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!
We have three FASD boys – the oldest is twenty years old with an extension in care until he is twenty one years old. Our oldest has graduated grade twelve and is now working at Walmart, with a boss that gets FASD.
He is also in a work program at school part time, even though he has graduated.We are now helping him transition to independent living. No supports for him after twenty one years old – his IQ is too high…makes no sense with his daily struggles, but it is, what it is.
Our boy now thinks he would like to go to university. Never in our life, did we dream we would reach this level of success. Remembering the meltdowns and struggles over the years! We finally realized they can doIt!! When they are ready. Just have to do it differently. Once he accepted this, we were on our way.
Of course, there are still struggles, we concentrate on the positive. Have faith that they can, when they are ready. Not when we are. LOL. Still working hard…baby steps…moving slow…but still forward!
For this, we are so grateful and have faith our success will continue. Thanks.
When my daughter (who is diagnosed as having FASD) was in kindergarten we began trying to teach her how to tie her shoes. Everyone was involved, immediate family, school staff, and the occupational therapist at her therapy clinic. We kept trying various strategies all through grade school…to no avail. It was finally surmised that there were too many steps involved and too much right/left confusion, for her to be successful.
In those days we often participated in research studies done by college students for their theses. One such study was on the long and short term memory problems associated with FASD. The surprising conclusion was that there was no difference in the long and short term memory of children affected with FASD from typical children… BUT they did learn differently than others. My daughter’s strength was shown to be visual learning. When her OT saw the results of this study, she had an idea. She took one white shoelace and one black shoelace and tied them together at one end. She then put the knot at the bottom and laced her shoes…at the top, the right lace was white and the left lace was black. She then demonstrated to our daughter how to tie a bow. “Oh!” replied my daughter, “That is how you do it!”… and she promptly tied her shoes!
We then applied this concept to a variety of situations. i.e. She could never move in a zig-zag pattern through pylons…but when we attached numbered flags to the pylons, she did it correctly every time.
So, as my friend, Diane Malbin says, “try differently, not harder”.
Beaver Dam, WI