has the disorder. Without the diagnosis, supports and services are often inaccessible; services essential to managing the monumental challenges of FAS.

Teens with FAS are more likely to self-medicate with alcohol and illegal drugs and, due to behavioral concerns associated with the disorder, invariably have trouble with authority, often leading to incarceration and isolation. As the brain with FAS is permanently impaired, it is a life-long mental illness.

FAS is the most easily  prevented mental illness through

the abstinence

of alcohol during pregnancy.

Speak Up!

Thank you for sharing this post with your friends and followers. My book, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years (available soon) offers a glimpse into various challenging episodes my four grandchildren with FAS and I experienced during the past twenty years. While distressing to read, such crises can occur often in the life of an individual with FAS. If you are considering adopting a child with FAS, or are a mental health worker, a teen with FAS, or want to broaden your understanding of this very preventable mental illness, my first memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers which describes my journey to becoming a grandmother raising four young grandchildren with FAS, and my new memoir Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, are essential reading.

My Websites:

www.challengedhope.com

www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

My Books, available from:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors


Leave a comment

Christmas with FASD!

What to Buy?

 

Buying Christmas gifts for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is never easy, especially when they are young. I recall, one Christmas, buying a toy aircraft carrier for my eldest grandson who was six years of age at the time. The carrier came in a huge box displaying pictures of airplanes and personnel, made “gun” sounds, and included several airplanes. All plastic, of course, but guaranteed to please.

Christmas with FASD!

But on Christmas morning, as my grandchildren opened their gifts amid squeals of delight, I noticed my grandson looking perplexed at the aircraft carrier. “What is it?” he asked.

“An aircraft carrier,” I explained, suddenly aware of my mistake in assuming any six year old boy would know what an aircraft carrier is.

“What is it for?”

“For landing planes. It is a military vessel.” I set up the airplanes, showed him how to steer the carrier along the pretend sea, and set off the guns to add to the excitement. But, all in vain, as my grandson was simply not interested.

Two hours later, however, I hear a ruckus coming from his room and look in to see my two grandsons jumping onto the now flattened aircraft carrier which was quickly growing into a mess of plastic splinters.

“Look, Mom!” cried my grandson with arms spread wide, as he stood on the carrier. “I’m an airplane!”

Groan!

After that Christmas I kept things simple by buying bikes, skateboards, scooters– anything that came in one piece and made mostly of metal.

My websites:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

http://www.challengedhope.com

My Books:

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Hallowe’en and FASD

Kids with FASD enjoy Hallowe’en, too!

FASD Pumpkin

The FASD Pumpkin: Remember some Trick or Treaters have mental difficulties

 

Hallowe’en and FASD

When you are handing out candies this Hallowe’en, please remember some trick or treaters might have FASD and be over-the-top exuberant. So to avoid turning ghosties or vampires into real-life monsters, please check out these tips.

  1. Many children with FASD have poor vision, so keep your porch and driveway well lit to avoid tumbles on your property.
  2. Avoid growing angry if a trick or treater pushes through the crowd for candy. Children with FASD don’t always understand rules of etiquette but are afraid of being left out.
  3. Over-exuberance can cause loud noises. But they are simply whoops of enjoyment from kids rarely involved in neighborhood events.
  4. Many children with FASD function lower than their chronological age, so if some “big kids” knock on your door, don’t panic. After all, it’s only one candy.
  5. Don’t put down kids costumes. Many caregivers of children with FASD encourage them to make their own costumes. So if a vampire has green blood, or Spiderman got confused with Superman, brush it aside.
  6. Hallowe’en is a fun night for kids with FASD as they don’t need an invitation. Unlike birthday parties, it’s for everyone, so don’t get mad if they don’t say please or thank you for the candy, or run across your lawn. When overly excited to be part of the crowd, they tend to forget their manners.

Hallowe’en and FASD: Remember, FASD is no laughing matter!

My Websites:

http://www.challengedhope.com

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

All my books are available at:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors

 


1 Comment

The Problem with Sensory Issues!

Sensory Issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Sensory issues can be a real challenge for individuals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It’s not simply a case of the tee-shirt label irritating the skin; serious sensory issues run deep and often upset the person’s ability to complete daily tasks.

The Problem with Sensory Issues!

Hoarding is associated with sensory issues; though the hoarder is actually anything but. There is a misconception that hoarders love their possessions to a degree where they can’t let go and so begin storing and hoarding items long having lost use.

The Problem with Sensory Issues!

But my experience raising grandchildren with FAS has taught me otherwise. Hoarding comes from an intense distaste of touching used or unwashed items and so, instead of tossing the unwanted item as most people would, the individual avoids touching it, and it is left stored in their home.

The Problem with Sensory Issues!

The problem arises when the stored items become out of control. Items such as unwashed clothing, used food containers, newspapers, old furniture, etc. The build-up starts slowly and grows over years. Because hoarders are considered lazy, they don’t always get the help they need to get rid of their items, so the garbage fills the house and begins to smell. Only then is the problem recognized and the hoarder criticized for the problem, when all along, all it would have taken was for the so-called hoarder to be offered help for their sensory issues.

Two Decades Of Diapers

Barbara Studham’s memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers

The Problem with Sensory Issues!

Sensory issues are a large part of my grandchildren’s lives and often dictate their actions. Often misconstrued as defiance, sensory issues can mislead a caregiver into believing their child is refusing to clean their rooms, do laundry, or help with the dishes, but refusal comes from a difficulty in touching unclean items. Often seeing the remnants on a dirty dish or item of clothing as crawling bugs, the sensation of touching those items can leave the individual feeling nauseous. To read more on sensory issues, see my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers, which describes my twenty years spent raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

All my books are available at:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

Other fine eBook distributors

See all my Books!


2 Comments

What is a Thanksgiving turkey?

Have you ever seen a Thanksgiving turkey?

October 12th 2015 is Thanksgiving for Canadians and we have a lot to be thankful for.

Have you ever seen a Thanksgiving turkey?

Over the years I’ve seen lots of Thanksgiving people: friends, family, neighbors, and church members, all who have reason to give thanks for the special day. But I’ve never seen a Thanksgiving Turkey! It’s a misnomer, a contradiction of terms; for what Turkey would give thanks for being beheaded, roasted, and smothered in gravy?

As delicious as the meal sounds, there have been times when I’ve been called a Turkey; not only because of my sagging neck, but a turkey for raising my grandchildren; a turkey for caring too much; a turkey for believing I could help these youngsters with mental illness. Well, yes, if one looks at my situation through physical eyes, those people are probably right. But, come October 12th, while we tuck into our Thanksgiving meal, this is one turkey who will be giving spiritual thanks for the courage to “stick my neck out” and be there for children with FAS.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I’m also thankful for my books, all available from:

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

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

https://www.store.kobobooks.com

http://www.barnesandnoble.com

Other fine ebook distributors