Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

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FASD: Interrupting Conversation

Hearing Their Voice

FASD 2016

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

FASD: Interrupting Conversation. Many individuals with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome interrupt when people are talking. Often the interruption is loud and urgent with no similarity to what is being discussed. Feeling ignored, they intrude on others’ conversation to attract attention, but they are then left wondering what to say. If the people initially speaking are unaware of their mental disorder, they see this intrusion as annoying.

FASD: Interrupting Conversation

But, such an intrusion should be managed with a smile and an invitation to join in the conversation. The initial discussion can be resumed later when the individual is reassured they are not being ignored. Feeling overlooked can frighten an individual with a mental disorder as it can be perceived as permanent; hence, their anxious interruption. But, when the attention is turned toward them, they panic equally over the limelight and expectation of having something important to say. This often results in them blurting out a triviality or even nonsense. It is, of course, then up to the able-minded person to take what is said and run with it to make a conversation, thereby putting the individual at ease and assured what they say is important.

FASD: Interrupting Conversation

When speaking with an individual with FAS or any mental illness, avoid asking questions as they can become frustrated at not knowing how to answer. Instead, say something along the lines of—“It is very cold today. I need to make sure I wear my hat and gloves when I go out. I noticed that you have gloves in your pocket; good for you. That’s a wise decision.” But don’t expect an answer, rather a reaction, as the child will most likely pull the gloves from their pocket and put them on. Then you can say—“I like your gloves. They look very warm. I have nice gloves too. Look at the snowflake on the front. I chose them because I particularly like snowflakes.”

At the time, you might think your conversation was meaningless to the child, but you can be assured that next time he/she is bought gloves, he/she will insist they have snowflakes on them—just like the snowflake man/woman that you will be remembered as.

The simplest kind act of chatting and laughing with a child with FAS can have an enormous positive outcome, so don’t think your time has not made an impression. By the same token, shunning or ignoring the child influences them negatively.

Download for FREE my two memoirs:

Two Decades Of Diapers

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years

from my website 

Two Decades Of Diapers

Barbara Studham’s memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers

Two Decades Of Diapers. Are you an individual with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or a caregiver/support worker to an individual with FAS? Are you considering adopting or fostering a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Or are you a reader simply interested in the effects of mental illness. If so, then for these, and many other reasons, Two Decades of Diapers is essential reading. During my twenty years of single-handedly raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the temptation to run from this often uncontrollable mental illness and all the struggles it brought into my 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 illness. 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. FREE to download! Also available in paperback from

FAS: The Teen Years

Now Available: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years. Barbara Studham’s memoir sequel to Two Decades Of Diapers

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years.  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 illness caused by pre-natal exposure to alcohol. I spent twenty years raising grandchildren with FAS. 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.

However, 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 mental illness 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 and FREE to download from my website:

See my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome playlist on