FASD and Mental Health treatments

Today was spent at the psychiatrists doing a new psychological evaluation for D.  I sat there talking about all the “issues” going on for him and realized after an hour and a half how totally negative sounding things were.  I sat there and finally looked up when asked if I had anything else to add and had to say that while that was all of the things that we needed to seek help for there was so much more to D.  I realized that if I left it at what I said he sounded extremely troubled indeed.  While we all seek out all of the help for our children or adults who are struggling it is so easy to fall into all that is “wrong” and forget to look at all that is right.  I have started journaling things for my children.  Things about what they have done that has made my heart rejoice.

I then spent a half hour going over all of the wonderful things that D does.  How he is the first one to take his paralyzed sister out to swing.  How he is the one who worries over someone getting hurt.  The thing was that it  seemed that the mood became quite impatient with hearing the good things.  How can there be a diagnosis that is complete without the complete picture?  I was also surprised that this questioning was originally to be done with my son there.  I asked that he be allowed to leave before I would speak.  I felt it was quite inappropriate to explain what worried us in front of a boy who already struggles with self esteem on a constant basis.

So at the end we talked about as much as can be fit into 2 hours and then he spent 5 hours doing tests.  He came out asking if we could come back to finish as he was exhausted and on the drive home asked if he had finally passed the test so he was no longer FAS.  I was floored by this question.  I have been asked a LOT of questions but never this one.

I wish that there was an easier way for people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disease to receive services but the fact is that until FASD is included in the DSM we will continually have to seek out any other diagnoses to get services for people who have this disorder.  It seems wrong to have to work so hard to find any other condition in order to receive the services that are desperately needed for this population.  Someday FASD will get the recognition it needs.  I continue to urge people to write to the committees responsible for editing the DSM and encourage them to include FASD in the DSM-V.  This is one way that everyone can advocate for a person with FASD.


About fasmom

The adoptive mom to 12 wonderful children who are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other issues including Reactive Attachment Disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, CP, epilepsy and oh the list goes on...The thing is these children have taught me things about myself I never knew and would not have missed out on learning. Married to an amazing man and enjoying life on a sheep ranch.
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3 Responses to FASD and Mental Health treatments

  1. Alex says:

    Beautifully said. I was thinking the EXACT same thing at Gs evaluation. We cant dwell on the “issues”. Its sucks the life out of you.

  2. Terry says:

    Sometimes I feel so caught in the middle. I want people to be educated as often they just don’t know how bad it can be. But I so feel for the birth mom who is raising a child and needs help and support, but gets judgement. It should not be that way, but it is for many. Once you mentioned that you used your “get out of jail free card” and stated that you were the adoptive parent. A birth mom doesn’t own that card and she not only has to deal with the pain of raising a child with special needs, but she may be dealing with guilt for what part she played, even if she didn’t know the danger. Then the world piles on condemnation. We need to reach out to these women. Raising FASD kids is so hard to do alone. They need support. Hugs, Terry

    • fasmom says:

      I so agree Terry which is why I never use that card any more. I am the mom and it is no one’s business how I got that way. I want people to understand that no one intentionally harms their child through prenatal exposure. It is most often due to addiction issues, misinformation or not realizing they are pregnant. Until we understand that this issue is an ALCOHOL issue not a purposefully harming a child issue we are not going to make a dent in this. We have to stop blaming the birthmother and start looking at how to work through this and why it is so important to have alcohol to have “fun”.

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