Prom is Not a Big Deal

It’s almost this time of the year again – Prom is coming up.

Plus we are getting ready to start of next wednesday at the Churchill High School with our first presentation for “The Better Safe than Sorry – Alcohol and Unprotected Sex Don’t Mix! Campaign aiming to empower high school students to make informed personal decisions about alcohol use.

A word of advise:

Safety Tip #8: Fashion Tip.

Don’t Vomit on your Favorite Clothes! You spent all this time picking out a stunning dress or tuxedo but you drink too much, you get sick and in the end you throw up all over yourself. IT HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. Be aware!

Don’t make prom bigger as it is. Stick to the same high standards you would have for yourself at a dance on any other night of the year. BE SAFE and you will have FUN!

Visit http://www.datesafeproject.org/prom-not-big-deal/

Living with FASD Beyond the Orphanage

This article was written by Katarina, a young women in her twenties who was diagnosed with FASD when she was already in her teens. Katarina was born in Russia and got adopted by an American family at the age of 11. In her article she describes her life and her emotions that came with the diagnose of having FASD.  She is very brave to write down her thoughts and emotions and share them with us and the world.

OH Life Perspectives PDF

4 Families Seek to Confront, Understand FASD – a Touching Documentary Revealing the Impact of FASD on a Child

The last post was introducing us to 4 women and their life stories. This article is about their children:

The impact of FASD on the life’s of Serenity age 6, Jacob age 9, Elaine age 10 and Elijah age 8.

“A child with an FASD can suffer damage to parts of the brain that determine intelligence, memory, language ability, motor skills and senses like touch and hearing.” They can be hypersensitive to temperature, noise and/or touch. In most cases their disability is not visible, so in daily life people don’t notice it right away meaning they might not be able to provide the needed help or care e.g. at school.

Children with FAS or FASD sometimes display “dysmaturity”, meaning their emotional ages are much younger than their actual ages.

Heidi Case “It’s not always alcoholics who have these children with FASD,” she said. “It’s people like me who went on a cruise and had a little fun and now, not only are we paying for it as a family, but I have a son who is paying for it for the rest of his life. The hardest thing is just knowing that it won’t ever go away,” Heidi said. “It’s not a mental illness. It’s not something that can be fixed. It’s brain damage.”

The struggles they are going to face all through life could have been prevented. That’s a burden their mother’s have to carry on for their whole life.

It is a very interesting and touching article and a great overview of FASD.

To read the whole article visit http://www.adn.com/2014/02/24/3344493/a-silent-epidemic.html 

What You Don’t Know About Pregnancy: Four Mothers Tell Their Stories

Before they even realized that they were pregnant, alcohol was already causing damage to the growing fetus in their womb. Alcohol was killing their children’s brain cells.
Others couldn’t stop drinking because it became their coping mechanism to deal with their struggles in daily life. Helen Benson confesses: “I drank as an escape.”

Challenges of Individuals with FASD: “Lives and Crimes: Kids Who Suffer Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder”

Read the story of Jack, who is described as impatient and impulsive, with a poor memory, a short attention span and a hard time of deciding between right or wrong – all signs/results of suffering from FASD.
In trouble with the law. Convicted of burglary, drug dealing and assault, Jack has spent the past decade in and out of juvenile detention and prison.
“They often don’t understand that they have done something wrong,” Professor Elizabeth Elliott, a pediatrician at Sydney University says. ”They can’t understand the consequences of their actions.”

Most children even receive normal IQ scores because their problems with memory, attention and behaviour control do not tend to show up on standard intelligence tests.

”It just breaks my heart to see these kids set up for failure, time and time and time again.”

To read the full article visit http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/lives-and-crimes-kids-who-suffer-foetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-20140215-32ssk.html

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and it’s Consequences

Summarizing the article “A Neurodevelopmental Paradigm for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

FASD as a preventable condition combined with a psychosocial history of witnessing or experiencing abuse can predispose individuals to early onset criminal behavior and, in many cases to violent and impulsive aggression. It can also predispose an individual to poor social and academic performance which might lead to school failure.

Links between FASD and criminal behavior

Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and the brain damage it causes can lead to deficit an affected individual in the following dimensions:

1. Impaired Neurocognitive Functioning

meaning an affected individual might suffer from learning and memory problems and might have deficits in executive functioning tasks like problem-solving, strategic planning, response inhibition, emotion and urge control and cognitive flexibility. A poor academic performance can lead to school failure.

2. Impaired Self-Regulation

meaning an affected individual can get easily provoked, frustrated, irritated and enraged.

3. Impaired Adaptive Functioning

meaning an affected individual might have arrested development in language skills, daily living skills, social skills and/or moral development.

New DSM Code Should Benefit Clinicians, Researchers

Individuals affected by prenatal alcohol exposure finally have a diagnostic code in DSM 5, “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”.

“We were pleased that DSM-5 introduced neurodevelopmental disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE) in the category “Specified Other Neurodevelopmental Disorder” (315.8).”

“[…] we believe that by further defining ND-PAE as a neurodevelopmental disorder with its own diagnostic code, psychiatrists, epidemiologists, managed care organizations, and other systems of care will be able to quantify the numbers of affected individuals, develop standardized treatment protocols, and target primary-prevention strategies for this tragic and preventable condition.”

Read more at http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=1792237