Adoption and Family,  FASD,  special needs

My response to: Am 630 Edmonton CHED – re: FASD

In a post issued today by Bob Layton, an Edmonton radio talk show host there was a mention of Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Actual terms used were “fetal alcohol babies” and “mentally deficient souls.”

This came to thriftymommastips’ attention by way of FASLINK, an Internet listserv that helps connect and support adoptive and biological parents to children with diagnosed and suspected FASD. Naturally given the closeness of this topic to my heart, the fact that my five-year-old has FASD and many of the children of the people in our adoptive parent’s support group are struggling to raise kids with this brain injury, I had to respond.

This is my comment to CHED:

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder affects an estimated 300,000 Canadians, among them my daughter, now 5. FASD is a neurological disability, a brain injury inflicted prior to birth. We as a society need to do much better recognizing, diagnosing and supporting the individuals with FASD, who are not just babies, but children, teens, youth and adults. It is a physical disability and when people in general, schools, neighbours, doctors, parents, legal officials expect individuals with complex brain injury to perform in ways that they are unable it is essentially like trying to teach a fish to walk. A fish will never ever walk despite all the behaviour modification and star charts, even jail time. So let’s work on prevention certainly from a young age in schools, but not at the expense of supporting families and individuals here now trying so hard to help fish be fish.

Paula Schuck
also cofounder Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.