It is hard looking back after so many years to remember all of the journey but I think I am hitting the important parts. After we got a diagnosis on D and R and doodle bug was doing okay we realized we had to learn as much as we could about FASD. We needed to be able to understand our children in order to be the best parents we could be. I ordered every book I could find about prenatal alcohol exposure. I spent hours online and then began to go to any training I could find. In some ways I felt like this searching was going to solve it all. Well I soon learned there was no magic fix it but I also learned that I would need to change myself and that Randy and I had to really begin to parent together as a well oiled machine.
Okay so we were a machine but a lot of days the oil wasn’t there. We had to try to find a parenting page we could both agree on and stick to. I think that is where most families struggle the most. Often there is all this guilt and so either we over indulge or super parent trying to fix it all. Hopefully at some point you can return to the mid line and parent to the childrens needs.
As I researched I realized that all of what I was reading was very negative about outcomes. I felt a bit depressed at the negativity and also at lack of any resources. I found an online group that had some great resources and was also working toward doing something. FASlink.org is a wonderful group. Run by a father of a child with FAS, Bruce Ritchey has been an amazing advocate for the world of FASD. On this site I met other parents of children, professionals working in the world of FASD and also wonderful people who had FASD. It was so eye opening and also inspiring. I knew that in our area there was nothing as after we were given a diagnosis on each of my children it was okay there you go and out the door. I knew that as a parent I wanted to know where to go for help and to make sure I was doing everything possible to help my children.
Finally with the support of some great people we started a 6 week parenting series on parenting alcohol and drug exposed children. From that I started a monthly parent support group and now with more wonderful people helping we are starting a non profit to help people living with FASD. Hopefully there are great things ahead…