Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada


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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

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A Sofa Full Of Memories

A New Sofa, A New Era!

Today, I’m getting a new sofa. My old one is twenty-two years old, sagging, food stained, crumb-filled, and most likely a bit smelly. But, oh my gosh, does that couch hold memories! I purchased it way back in l993—one year before I bought a sweet, little, black and white kitten who eventually died at the old age of twenty; two years before I discovered my teenage daughter was pregnant; three years before I took custody of my eldest grandson; six years before I had custody of my next two grandchildren born eleven months apart, and nine years before I was granted custody of my youngest granddaughter.

A sofa full of memories!

That sofa has seen a lot of activity—it’s been jumped on, screamed on, napped on, had food spilled on, climbed on, been vomited on, drawn on, watched tv from, and been timed-out on. It has had baby’s diapers changed on, Christmas and Birthday gifts opened on, and tears shed on (mostly mine).  It’s been dusted, vacuumed, and washed umpteen times. It’s been moved around rooms and moved to another house. But it’s now so uncomfortable that I had to slide a piece of wood under the cushions so I wouldn’t sink down to the floor when I sit. Even visitors avoid it.

So, it lies, a sorry sight, out in the yard waiting to be picked up by the garbage collectors. How sad it looks, as if it knows it is no longer welcome in our home. And sadly, it isn’t.

A sofa full of memories!

I can’t wait for my new sofa to arrive! It’s like waiting for the New Year’s Eve disco ball to drop in Times Square, because a new couch means a new era in life—hopefully a happy one. And, even though, my grandchildren will destroy it little by little, it too will embrace our memories as I continue to raise my grandchildren, write blog posts and books, and advocate for those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Its only consolation being, by the time it reaches twenty-two years of age, I will most likely not be around to replace it!

Some Of 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


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Event: Eden Mills Writers’ Festival

Don’t Miss This Event: Eden Mills Writers’ Festival  — Sunday September 13th 2015!

I will be attending this event: Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, as publisher of my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers, along with two friends and fellow authors, Viga Boland and Heather Lamb.

Come and meet us three, Barbara Studham, Viga Boland, and Heather Lamb at the event: Eden Mills Writers’ Festival on Sunday, September 13th from noon to 6:00pm. We love to talk about our books, so don’t be shy. We didn’t write our books to rot in cartons in our basements—we WANT to share our life experiences. My memoir describes the twenty years I spent raising four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Viga wants the world to know that incest is rampant and shares her own mind-blowing experience with incest at the hands of her father. Heather spent thirty-five years working as a bookkeeper in a Hamilton, Ontario, car dealership and writes humorously on the antics and escapades of her colleagues and the staff.

To learn more about the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, visit: http://www.edenmillswritersfestival.ca

Barbara Studham’s books are available from:

Viga Boland’s books are available from:

Heather Lamb’s new book, titled: This *#%$ing Car is a Lemon, will be available in 2016!

 


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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 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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Event

   I have been invited to speak about my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers at MEMOIRABILIA – WRITER’S EXPO, taking place at Turner Park Library on March 24/15 at 7:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for me to encourage anyone who has considered writing their memoir. I will also be discussing my book and addressing the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on individuals and families.

The host of Writer’s Expo is Viga Boland, editor of a new magazine, titled: MEMOIRABILIA. Recently launched, it contains a rich diversity of memoir reviews, tips on writing memoir, memoirists’ interviews and much more. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Viga, myself and two other memoirists at this event. So if you live in the area of Turner Park Library, 352, Rymal Road East, in Hamilton, Ontario and would like to attend. We will see you there on Tuesday, March 24th at 7:00.

For more information, or to purchase a printed or emag copy of Viga’s magazine, please visit http://www.vigaboland.com. To purchase a printed or ebook copy of my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers, or to view my other books for sale, please visit http://www.twodecadesofdiapers.com. Also available at Amazon, Kobo, and other fine ebook distributors.


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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