Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

Poster for the disabled in London UK subway system.

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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.

Poster for the disabled in London UK subway system.

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.

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

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.

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FASD: Childhood Memories

Many children with FASD have fond memories of their childhoods.

Despite the challenges and struggles associated with parenting a child with FASD, the child will often remember their childhood with fondness. Despite the child’s complex behaviors involving meltdowns; screaming, and defiance, which the caregiver would rather forget, the child appears able to ignore the troubled times and recall happier moments.

For example, all four of my grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), who I parented from birth, are now teenagers. Their “do you remember when…” recollections include special family days at Port Dover, Wild Water Works, and Confederation Park. The play area at McDonald’s also holds fond memories, as does shopping at Walmart for new shoes, and toys at Christmas. Though I remember them being difficult to control during our outings, I’m pleased when their recollections include a portrayal of a happy me.

My two ebook memoirs on parenting grandchildren with FAS

are available at the following links, and many other ebook distributors.


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FASD Friendships

Understanding FASD friendships!

Many individuals with FASD find friendships complicated, perhaps more so than initially forming the friendship. Social protocol often stands between the individual and his/her friend, forming a barrier between the two. The complex behaviors associated with FASD can cause breakdowns in communication. As the individual often does not understand people’s need for personal space, they might stand too close or interrupt when the friend’s focus is elsewhere.

Wake up! to FAS

Wake up to issues associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FASD Friendships

Supervision is vital during your child’s play. When with friends, it is important he/she is playing considerately, and enjoying playtime. Before the two meet up, parents of the children should communicate with each other. Knowing where the children are going helps with the decision of supervising. Remember, the longer the child with FASD plays, the more risky the situation becomes. Time opens the door to tiredness, feeling overwhelmed, and, if outside, other kids’ bullying. This usually leads to physical fights. The child with FASD becomes frustrated, and, knowing no other way, might lash out at the kids, goading them into a fight.

Role playing can also help the child with FASD. When the child is in a quiet, stable mood, invite a friend into your home. When your friend arrives, greet them accordingly. Teach your child how to react toward your friend. Role playing can also help your child understand and cope more adequately with stranger-danger.

Cue cards can also help. Play out stories and ask your child to point to the card that holds the key to his/her success. Praise them when correct, direct them calmly when they misunderstand. 

For more information on raising children with FAS, see my two memoirs: Two Decades of Diapers, and, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, both available from your Amazon, the following links, and most ebook distributors.


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Don’t Stress the Caregiver!

We Are Only Human!

Don't Stress The Caregiver!

Don’t Stress The Caregiver!

We caregivers of children with FASD often find their personal behaviors overwhelming. But the strategies offered us by the professionals can equally cause stress. “Be prepared,” we are told. “Know when a meltdown is imminent. Stay on top of the situation. Know what sets your child off and use preventative measures.”

That’s all well and good, but what if your child with FASD has an outburst on arriving home from school and you have no idea what has set him/her off. Or, how about children who melt down three or four times a day. Staying one step ahead of that child is nigh on impossible, not to mention stressful. Who can live that way?

Don’t Stress The Caregiver!

Certainly not a caregiver who has other children in the home, plus works outside the home, plus has to prepare supper on arriving home, plus has to see to the household chores and grocery shopping, plus has to drive the kids here, there, and everywhere. The last thing caregivers want added to their to-do list is to be on high-alert for a possible meltdown. We are, after all, only human!

Besides, most meltdowns do not stem from a trigger of the moment, but rather an incident that happened early that morning; one we overlooked, one we were too busy to notice, one that happened out of sight, the ones we couldn’t keep one step ahead of because we were unaware of the problem.

Don’t Stress The Caregiver!

Being expected to stay ahead of the meltdown is similar to telling an individual to stay one step ahead of an abusive spouse–always know when he is going to lash out, don’t react to his screaming, stay calm when he yells obscenities, don’t take his threats personally. It is impossible not to react, and I know that to be true because I was involved in an abusive relationship for five years and describe that time in my memoir: Psychopathetic, available now at and Also available is my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers, describing my twenty years raising four grandchildren with FAS. My new memoir, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years, will be available early 2016.

Don’t Stress The Caregiver!

So before blaming the caregiver for not having the ability to offset their child’s meltdowns, consider the intensity, stress, and fear associated with the outburst, not only on the child’s side, but for the caregiver too. It is true that it takes a village to raise a child but, when a child with FASD meltdowns in public, the village citizens often band together and blame the caregiver!

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