Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

Poster for the disabled in London UK subway system. barbara.studham.com


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Poster advocating for the disabled in London UK subways

Fantastic Poster Advocating for the Disabled

Taking a much needed break from long-term caregiving to grandkids with #FASD, I visited London, UK. While touring, I spotted a long line of posters in the subway system. One poster in particular, of which several were displayed on the tiled subway walls, was eye-catching.

Poster for the disabled in London UK subway system. barbara.studham.com

Poster for the disabled in London UK subway system. barbara.studham.com

Fantastic Poster Advocating for the Disabled

So many people with disabilities are ignored, overlooked, or just plain detested, so posters such as these remind able-bodied society that people with disabilities are humans with needs, wants, and dreams.

I especially like the small print “Time to get equal.” Nothing could ring truer in 2018. Time to break down those barriers and stop looking through people with disabilities. If we want to be seen as a progressive country, we need to be progressive in thought and action. 

Time to get equal. 

It is not up to the person with the disability to reach out to the able-bodied. Goodness knows, they have been doing that for so long. No, it is time for the able-bodied to stop and turn to see people with disabilities for who they really are: loving, caring, striving, strong, individuals asking for acceptance within their communities. 


Barbara Studam’s bio:

Barbara Studham's FASD memoirs. Two Decades of Diapers and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. challengedhope.com

Barbara Studham’s FASD memoirs. Two Decades of Diapers and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. challengedhope.com

Barbara Studham, the memoir writer. I wrote my first #FASD memoir titled Two Decades of Diapers in 2014; my second #FASD memoir titled Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years in 2016. Both cover the twenty years I parented four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Barbara Studham, the fiction writer. I also write fiction, including the English seaside series, Under the Shanklin SkyBarbara Studham, the children’s FASD picture book creator. My latest creation is a children’s #FASD picture book series titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. See, THE SCHOOL DAY, and, FIDGET! on AMAZON. Soon available: The Birthday Bash, and, ADVOCATE! All books available from AMAZON. 

Barbara Studham’s books are available from AMAZON.

Author blog: http://www.barbarastudham.com

FASD blog: http://www.challengedhope.com

Amazon Author Page:

www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

 

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FASD everywhere

FASD is a global disorder!

Make no mistake, FASD is everywhere! It is a global disaster and growing. Stats prove this. Education on the disorder is essential. Discussion vital, as we discover alcoholic sperm can cause FASD during conception. Visit the following links for information.

http://allparenting.com/my-pregnancy/articles/970449/dads-can-also-cause-fetal-alcohol-syndrome

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140214075405.htm

FASD everywhere

The immediate global interest in my children’s FASD picture book Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome confirms my original instinct that caregivers crave appropriate books for their children with FASD. I know because I was one of them. Too bad a picture book like Strawberry & Cracker wasn’t available when I was raising my young grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The book would have helped me introduce my grandchildren to their disorder, and they would have loved characters with whom they could identify. Not stereotypical super-heroes, but everyday kids challenged by life’s FASD struggles. Caregivers of children with FASD need all the help they deserve, and I believe Strawberry & Cracker children’s picture book is high on the list of must-haves. What a wonderful way to educate both children and society about FASD and the children’s special needs.

FASD everywhere

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome would make a great gift for a child with FASD, so don’t forget to add it to your Christmas, or any other day, list. Genre: Family relationships/special needs children. Glossy front and back cover. The picture book includes twenty-six inside pages with color images and large print. Size: 8.5” x 8.5”. Price: $9.99 USD. Available from AMAZON.

FASD everywhere

Coming in 2018! The second in the Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, series, titled,

FIDGET!

Bio: Barbara Studham has written FASD memoirs, fiction, and is currently working on the next in the Strawberry & Cracker series, titled, FIDGET!

Visit her  Amazon Author Page at the following link.

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

Twitter: @barbarastudham

Also on: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn,

Barbara Studham’s blogs:

www.barbarastudham.com

 www.challengedhope.com


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Children’s FASD picture book

People are loving

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Here are just a few.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover.

Where to purchase?

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is available from your AMAZON

or this link

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


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Hamilton ON ODSP Office.

The Appointment.

I’m sitting in the Hamilton, ON, ODSP office. My grandson has an appointment. Soon, he and his caseworker will walk in and join me. Meanwhile, I take in my surroundings. Cold and unwelcoming, the waiting area easily seats twenty, but only a handful of people surround me. Some sit patiently, others pace. Sitting by the entrance affords me a view of their comings and goings.

A man, I guess to be in his forties, approaches the entrance; his appearance unkempt, his shoes mismatched. Unsure of protocol, he nervously peers around.

A receptionist’s voice strikes the air. “Next!” A number lights up behind her.

Still in the entrance, the man raises his hand.

“Do you have a number?” she calls.

Unsure, he steps back.

“Do you have a number?” she repeats. Her tone is shrill.

He smiles uneasily.

A young woman in the chair next to mine interjects. “The numbers are outside the entrance,” she explains to the man. She points. “There, just behind you. Take one then take a seat and wait your turn.”

He nods in gratitude, takes a number, but remains standing.

“Next!” we hear again.

He strides forward, number in hand. Several people with lesser numbers protest.

“What number do you have?” the receptionist asks.

He looks at the ticket, but shakes his head. He’s unsure.

“Bring it here.” She looks at the number. “You are not next,” she snaps. “You are number 32.” She points to the number sign. “This number is 25. Sit down and wait your turn.”

Gingerly, he sits beside the young woman and waits. I hear her whisper. She tells him she will let him know when they call his number. My grandson and his support worker arrive. He hugs me, which is always nice, but a problem has arisen at reception #2. A young man has received a form to complete.

“Read it, and then sign here, here, and here,” the woman is saying, pointing a finger to each area.

“Where?” the young man asks.

“Here, here, and here!” she repeats.

Body language kicks in. I recognize the signs. The young man doesn’t read well. He most likely can’t sign his name. His eyes glaze over as he tries to think of ways to avoid explaining. Both hands press down hard into his jeans’ pockets. He bites his bottom lip.

“Take the form. Read it, and sign,” she repeats.

A kind voice interjects.  “Would you like some help,” it asks. “I have some free time.”

The young man looks up to see a twenty-something blonde who has just emerged from her office. He nods appreciatively. As she leads him to a corner of the room away from glaring eyes, two men stride into the office. Their voices are loud, their demeanor arrogant. They approach receptionist #1. She appears nervous and demands they leave.

“Not without our cheques!” one bellows.

“What do you mean—your cheques?” she asks.

“We are waiting for our fucking money!” says the other.

“You can’t come in here demanding money. You will have to leave!”

“Not until we get our money!”

“If you want to discuss your situation, you must phone the office to arrange an appointment.”

One of the guys strikes a fist hard into his palm. “What’s the fucking phone number?”

She hands him a business card. The other swears at her. They both leave. She calls security. Seconds later, a guard approaches reception. “They left in the elevator,” she explains. “But they might still be in the building.” The guard speaks into his phone.

Thirty minutes later, we are still waiting. The man’s number is finally called, but the young woman who was seated beside him has left. He anxiously raises his hand as if unsure it is his turn. Receptionist #2 checks his number.

“So, what can we do for you today?” she asks.

“I have an appointment.”

Surprise lights up her face. “You have an appointment? Why did you take a number? Didn’t you see the sign?”

He looks around him. She points to a sign taped to a wall beside her, which reads: IF YOU HAVE AN APPOINTMENT, DO NOT TAKE A NUMBER. COME TO RECEPTION AND CHECK IN.

“Well, you are too late, now,” she spits. “Your appointment was half an hour ago. You will have to call to reschedule.” The sign blinks–number 33. “Who is next?” she calls.

Overlooked, the man turns and leaves the office.

It was then I understood why so many people with disabilities are homeless. Many do not know how to read nor write. They don’t understand office protocol, nor the appropriate forms to complete, nor the requirements expected of them, so they believe funding is unavailable. Not all have support workers to help them, so they go without—no income, no home, no food, no clothing, and no dignity.

KATHLEEN WYNNE, it is time to transform Ontario’s ODSP offices

into places of respect, understanding, and support.

If YOU agree, please share this post.

“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life . . . the children; those who are in the twilight of life . . . the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life . . . the sick . . . the needy . . . and the disabled.”

— Hubert Humphrey

To discover how I learned to recognize the body language of people who have mental health disorders, join me at the following link and click on my two FASD memoirs and my children’s FASD picture book.

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


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A Mother’s Tears

The Window

The Window

The Window

I can’t believe I cried on the bus. It would not have happened if I had driven to my dental appointment, but, with traffic heavy and parking nonexistent in the downtown core, I use public transportation on dental day. 

After an intense tooth cleaning, and consultation, I caught the bus home. Five minutes into the drive, the bus stopped in dense traffic, and there it was … the window.

At the sight, my lips trembled. Sudden tears flowed down my cheeks. I could not hold back. Amid my horrendous embarrassment, I stared at the beast. It glared back, cold and indifferent. I imagined my daughter, standing there, smiling, as she had twenty years before.

The previous day she had given birth to her first child. At fifteen she had no idea of what the future held, yet she managed a smile as she spotted me approaching the hospital to visit her and my new grandson. Today, I cried on the bus at the memory of her at the hospital window, and recalled the trauma of the past two decades. 

To read of the details of what happened during those twenty years, read my two memoirs Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years. If you are a caregiver to a child with FASD, you and your child would enjoy my children’s picture book titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Along with my fiction, my memoirs, and children’s book are available from your Amazon or the following link.

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

 

 

 

 


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FASD children’s picture book

NOW AVAILABLE!

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Front Cover.

FASD children’s picture book.

Meet Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)! With over twenty years of experience parenting four grandchildren with FAS, through my perception of the disorder, I have created the children’s picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Illustrated in the first of the Strawberry & Cracker series, titled, The School Day, is the twins’ use of visual aids, the necessity to attend a special needs class, and living with a caregiver other than a biological parent. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces the reader to a typical school day in the life of a child with FAS, and the supports required for a successful outcome.  

FASD children’s picture book.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the picture book series, is designed to fulfill several needs:

  • To offer children with FASD a fun picture book highlighting daily challenges they can relate to.
  • To help children with FASD accept their diagnosis with dignity and self-respect.
  • To offer caregivers a tool with which to introduce their child with FASD to the disorder.
  • To bring awareness of FASD to the public.

Story by Barbara Studham. Illustrated by Heather Lamb

Genre: Family and relationships/special needs children. Glossy front and back cover. The picture book includes twenty-six inside pages with color images and large print. Size: 8.5” x 8.5”.

Price: $9.99 USD

Available from your AMAZON