The child with FAS, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, deals with numerous processing inconsistencies throughout each day. Parenting the FAS child is difficult and it is easy to become frustrated or even angry with the child. Many parents who adopted infants and toddlers with FAS, were unrealistic about what it would be like parenting the older FAS child. Many hopeful adoptive parents believed that their love would be enough, or their early interventions would erase the damage done by the alcohol exposure. Once thing we have noticed with our 15-year-old daughter, who has FAS, is that she fails to interpret social and verbal cues. For 12 years, we have had to tell her to apologize to a sibling, a stranger, or us when an apology is warranted. She never says, “I am sorry,” on her own without verbal prompting.
Hubby is not usually affected by the day-to-day special antics of our teenage daughter who has multiple problems. However, he had some time off from working 14 hours a day, seven days a week, over the holidays to spend with the family. Usually, he thinks I am overreacting to her little escapes. Since he was around a bit more, she targeted him with some of her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, behaviors. For an hour or so one of those days, he sounded just like me. Yesterday, he approached me privately and whispered, we need respite care, soon. He went on to say that, he thinks her medications are wrong and her behavior is wackier than ever. Of course, we just saw the psychiatrist on Monday for prescriptions, how timely.
Dear Adoption Maharishi,
“While looking through profiles of available children on state websites some say, “Title IV-E Eligible.” What does that mean - is it important?
Title IV-E Eligibility refers to an available child’s eligibility for the federal adoption assistance or subsidy program. Adoption subsidy is a monthly stipend to assist adoptive families in providing for children with special needs. Children who are not Title IV-E may or may not be eligible for state or county support subsidy, and may not be eligible for continuing Medicaid coverage. Subsidy agreements are negotiated prior to finalizing an adoption, although a few states allow later negotiations. Negotiations may include monthly payments, ongoing Medicaid coverage, therapy, and some states allow respite care as well.
After the public school tested my daughter’s IQ and pronounced her to be of average intelligence and capable of doing regular eight grade school work, we pursued private testing. I explained to the psychologist that the school said my daughter can do eighth grade work and does not need services. However, at 15 she is failing fifth grade work, even though she is given three attempts to pass it. The psychologist suggested that he test her for neurological deficits that may be preventing her from functioning at her IQ level.
Do you have a child with a learning disability who is struggling in school and doesn’t seem to be progressing. Have you wondered if homeschooling your child would make a difference, but you don’t know what resources are available for children who are learning disabled? Whether children were exposed to drugs, alcohol, trauma, or suffer from a genetic learning disability, one-on-one tutoring with the person who knows them best and actually cares about their future can make a difference. Quite often the LD child is easily distracted so the less people around the better. In public school systems, LD children may be teased or worse, so I am not sure about the benefit of the social interaction. The fast-paced environment may cause the LD child to consider cheating or not doing the work at all to avoid being made fun of, or just to keep up with peers. While medication may help children with LD concentrate, the pace may still be too fast for the child actually to absorb the material.