Children with FAS

Shirley - posted on 03/10/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have 2 adopted sons - both with a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I am interested in hearing from other moms who may be dealing with this same diagnosis and what are some of the challenges they have encountered with this diagnosis.

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Hi, I am Tracey and I live in Glastonbury, Somerset. We adopted my 9yr old 2 years ago now. Social services said he has aspects of FAS and disordered thinking. I can see he has aspects of Aspergers, Autism, and Dyspraxia but this may be a learned/ unlearned behaviour due to the severe neglect and trauma he experienced. He was not toilet trained and had limited social skills too.

I went to a seminar last year on trauma and attachment, and apparently 'trauma mimics syndromes'. He was under a paediatrician whilst in care, but they never really made a definitive diagnosis. He does have a statement of special educational needs and has 1-2-1 attention within the classroom of his mainstream school. With the help of Somerset Social Services I got more speach and language therapy and a referal to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. He now has Art Therapy. Following my initial consultation with her he has been refered to Occupational Therapy, and my GP refered him to a Paediatrician who we are seeing on 11th May. Theres a long wait for OT, so nothing happening there yet. I was under the impression that the area where he came from would make all these referals when he came to us, they didnt. When 'we' became 'I' things started to happen! I have had to be open with my feelings in order to get these referals, but it has been worth it. Talking to other mums and dads have helped. We have a good post adoption service, and there is 'Adoption UK' where you can chat with adoptive parents etc. There is 'NOFAS' which is a UK based charity, I found them after doing a web search. You have to be careful what you look at because some of it is scaremongering rubbish! I regularly chat with his school and my friends, we now have a referal to an emotional health worker and there is a mums group locally.

I found it really helps talking, friends/ professionals/ collegues/ inter groups. There is no one place to go for information, I found that out very quickly.

We, and then just me, refused to let his 'issues' stop us from doing anything. Went camping 3 weeks after he came to us. Ok we went close to home with extra sleeping bags, lots of clothing changes, nappy pants and black sacks for any horrible washing generated. No disasters and I cant recal negative looks or comments. I dont think the effects of the move had really sunk in.

Last year we went to the Carribean. That again wasn't really a problem. He was allowed in the lower age group kids club and mixed with kids of different needs and nationalities. It really helped bring him out. The only problem I had was in the airport prior to our return flight. He couldnt grasp why we had to leave and ran riot in the airport. The body-language etc of other passengers, adults and children alike, was very interesting to see! You could almost hear them thinking 'typical single mum cant control her children'. I got worn out chasing after him, so I had to bear-hug him laying/ sitting on the floor. He was headbutting and screaming abuse at me. I contained him on the spot, rocked him to soothe him, and just ignored everybody else! He eventually wore himself out after about 90 mins, wet himself and fell asleep. When he woke up he said he felt better, loved me and sorry for being naughty. It wasnt until then I think my 'audience' realised he wasnt just a naughty boy! Got a few nods and smiles on the plane too, never did find out who sent me the glass of wine but it didnt stay in the glass long! I find being patient, open and honest, having a sense of humour and good friends really helps.

Hope this helps you, even if it means boring you to sleep!

Tracey.

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