Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

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Christmas with FASD!

What to Buy?


Buying Christmas gifts for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is never easy, especially when they are young. I recall, one Christmas, buying a toy aircraft carrier for my eldest grandson who was six years of age at the time. The carrier came in a huge box displaying pictures of airplanes and personnel, made “gun” sounds, and included several airplanes. All plastic, of course, but guaranteed to please.

Christmas with FASD!

But on Christmas morning, as my grandchildren opened their gifts amid squeals of delight, I noticed my grandson looking perplexed at the aircraft carrier. “What is it?” he asked.

“An aircraft carrier,” I explained, suddenly aware of my mistake in assuming any six year old boy would know what an aircraft carrier is.

“What is it for?”

“For landing planes. It is a military vessel.” I set up the airplanes, showed him how to steer the carrier along the pretend sea, and set off the guns to add to the excitement. But, all in vain, as my grandson was simply not interested.

Two hours later, however, I hear a ruckus coming from his room and look in to see my two grandsons jumping onto the now flattened aircraft carrier which was quickly growing into a mess of plastic splinters.

“Look, Mom!” cried my grandson with arms spread wide, as he stood on the carrier. “I’m an airplane!”


After that Christmas I kept things simple by buying bikes, skateboards, scooters– anything that came in one piece and made mostly of metal.

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