Category Archives: FASD Resources and Information

MOFAS: Keeping Routines for Children with an FASD

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keeping routines for children with an FASD

Having a routine for children with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) can help reduce stress and anxiety. Children with an FASD have permanent brain injuries that can impact communication, understanding, responses to stress, and more. It can help your child overcome these brain injury symptoms, and stay calm more easily, to know what to expect, where they are going, and who they’ll be with.

Here are some tips for keeping a routine for your child with an FASD:


PLANNING OUT YOUR CHILD’S DAY, TO THE EXTENT YOU CAN, CAN HELP ALLEVIATE STRESS

Plan out your day

Planning out your child’s day, to the extent you can, can help alleviate stress. Children with an FASD might have fears of the unknown. It can be helpful to talk about daily activities and what your child can expect. When kids know what is to come, they often have an easier time with transitions. Check the MOFAS Pinterest page for ideas on how to make your own charts and calendars. You can also try to plan ahead to address things you know might cause anxiety for a child. For example, if you’re headed somewhere where you expect a crowd, and you know your child gets anxious in that situation, you and your child can plan what they can use as fidgets, safe spaces, and breathing techniques that will help them stay calm.


USE AN ALARM OR TIMER TO HELP CHILDREN WITH AN FASD TRACK TIME

Use alarms and timers to help keep track of time

Children with an FASD can have a hard time knowing the difference between one minute, five minutes, or 30 minutes. To help your child manage time, you can use visual timers, markings on the face of an analog clock, auditory timers, and alarms. Setting times for brushing teeth, taking a shower, or even getting ready for school can help your child stay on track. Create a sense of time with the help from FAS Link.


GIVE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS, WITH A STEP-BY-STEP BREAKDOWN.

Give clear instructions

If you ask a child without an FASD to do their homework, they’ll understand what that means. But a child with an FASD may need to have all those steps broken down. “Do your homework” could be described in steps using the “first – then” approach like this:

To do your homework:

  • First, find your backpack.
  • Then, take out your homework assignment.

Next, do your assignment:

  • First, grab your pencil.
  • Then, write your assignment.

Lastly, you’ll need to put everything away:

  • First, put the homework and pencil back in your backpack.
  • Then, put your backpack by the door for the morning.

Kids with an FASD need to have a clear understanding of all the steps. For additional ideas on how to help a child with an FASD handle routines, check out The Autism Helper.


DAYS FLUCTUATE, AND SCHEDULES WON'T ALWAYS BE PERFECT. ALLOW TIME FOR IMPROVISING AND REBOUNDS.

Adapt

Days fluctuate. Schedules won’t always be perfect, and there will be meltdowns and other setbacks. That’s okay. If you can, allow time for improvising, taking things a little slower, and rebounding. And if you notice a certain routine isn’t working, you may want to try making some changes. Things won’t work every time, what works for some may not work for others, and what works one day may not work another day. Trust your instinct on what your child needs. And as hard as it is, taking care of yourself as much as you can help you stay flexible and creative when things aren’t going as planned.

Retrieved from: https://www.mofas.org/2017/06/keeping-routines-children-fasd/

Self Care Isn’t Enough When You Parent Complex Kids

Mani-pedis won’t fill the void entirely.

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By: Alethea Mshar, Contributor

I’m getting a mani-pedi today. If there’s a poster for self-care a mani-pedi would be on it. It’s relaxing, makes you look better, and it’s a couple hours away from the grind. The bonus is that I have a couple of gift cards to offset the cost so it’s not even a ding on the budget.

As spring arrives I will take pleasure in my beautified bare toes and most certainly ruin my mani by the end of the day, but that’s not the point. The point is the break, the focus on myself. A much needed boost to my spirit.

But is it ever enough?

I believe in self-care, truly I do, but (you know what they say about “but,” ignore everything before it) it’s like offering a candy bar to someone suffering from malnourishment. It will taste great and give a momentary pause to the pangs that rumble nonstop, but it will do nothing to correct the underlying void. A malnourished person needs not a treat, not a single meal, but access to long-term sustenance.

And the full-time parent of complex kids doesn’t need a mani-pedi. It’s a candy bar that will only quiet the pangs momentarily.

What is needed, truly needed, by parents, especially the primary parent of complex kids, is much wider and deeper than a few hours of self care can begin to address. When you consider that moms of autistic kids have stress levels akin to that of combat soldiers it becomes apparent that a brief outing isn’t even beginning to address the issue. It’s a bandage on a hemorrhage.

What is necessary is wraparound services. Respite, extended school years and more.

We recently found out that Ben was approved for the Children’s Waiver Program. This program will provide for him all the benefits of Medicaid, despite our income being over the threshold, as well as respite, Community Living Services (someone to help Ben learn how to do things that most people take for granted, like tolerate an outing to the grocery store.) When getting the news of approval I felt like a someone took me by the hand, showed me a farm with a garden full of bounty and a barn full of animals that, if well cared for could nourish our whole family indefinitely.I’ve been told that the church or private charities should step in. Idealistically I agree wholeheartedly, but I have yet to find a church or charity that is equipped and capable of stepping into the enormous gaps that families like ours have year after year.

I’ve been told that the church or private charities should step in. Idealistically I agree wholeheartedly, but I have yet to find a church or charity that is equipped and capable of stepping into the enormous gaps that families like ours have year after year.

It takes interventions like the Children’s Waiver Program to make a difference in the lives of families like ours, there’s really no substitute.

I’ll go get my mani-pedi today, and it will be a treat, but it won’t satisfy. It won’t fill the void and I’ve learned not to expect it to be enough. I’m beyond grateful to anticipate finally having the resources we need, but at the same time, I look at so many other families I know, moms who live as combat soldiers who need it just as much as we do.

We need to do better, and provide these families with services they need to thrive.

Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-does-real-self-care-look-like-when-you-parent_us_58f0bbfae4b04cae050dc65f?section=us_parents

FASD Research Project

CanFASD’s Strategic Lead for Justice Interventions Michelle Stewart, and her research team have created an FASD resource page for front line workers and researchers with information about programs/projects across Canada.

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This research project is lead by Dr. Michelle Stewart at the University of Regina. Working with her team of students, Dr. Stewart has a multi-level research project in three key areas:

  • FASD & Social Justice: This multi-year, multi-stage project includes a cross-Canada research trip for interviews with families & workers focused on programs and practices to assist those with  FASD across the lifespan. Data collection is ongoing.
  • FASD & the Lived Experience: This project includes collaborations in BC and Saskatchewan that focus on the lived experiences of people with FASD with attention to the need for life-long supports and experiences of receiving diagnosis. Contact us for infographics available free of charge. Data collection is ongoing.
  • Strengths-Based Workshops:  This pilot project uses strengths-based approach to understanding FASD. The project uses improvisation to explored key issues facing people who have FASD. Preliminary findings will be released in Fall 2016 (including tools such as sleep aids). Contact us for a copy of research infographic.

Visit the following link for more information: https://fasdresearchproject.com/

 

Frontline Newsletter – October 2016

Still thinking of what to do with kids this Halloween?  Don’t worry, we did the homework for you.  Your Halloween celebration can include much more than just costumes and trick-or-treating. These simple, not-too-scary Halloween games will help you host the best Halloween party ever!  We also have a piece on relationships  and so much more!  Happy reading!

Please note that, you can find this and previous newsletters at:

https://edmontonfetalalcoholnetwork.org/resources/frontline-newsletters/newsletters/

 

 

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) – Pregnant? Think! Don’t Drink – 43rd Video Series


Your baby drinks what you drink – if you are pregnant, think! don’t drink

When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol while pregnant, the alcohol passes into her blood stream and spreads throughout her body.  As soon as the alcohol is in her body it passes into the placenta and passes to the baby through the umbilical cord.  This increases the risk of FASD

 

Disclaimer:  The views and opinions in this video are those of the presenters’ and do not necessarily represent the views of Edmonton and Area Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Network.

Registration is now open for the Girls Empowered and Strong summer programming.

This is free fun summer programming for teen girls that incorporates the topics of self-esteem, healthy relationships, and empowerment. FASD is not a requirement of enrollment and participants need to be able to attend without a one-on-one support, but the programs are FASD inclusive.

Share with your contacts.

 

GES 2016 Summer Programming

Click poster to download pdf

 

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