We can all agree that reading success stories is nothing less than awesome! Real life stories about other FASD families, caregivers and FASD persons can provide us with that little bit of hope that we need to get through the day or to add some new perspective to a situation at home or school that you are dealing with.
The success stories that you will read about on these next few pages are from Caregivers and families all over the world who share many of the same challenges and battles, but they also share all the amazing little A-Ha! moments and celebrations, but mostly importantly, these stories are from families just like yours.
Enjoy the read!
When I took my great nephew Brandon at age seventeen months to raise, I had no idea the journey I would forever have. I didn’t know that I would have so many run-ins with juvenile detention and juvenile court, that I’d lose count. I never knew I would fight a county for a year to get him out of the system of therapeutic foster and a group home. I never knew that I’d leave my home in small town Ohio and move to a large city three hours away to just keep him with me, and save him from a permanent state run juvenile institution. I never knew that I’d learn to live with one person who seems to have two personalities. I never knew about the meltdowns, the property damage and large child that would come at me looking like a grown man. I never knew there was help out there. I never knew I’d have to take the initiative to find it. I never knew that I’d love this child just as much as any child I’d birthed. I never knew he would be funny and loving with empathy for others. I never knew that I’d do it again, knowing all that I know now.
I know that is true. My son Nathaniel was diagnosed with FASD in March 2013 at age five. Prior to that, we knew very little of what was happening. He started at age four to have major tantrums and became extremely aggressive. Since he was adopted we knew nothing about the mother’s drinking. Well, on to the success part…I was recently at a meeting with a behavioral specialist and was asked to track Nathaniel’s tantrums. What a surprise when I realized that there were a few small tantrums and very little major ones. We had walked through many difficult times, however, through consistency and a whole lot of professional guidance he was doing really well. It took tracking his behaviors to realize that there was a marked improvement.
At times it is hard to see that your loved one with FASD is doing better because often we compare our lives with others and sometimes our children come up short. We need to look at our children or loved one by him/herself because it might change our perspective and give us a lift. Now when I look at Nathaniel I say WOW, he only had a few minor tantrums today and they only lasted five minutes! What a great day!