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.
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
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
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.
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.