Day 11 of the countdown to FASDay and it’s time to switch gears. Today’s tip, and the next series of tips will focus on some positive things that will help people who are wondering just how to we help people living with FASD. Many people who are already supporting people may know most of these, but there may be a few new ones, or for people just starting out on their journey or others who think there is no hope – there is hope and help out there.
In the journey for myself and the maiden we have had a few really great people support us – and a few not so great. In terms of the above graphic, the one that made a difference for the maiden is the loving, nurturing and stable environment that I provided – but that was not until she was adopted at 8 years of age.
She suffered violence and severe neglect until she was four years of age in her birth home. She was brought into care of the Children’s Aid Society when she was four, and although the clinician suspected FASD, there was no formal diagnosis. She was luckier than some foster children, as she only had two foster placements – however the first one her and her siblings were kept together, but the second one they were split into separate foster homes.
There was little support during her entire school experience. She was given a FASD diagnosis at 11, but from 8 – 11 years we had three very difficult years. It was only after a serious rage which caused destruction in the house and involved the police, were we provided with services to help.
The one thing that did remain constant for her for 11 years was my support, advocacy and love. Yes, I was frustrated, tired and in hindsight would have done some things differently, had I known better. But I did the best I could with what I knew.
As more research happens, outcomes for families and children will improve. Over the course of this 99 Day journey I will share practical tips and success stories, in addition to the statistics. A diagnosis of FASD does not mean all hope is lost.
Check back tomorrow for Day 12!