Saturday, September 5, 2015

September Is National FASD Awareness Month


                                      State-Specific Weighted Prevalence Estimates of Alcohol Use Among Women 18–44 Years of Age, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2012

                                             I found this map here

   No amount of alcohol is safe when you are pregnant. An unborn child cannot process alcohol because it's liver is not fully developed, thus they absorb all the alcohol and have the same alcohol blood content as the mother. 

Of all the substances of abuse such as Heroin, Cocaine and Marijuana, alcohol produces by far, the most serious neurobehavioral effects in an infant.

FASD cannot be cured. The damage is permanent, although many people can learn to live a functional life if they have loving families, support and learn strategies for managing their disabilities. 

       Here are a few of the difficulties those diagnosed with FASD may face. It is by no means a complete list, I doubt such a list even exists since Fetal Alcohol can affect every part of the body. I will share a few examples of how the things listed below pan out in daily life.

- Lack of appropriate social behavior. This is a big one for us and it seems that almost everyone affected by prenatal alcohol exposure struggles in this area. 
- Increased startle response
- Manipulative behavior
- Attachment issue's. We have put a lot of effort into building our bond with Joseph because he views relationships in a different way than you or I. For instance, he thinks we don't love him if we give him consequences.
-Demanding parents time and attention
- Just doesn't "get it" cluelessness
-Selective Hearing. Another one of the things we deal with, although I must say this malady seems to affect all of our children, not just Joseph.3
- Inability to understand and obey laws. This one is where many people get in trouble. They cannot understand the laws, so they ignore them. 
- Unable to hold down a job. This is, in part because of the good day/bad day aspect of FASD
-Can't follow directions
-No resistance to peer pressure. I am sure I am not the only mom out there who worries about this one. Joseph will do anything, if he thinks it will gain him a friend.
- "In your face personality"
- Likes living on the edge
- Memory problems
- Inability to focus
- Forgets medications
- Homelessness
- Drug and alcohol abuse. I read an article once that read something like this: Usually when a teen tries alcohol he becomes sick, that is often enough to turn him away from the stuff. Teens with FASD however, find that they make "friends" when they are drunk, people include them, they no longer feel like outsiders, best of all it makes them feel good, something they seldom experience. This may explain in part, those with FASD, may be more prone to abuse alcohol.
- Lying and stealing. It has taken us a long time to come to grips with this issue. If Joseph see's something he wants he takes it. He will lie about it so convincingly you believe him, besides how can a child with his disabilities think up such "intelligent lie's?" 
-Argumentative nature. Joseph loves to argue, he thrives on it, much to our dismay. At the moment he is doing better at doing as he is told because, "Mom said so." But as is typical for FASD the symptoms come and go.
- No concept of time. Just today Joseph came to me and said, "I feel so sorry for Abraham Lincoln." I asked why and he answered, "Cause someone shot him in the brain, it just makes me so sad." 
                          Image result for fetal alcohol disorder quotes 
                                     Image result for fetal alcohol disorder quotes

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