My Great Adventure

adoption family fasd fetal alcohol spectrum disorder Oct 27, 2021

 

It was a few years ago when our family collectively decided to take a giant step and become a foster family. Our four children were leaving elementary school, and we all wanted to open our home to children who needed it. We were able to foster many children and care for them in their time of need. It was through this process our family adopted two more girls. During this time, we were noticing not only behavioral challenges with our little ones, but also our middle schoolers. We thought it may have been the adjustment of adding to the family, but there seemed to be more to it. We tried traditional parenting methods, but they seemed to make matters worse. Our family was literally beginning to fall apart.

Desperate for help and keeping our family unit intact, we sought help from professionals. Unfortunately, this added zero benefit for our struggling teens. We were left with multiple diagnoses, and a referral to therapy, which seemed to help in the beginning, but truly did not get to the root of what they needed.

At the same time, we were searching for answers for our little ones. The behaviors we were seeing were not typical of children their age. How to parent these behaviors were creating a deep wedge in our marriage and creating resentment towards us with our older kids. At a time when our older kids needed us, we were divided on tending to everyone’s individual needs. Early intervention services were helping with our little ones, but there was more to what we were seeing, and we could not figure it out. We were encouraged to see an FASD specialist after we were told this was a possibility. It was then that it was confirmed at least two of our children had FASD. 

We left the FASD specialist’s office with minimal information and even more questions that lead me to do my own research. What I found was very little information about FASD, and even less on how to parent children on the FASD spectrum. Then I remembered she mentioned a training for us to attend that could help. This training proved to be life changing for our family. When we changed how we were parenting our children based on the neurobehavioral model, and a greater understanding of our children and ourselves as parents, we started seeing more positive outcomes. It was also during this training that we discovered two more of our children may have varying neurodiverse conditions, which was confirmed after seeking specialists in those areas.

After seeing how different life started changing and realizing how little is out there to help parents and the community in helping neurodiverse individuals, I knew I HAD to do something about it. I knew I needed to help others and share my knew knowledge and experience. I sought trainings and after a yearlong intensive course, I became a certified facilitator of the FASCETS neurobehavioral model. 

Since then, I have been educating and training parents, caregivers, professionals, educators, social workers and more. I have a heart and a passion to make a difference in the lives of neurodiverse individuals by helping those around them have a greater understanding of their individuality. It is a process. We are all continually learning and growing on this journey. I am here to do my part to help and to make a positive difference. 

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