My son looks like most every other child his age. He is growing some adult teeth, has some bumps and bruises and a lot of energy. Sometimes he is shy and sometimes he is full of questions when meeting a new person. Most people notice that he is very handsome, has amazing eyes and a lovely smile.
What they don’t notice are his smooth philtrum, thin upper lip, flat nasal bridge and Short Palpebral Fissure Lengths. They may think that his poor coordination is just because he is a 6 year old. More than likely people don’t notice that his ears have a “railroad track” appearance or that he has an unusual palmar crease.
What most people don’t see is that he has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. His birth mother consumed alcohol during her pregnancy and damaged him for life. How much alcohol is too much? I don’t know. You don’t know. There has been research that suggests an occasional drink doesn’t harm a child in utero and research that has determined any alcohol during pregnancy is harmful to the fetus.
What do I know for sure? My son has been damaged forever. He is handsome and sweet and curious. He has poor short term memory, thinks everyone is his friend (even the kid who beat him up in kindergarten), and has a hard time understanding social cues. He has poor reasoning and bad judgment skills. He has a hard time expressing and regulating his emotions, especially when he is tired. He is just as content to get negative attention as he is to get positive attention.
Right now he is doing okay academically in school. He can’t always sit still. He is distracted easily. Takes frequent trips to the water fountain. But he does okay academically, so far.
Socially, we are struggling. This frightens me. Will he be bullied because he is different? He seems already to be attracted to kids who can lead him down the wrong path. I think we will spend a lot of time nudging him back.
I see people looking at him when he loses control of his emotions and behaviors in public. Judging him. Judging me. My husband. Our Parenting. Judge not. You are only seeing a small piece of a puzzle.
FASD is a tough diagnosis to swallow. It’s not something we expected to hear. It is going to be a hard road for our son but it is a road that we will walk with him.
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Good luck on your journey. We are travelling the same path with my adopted sisters children
Hi! We are in the same boat. Our son was diagnosed with FASD when he was 7. He will turn 11 next month. I also started blogging a while ago. Good luck – I will be reading about your experiences with interest.
Keep sharing and keep fighting the good fight! We are all in this together. Never alone!
Sweet boy! I’m glad he has you to support him.
He’s lucky to have such supportive parents! It’ll be a journey, but you all have each other!
Hugs! I never drank during any of my pregnancies! It just wasn’t worth the risk!
Such a beautiful child – hugs, sweetheart!
How blessed you all are to have come to be together. He is a wonderfully beautiful child and with the unconditional love and support he gets from his parents (and family) he will blossom into an equally wonderful young man.
wow, you have an amazing little boy on your hands! Take care of him!
What a lucky little man to have you for his mom and while FASD is unfamiliar to me a lot of the same things happen in my house with two children on the Autism Spectrum. The social issues at school, the fear of bullying and the stares from people who have no idea what your child struggles with daily and how they don’t always know how to express themselves to conform to what is “normal”. Hang in there and your handsome little man will continue to flourish under your love.
Best of luck on your journey. As I’m sure if will just that for you all, he’s lucky to have you in his corner.
He’s blessed to have you as his advocate. He is a beautiful child!
He has such engaging eyes! I think there are a lot of misconceptions about FASD and sadly, it is preventable.
I honestly never heard of this until now. That breaks my heart! Luckily, he has very supportive parents.
What a wonderful advocate he has in you. FASD is so preventable and it saddens me that it is as prevalent as it is.
What a beautiful little boy and he’s blessed to have you in his life. I have a friend who’ s adopted son also has FASD. It’s so sad to know these struggles that will face him the rest of his life could have been prevented.
So glad that he has you to take care of him!! It’s so scary that people don’t realize the damage they can do to a baby while their pregnant. My poor cousin has been eating fish EVERY day.. I just told her it’s a HUGE no no and to slow it down. I wish you guys the best of luck and health!!
I can relate. My daughter is autistic, and while she is usually good in public when she does go off it is some major theater.
Hugs Mama. He has you in his corner. My son has a metabolic condition that affects his brain. I was terrified to send him to school. So far he is well liked and lets most things just roll right off his back with a big smile on his face.
I’m so sorry to hear that he’s been stuck with this by his birth mother. He seems like a sweet kid though & is very handsome. You seem like a great mom & a whole lot of how kids turn out is in the “nuture”, so I’m sure he will turn out just fine.
He is lucky to have you in his life. A loving family will give him the courage to conquer all!
Oh and he is a handsome young man!!
I am so sorry to hear that it was something SO preventable. I hate the idea that one drink is ok..no, its not. I can tell you that he is without a doubt the most adorable face and I hope w/ your love and time he will get better!
Good luck on your journey
He is so lucky to have great parents
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