Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


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One way to promote FASD Day!

Memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers at Eden Mills book fair.

Promoting FASD awareness. 

One way to promote FASD Day!

In my previous post: FASD Day, September 9th, I lamented the fact I had no time nor money to promote FASD Day. Now, I have thought of a way! And while the actual day is past, as a grandma raising grandchildren with FAS, every day is FASD day, so here is my promotion.

Eden Mills: Sunday September 13th, 2015, noon-6:00pm.

This Sunday, September 13th, from noon-6:00pm, I will be at Eden Mills Writers’ Festival book fair, offering my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers for sale. It describes the twenty years I spent raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. My memoir is written in three parts. Part One describes my adoption of a baby girl with FAS, Part Two expresses the difficulties and challenges I faced during the years raising her, plus her subsequent teenage pregnancies. Part Three focuses on how I became my grandchildren’s primary caregiver and the overwhelming trials I faced for the next two decades while raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

So, what’s the promotion, you ask. Well, my memoir in paperback format retails for $15.99, but on Sunday, September 13th, 2015, noon-6:00 pm only, I will be offering my printed memoir for only $5. This easy price gives everyone the opportunity to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, thereby promoting its awareness!

Yes, you read it correctly!

My memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers will be available for only $5 at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, September 13th 2015. So take advantage of this low price to buy a copy and become aware of FASD and the effect it reaps on families, and individuals.

See you there!

All 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


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FAS: Starting a New School

FAS: Starting a New School

Tips to Remember for FAS: Starting a New School

FAS: Starting a New School

All children react when starting a new school, whether they have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or not, but kids with FAS can overreact to the situation. The following tips for starting a new school stem from my own experiences with FAS grandchildren.

  • Before school begins, drive by the school while out shopping, etc., using a positive tone to remind the child it will be their new school.
    • Tour the school with your child before the start date.
  • Take your child to meet the teacher. Then ask the child to draw/paint a picture of their new school and teacher. Post it on fridge and admire it in front of the child when family or friends visit.
  • Take photos of the school and interior as a reminder for the child of what to expect and post them on fridge. Apply colorful, funny stickers to the photos.
  • Do a count down a week before on the calendar. Use fun stickers. Encourage your child to cross off the days.
  • If you work, take a photo of yourself smiling at your job then remind the child that is where you will be, and you will be thinking of them the entire day.
  • Acknowledge separation anxiety and its consequences.
  • Explain there will be something special waiting for them on their return: favorite food, dollar-store items.
  • Let the child ask as many questions as needed. Smile whenever you mention school. It’s important to keep the mood upbeat.
  • Prepare the child the night before by preparing the lunch, laying out clothes, and stuffing backpack, avoiding a rushed atmosphere the following morning.
  • If friends will be attending the new school, remind your child of who they are.
  • Reassure the child as much as possible, but don’t give in to pressure.
  • Have an emergency contact at the ready in case the child is dismissed early due to behavior.
  • Expect problems so you won’t be disappointed.

FAS: Starting a New School

The best people to ask for advice around starting a new school, are children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and one of those children is my youngest granddaughter with FAS who is now a teen.  Following, are her strategies for teachers educating students with FAS. She insists all the strategies worked for her, plus, she thinks my blog is cool and helpful to others, and wants to get involved.

“Thank you, darling, and congratulations on this defining moment as you take your first step toward advocating for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I love you and look forward to many more of your posts”

My youngest teenage granddaughter with FAS, suggests the following strategies for teachers. She told me, I just typed:

  • It helps if the child knows the teacher well before starting the school. Have more than one meetup with the teacher before the day arrives so the child remembers who the teacher is. (Grandma thinks this a great idea. Perhaps several meet ups over the month of August could be arranged with the teacher)
  • Supply fidget toys for the child, i.e. stress balls, floam, mini stuffies, available from any dollar store by either teacher or parent. Teacher must not get agitated if the child uses the fidget toys a little too noisily during a class.
  • Absolutely NO YELLING on the teacher’s part. It makes things worse and the loud noise upsets the child.
  • The teacher should give advance warning before ending one subject and beginning another.
  • If the child is becoming overwhelmed, distract the child with another activity.
  • If the child finds it difficult to write down instructions, have them take a photo (cell phone) of the instructions instead, i.e. from the chalk/white board and read the instructions from there.
  • To raise the child’s confidence promote them to helper of a chore you know they can do.
  • Supply free time on electronics, board games etc., as a reward for positive attitude.
  • Supply stuffies for recess/sick time.
  • If a fight with another student ensues, ask for an explanation then instruct the child to walk with a friend while listening to music to allow for calm down time.
That is interesting! Each one of the strategies has helped my granddaughter achieve success at school. But I hasten to add she has an amazing teacher, which helps no end when parents are advocating for their children’s education. As this is her first contribution to this website, please leave a comment of support as she steps out of her comfort zone to help others!

 My websites:

http://www.challengedhope.com

http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com

All 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


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There’s a New Group in town!

Over the past few years, first cities, now countries are becoming more tolerant of LGBTQ individuals. It is wonderful to see how accepting communities can be when they open their minds to groups or individuals who are considered minorities, undesirables, or less vital to the community.

But there is another group in town who, for many years, has been overlooked in the acceptance department. They are the FASD’s who, like LGBTQ’s, struggle to maintain an identity.

Why? Because persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder are considered less valuable than those who don’t struggle with mental illness and are therefore disposable. Yet, despite their struggles, with proper supports, such individuals are equally capable of contributing to society in positive ways. And not only to society, but to people involved in their lives.

For example, having been sole caregiver to one daughter, and four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome over a span of three decades, I am not the person I was before parenting. Due to a difficult childhood, I was withdrawn, had few goals for my life, and cared little for others. Now, I advocate for individuals with FASD through speaking engagements and my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers. I search for resources for my grandchildren to get them the best support they deserve; I blog on FASD (www.challengedhope.com) and have a website on FASD (www.twodecadesofdiapers.com), all in the hope of raising awareness about FASD. Awareness leads to eventual acceptance, so those who struggle with the disorder will no longer need to hang their heads in shame. Tolerance of FASD is long overdue. Let’s start opening our minds to mental health disorders today.

My memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers is available in paperback and ebook from:

Also available in ebook format from:


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Event: Hamilton, Ontario

On Saturday, May 30 at 10:00 am, I will be speaking at Hamilton FASD Caregivers Support Group about my experiences while raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. For details, please visit this link: http://hamiltonfasdsupport.ca/10.html. Hope to see you there!

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: Diagnosis

Obtaining a diagnosis of FASD can be extremely difficult, often frustrating parents who recognize the signs and symptoms in their child. But a confirmed diagnosis can open the door to vital services without which the child runs the risk of becoming a homeless or incarcerated adult. I cringe on hearing that children/adults with a confirmed diagnosis of FASD are embarrassed over their diagnosis. Due to stigma attached to mental illness, their decision to never mention their disorder is understandable but can limit services they deserve and cause chaos in their future.

Accepting and supporting mental illness is the first step to removing boundaries between those who struggle with mental illness and those who don’t. Communities must start listening to caregivers, support workers, advocates and, most of all, the individuals affected by FASD who should never feel pressured to hide their diagnosis in order not to offend the sensibilities of others. We are all in this together.

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 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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Events

Event information received from:
Hamilton FASD Parent & Caregiver Support Group
eMail:      Hamilton.FASD@gmail.com
NEW WEBSITE!:  http://www.hamiltonfasdsupport.ca
Registration is required for all events

March 28th Parent conference – in Toronto hosted by FASD ONE at Toronto CAS.  The cost is $30.  Information on registering is on the flyer (see link below).  Pre-registration is required as space is limited.  Thanks to FASD ONE for this opportunity (and sincere thanks to the London FASD E.L.M.O. Support Group for the info reminder).  Click on following link for Registration form TO March 28th – FASD ONE

April 9 FASD 1 oh! 1 with Jeff Noble (FASD Forever) – full day training.  Location: Mississauga  Symphony Event Center  (FREE parking) Registration will begin at 8:30am.  Training will start at 9am and run until 4:30pm.  Cost: $75 for the full day training.  Registration info: http://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fasd-1oh1-tickets-15919361238  Maximum of 100 registrants available.

April 17 – RJ Formanek – Facebook Flying With Broken Wings FASD Support Group – is coming to the Hamilton FASD Parent & Caregiver Support Group.   The event is 7:00-9:00 pm at the Hamilton Mountain Police Station.  PLEASE CONFIRM IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND AS SPACE IS LIMITED.  See attached for further details and information on the event!

April 7, 14, 21 – FASD Education and Training Part 1: Three Part Training Series:  Series 1:The Basics: Understanding FASD, Series 2: FASD Intervention Principles-Best Pracitces “What to do when…”, Series 3: Advocacy-Promoting School success and Transition to Adulthood.  ** Cost: free for caregivers (see flyers for cost for professionals).  SPACE IS LIMITED – Please Contact:  Brenda McBride, Catholic Family Services, Hamilton, ON.  Contact:  905-527-3823 ext. 259  or bmcbride@cfshw.com

PLEASE NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED: April 21, 15 and May 5 – FASD Education and Training Part 2: FASD Next Steps: Three Part Training Series: Session 1: Grief and Loss, Session 2: Strategies and Interventions, Session 3: Transition to Adulthood  Note: to attend this training completion of Part 1 training is required.  ** Cost: free for caregivers (see flyers for cost for professionals).  SPACE IS LIMITED – Please Contact:  Brenda McBride, Catholic Family Services, Hamilton, ON  Contact: 905-527-3823 ext. 259  or bmcbride@cfshw.com