Comic strip can be found here: http://dennisthemenace.com/comics/february-5-2009/ Did Dennis say these things because he was young or because he lacked the filter or social skills that most neuro-typical people have. He said it because he lacked the filter which stops most of us from saying something that might hurt another's feelings or it is something … Continue reading Dennis the Menace strikes again!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOeQUwdAjE0 This is one of the most powerful videos I have seen in a long time - if ever. Just under 19 minutes. Anyone considering fostering or adopting or looking after any child removed from their birth family needs to see this film. Although it is well produced and the child's words may not really … Continue reading ReMoved – a child goes into foster care
The 9th day of the 9th month is a day set aside around the world as a day to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term to describe a group of developmental disorders that results from the exposure of a fetus to alcohol. FASD includes, Fetal … Continue reading Today is FASD Awareness Day.
What does this mean? Imagine London, Ontario or Calgary, Alberta. These two Canadian cities have populations similar to the low-high ranges of people living with FASD. These are conservative figures. Some recent reports speculate FASD affects 5% of the population. This does not include the families or caregivers who are looking after or being the … Continue reading FASD Fact Friday
I read an article in a newsletter from the Catholic Children’s Aid Society (Toronto, Ontario Canada) that stated Dennis the Menace, based on the cartoonist’s son, had FASD.
As a child, I didn’t like this cartoon. I found Dennis slightly annoying. Now I understand why he did what he did. As an adult I would have more compassion. Sorry Dennis for misunderstanding you!
The following is directly from the CCAS article:
NOTE: The link I had to the article is no longer valid so I had to remove it. I’m not sure if that means they were asked to remove it or the page was moved. I did change some of the language used in the original article.
For those that do not know Dennis: In the classic cartoon series Dennis the Menace, Dennis is depicted as a mischievous, lazy and defiant young boy, constantly getting himself into trouble. In each episode, Dennis drives his neighbour, Mr. Wilson, mad with his mischievous outbursts, eventually leading to an argument between the two of them. But by the end of each episode, Dennis’ charm wins over Mr. Wilson, and they once again become best friends.
Dennis the Menace had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Cartoon creator, Hank Ketcham based Dennis’ character on his own son, who had FASD. It is common for people to misinterpret FASD-related behaviours as noncompliance.
But Dennis’ behaviour wasn’t disobedience, rather it was the result of physical, mental, and learning disabilities associated with FASD. Dennis, like so many children with FASD, struggled without appropriate accommodations — it’s not that Dennis didn’t want to behave, but rather that he couldn’t (without appropriate supports).
I tried to find other articles to see if he did have FASD, but could not.
What made things tougher was the fact that Dennis suffered from a learning disability. His parents’ solution was to place him in a series of private schools. “We never did find out what was wrong,” says Hank. “Even though he wasn’t a behavior problem, Dennis had a difficult time keeping up with academics.”
Alice, meanwhile, was “caught up in luncheons, teas and bouts with demon rum,” as Hank once said, and became an alcoholic. In 1959 she filed for divorce, and as her condition deteriorated, Dennis, then 12, was sent to a boarding school near Carmel. “I didn’t know what was going on,” says Dennis, “except that I felt Dad wanted me out of the way.” A few months after he left for school, his mother died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and barbiturates at the age of 41.
I wish I knew the source from the CCAS article to refer to. Was the article simply speculation? or did they find an interview with Hank Ketchum that stated his son did have FASD. What do you think? Does the behaviour of Dennis seem like that of a child with FASD?
The article below is from another blog talking about Dairy Queen “dropping” Dennis as the spokesperson for the business.
From 1971 until 2001 Dennis the Menace appeared as the spokestoon for Dairy Queen. Dairy Queen dropped him because they felt children could no longer relate to him. Don’t worry Dennis, even Donkey Kong had to go through this. RIP. I assume he shot himself after this news
…So they are a big cause to the pollution problem in the world?
The maiden turned 16 this month. Big birthday for most teenagers in Ontario because they can begin the process of trying for their driver's licence. And like a typical teenager, the maiden wants to start to drive. Most parents worry about their child being responsible while behind the wheel. Parents of teenagers with FASD have to … Continue reading Mom I am Old Enough to Drive Now!
What does this mean? It means keep your questions, explanations, directions and conversations simple and free of jargon. If appropriate, ask the person to repeat what you have said. Or watch for signs of understanding. Do not be taken in by what you see. FASD is a hidden disability. My daughter has been charming adults … Continue reading FASD Fact Friday
While helping the maiden clean her room this week, we came across this little booklet I had made for her when she was nine. We read through it and had a good laugh. It was made as a quiet activity for her to do in the morning if she woke up before me. I had … Continue reading The Maiden’s Guideline’s for Good Behaviour
Last week I finished a seven week webinar presented by an organization called Families Affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FAFASD. The webinar was for families and caregivers of people with FASD. I have taken many courses, read numerous books, and talked with others but believe I can always learn something new. It is … Continue reading 7 things I just learned about FASD
I have been feeling very on edge this past week. In the past I would have exploded in anger, or shut down and cried. But now I breathe. I try to find a few quiet moments, but there have been very few quiet moments this week. I need time to myself to recharge. Away from … Continue reading Quiet and calm has been elusive this week