new to the group

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jersey girl, May 12, 2008.

  1. jersey girl

    jersey girl New Member

    Hi! I am so thrilled that I somehow found this forum!! In a nutshell, we have 5 kids. The oldest 4 biological, the youngest adopted. Diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). He was adopted at 4 months, he's now 6. We are completely and utterly overwhelmed with his behavior. I'm sure he's got ODD. He fits all the symptoms. Not helping is the fact that we live in a rural area and nobody has dealt with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), much less ODD. I get calls from the kindergarten teacher telling me she just doesn't know what to do with him. Funny, I thought it was her job to figure out what to do with him. The child study team is really nice, but also pretty clueless. I feel like a complete failure most of the time. I'm so frustrated because I can't even see a pattern or figure out what his triggers are. Sometimes his triggers change.

    It's been so uplifting reading the threads and seeing that I'm not the only one.
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) can be the problem and ODD is how it manifests. A lot of people think of ODD as more a symptom than a separate disorder. My understanding is that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) children are very difficult to treat successfully. With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) the development of the fetus has been damaged by alcohol. Where in the body and what function is damaged depends on the day the mother drank. If it's the brain that has been damaged, there is little that can be done to fix it.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hi, JerseyGirl! Welcome! It sounds like you have quite a handful there!! many people here have gone through similar situations with their kids, so you will get support, advice, cyber-friendship, etc.

    It will help us all to know if anyone has evaluated your son other than the school. If not, I would recommend an evaluation by a neuropsychologist (privately) or a neurologist or actually, maybe both. Others will have more experience with this- my son isn't doesn't suffer from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), so I'm not sure the route on that one. But, provate evaluations can be more thorough and reliable and you can set them up with highly qualified people (PhD or MD). I would think that would help to find his specific trouble areas. In can also help in dealing with the school and getting other appropriate treatment in place.

    In the meantime, many of us here have found the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene to be extremely helpful. It isn't written for a specific diagnosis but covers concepts and strategies for helping our kids who don't respond well to the typical way.

    Others will come along soon with more thoughts. Again, welcome!
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Hello JG, adding my welcome. My Major has been diagnosed Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) but I don't see that as causing most of his problems but who knows. With my son I mostly see the physical features on his face. Do you have any background on his birth family? Hope you have success in finding answers and you find this place warm, welcoming and informative.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome-you have found a place where you are no longer alone. Although my son doesn't have an official diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), I think there may be some of that as his birth mother used crack which means she was probably drinking too. I think having a neuro-psychiatric do some testing would be helpful. Again, welcome-glad you found us.
  6. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    from one jersey girl to another ......WELCOME!:redface:
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Welcome! I am sorry for your struggles. Now is the time to educate yourself on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and pass education along to the school system. Having an idea what type of things will be beneficial to your son will help you to help the school in developing an iep for him. As for support with the behaviors he's exhibiting, you have come to the right place! It's a great place to share your experiences and learn form others who are traveling down the same road.

    Glad you've found us!
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Jersey Girl, welcome.
    So sorry about your youngest ... and all of your struggles. If he really has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) you have a tough road ahead. I agree that the school system needs an IEP to understand how to handle the situation. Triggers are very important. I hope that eventually you will see a pattern, but if he's really got Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) there may never be a set pattern. I know The Explosive Child had been recommended, but I'd also recommend books on Sensory Integration Disorder, since that can be a part of the disorder and can involve triggers.
    Please don't feel like a failure. You have taken in this child and loved him and that, in my mind, makes you a success.
    Take care.
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Above is a link to case management services (which include Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)) in your state. We have CM along with a multitude of services because our adopted children's special needs & it has been a godsend.

    In the meantime, do your best to find time for yourselves to recharge.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I to live in a rural area and although I am dealing with Mental Illness and who knows all her other issues as they manifest! But I agree educating the School as much as you can or as much as they will let you can't hurt!
    When we first entered the public school here, they thought they knew about Bipolar Disorder, but I was asked things like, "Can she walk!" "I didn't know kids this young could GET Bipolar"
    Now despite her having lots of issues in school, "She is fine"!!! LOL
    Honestly because they do not have the funding. Which is sad. But they have learned so much. Which kind of made it worth it, ( we are moving)
    Read up, ask questions, came back as much as you want... Sorry you had to find us but again Welcome.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have four adopted kids (we actually adopted six, but two can't live with us anymore). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is organic brain damage and the kids really CAN'T learn from mistakes and also have a very very tough time retaining information. ODD is usually just an offshoot of another disorder. With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) the kids really aren't to blame for their behavior. It's not a mental illness or a behavioral disorder--it's a mental deficit due to the alcohol. They are victims, not bad kids. They often end up in jail as adults because they repeat the same mistakes over and over again. in my opinion Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids are best taught in a small setting.
    I"ve read quite a bit about it and they are making strides in understanding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) (which affect kids the same ways). Often they seem like "bad" kids without a conscience, but they just don't understand cause and effect. The latest book I read (and I CAN'T remember the name of the book!) had adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and their input. All were relieved when they learned why they continuously repeated the same mistakes over and over again and didn't "get it." They agreed that the best "treatment" is very close monitoring both as kids and aduts. They do need people to keep them out of trouble because they can't (not, won't, but CAN'T) learn how to make good choices. Many Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) kids repeat the drinking and end up losing children to social services. Although the topic interests me, I don't have any kids that really exhibit Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) behavior, although one had a crack using birthmom too (he is on the autism spectrum, but understands cause and affect and is doing well). For a while we thought he may have Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) because he was so hyper, but he got a lot better--way too much better to have Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE).
    It is unfair to expect teachers to understand how to teach kids with Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). They have "swiss cheese learning" meaning--picture a piece of swiss cheese. One day they may remember the alphabet. THe next day they may lose that memory in one of the holes. The next day they may remember again. It is very frustrating and difficult. So far there is no cure and the best help are interventions and very close supervisions throughout life. The parents of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) that I know who tried to let their kids go off on their own were sorry--almost all of them got pregnant and drink and lost custody of their children. They can live a quality life if they are watched closely to sort of save them from themselves. It is not a behavior problem--it's a real physical problem. I would get help from a doctor who totally understands Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). It may be hard to find one, but some adoption agencies know of resources for kids, as do some adoptive parent groups. We took our son to a great Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) treatament center in Chicago and it's great. It's one of the best in the country. Good luck!