Could it be? – Realizing that the prevalence of alcohol exposure to the unborn is much higher than most parents and professionals realize is important. It helps us as parents and professionals to understand what the problem is so that we don’t blame the person but instead help find solutions. For the person who has it, it can help them to realize why they have struggled the way they have.
Once we get beyond blaming and shaming we can start looking for solutions to the many challenges caused by fetal alcohol. As I told a young adult the other day, “I’m sorry that you have trouble keeping a job. You are a hard worker. The problem is your fetal alcohol. The good news is that as you get older this may well change. It would be really good if we could find the right type of job for you now.”
Relationship Parenting Series – your relationship is more important than almost any issue. (Safety comes 1st.) The series is not only about building your relationship, it is also about thriving not just surviving raising and serving individuals with fetal alcohol.
Not only will these techniques help you to build your relationship, it can help to build peace and understanding, and that leads to a better chance of getting the desired outcome.
A Look at Pathways Series – this series started as a PowerPoint presentation mainly for professionals. It is an overview of what professionals need to understand and do, to be more effective in helping their clients who have fetal alcohol. It is meant to help them with their mindset and to give them concrete hands-on techniques.
Individuals with – just as an individual who has diabetes needs to learn all they can about it, the individual with fetal alcohol also needs to learn about it.
This series is to help the individual with fetal alcohol learn all they can about FASD. It is also meant to help them understand how it’s has affected their life, and how it may affect it in the future.
Unless a person can get beyond blaming others, they cannot work on finding solutions for their struggles. To admit that one has a problem is part of the solution. I teach that one needs to be nice and accept help, this really will improve their quality of life.
Parents – the teachings listed here are often the same as listed in relationship parenting, however, there are additional hands-on parenting tools, techniques, and teachings listed.
Often changes in behavior or attitudes happen as a result of the caregiver’s changes. When we see improvements in the child’s ability to function it is not because there has been any change in the organic brain damage caused by prenatal exposure. Instead, the change is in the way the parent/caregiver looks at the child’s behavior, from won’t to can’t, and helping to support rather than punish.
Professionals - our hearts desire is to help you to understand the depth of the disability and to give you tools to help you serve those whom have been prenatally exposed whether diagnosed or not. We do not want to stop there but to also give you tools to use when it is not fetal alcohol.
We highly recommend that you study not only what is written for you but also what was written for the individual and parents. Please teach parents of individuals with fetal alcohol by using our tools. Please contact us if we can be of help. Just yesterday I received a call from caseworker about a very troubled 8-year-old boy. I directed her to specific teachings on our website and I offered to give phone support to the residential facility which he currently lives in and future homes where he might live. I also offered support to any professionals who work with him. I tell you this because I really want you to understand we are here to help.
Diagnosis – I have had many parents asked me why would I want to get my child diagnosed. It can help you and others to understand them and help them. It can also help them to understand their struggles. A diagnosis can lead you in the right direction for services. It will show you what you need to study about and what you need to teach them about.
Unfortunately many times there will not be a diagnosis but that does not mean that there is not a problem and that the individual does not need help. We have written tools help parents and individuals with this. See non-specific FASD teachings. We would also like to encourage you to read the FASD Message, found on our homepage.
Brain Health and Development – under brain development you will find teachings on; Hanging Out Syndrome, Executive Functioning Skills, GAF – Global Assessment of Functioning Scale, Brain Health and Developmental Growth Spurt, Putting it all Together, and Not False Hope.
There is also Wheel to Success – a teaching on 5 very important areas that parents and professionals should understand, use and teach persons with fetal alcohol.
Radical Approach – this teaching is a hands-on system, bringing together Wheel to Success, Brain Health, and Relationship Parenting.
Its purpose is to help develop the person’s brain using simple techniques that can be done in the home. The goal is to improve one’s behaviors and functioning level. If nothing else, it adds structure to our home, and that is a good thing. But it goes way beyond that. We have seen positive changes. This can even be fun.
I know parents who have seen their child’s behaviors improve by making dietary changes. I had the thought that it isn’t fair to feed them sugar or something that they’re allergic to (such as wheat or dairy) which causes their behaviors to escalate and then we get after them.
Of course this program does not come with a guarantee. I have received help. I’ve also attended seminars, read books, and reports that talk about successes.
I am very serious when I say this. I have a concern that as we raise one’s ability to function, we also raise their ability to get into trouble. Therefore, we must be sure to build our relationship and to teach values from the Wheel to Success.
Video – Pathways to Understanding, Raising Kids with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders was done in conjunction with University of Minnesota Duluth. Even though this was done several years ago it is still valuable today.
It is an hour and eight minutes long.
Our website has changed since the DVD was made: it is now www.hayskids.org
Community Services and Resources – Is not only a list of community services and resources that are often available in most places, but it explains how to access them and their function.
It also has a directory of primarily Minnesota organizations.
Presentations - this is a list of presentations done by HaysKids.
Workbooks – we have two of them. Both are written to help a person understand their diagnosis, to help them realize how this affects their life, how it may affect them in the future, and then to do realistic life planning. If they have a diagnosis, or if they will accept the fact that they have fetal alcohol, then use Pathways to Success. If they do not have that diagnosis or will not accept the fact that they have it, then use Preparing For Your Future Workbook.
I like to use the workbooks starting around 14 years of age on into adulthood. The workbooks ask very hard-hitting questions. Questions which, if asked by the parents without the workbook will often end with anger or at least people being upset. For some reason the person using the workbook is calmer and more willing to answer these questions then if a parent or professional asked them.
We would like to encourage counselors to use a workbook with their client.
Non-FASD Specific Teachings – because the prevalence of fetal exposure to alcohol is so high and the diagnostic process is so limited we feel we need to design teachings for individuals who either do not have a diagnosis or never will. We have a few of them and will have more in the future.
Support Groups – this teaching talks about the importance of and function of a support group. There are many different ways to run a support group, we present a model for one of them.
Teachings – a big blue button located on our homepage. It accesses a list of our teachings
We want to bring special attention to “Pathways to Hope.” It is written in 3 parts, the 1st what the individual needs to know, the 2nd but their parents need to know, and 3rd with the professional needs to know. There is also an appendix which is similar to part 1 what the individual needs to know except it is written in 2nd person (what I called the you tense), is written in a letter format therefore it is easier for them to read.
FASD Message – in this we talked about the past, the present, and what we see as part of the future in terms of teachings and education. We also talked about the diagnostic process and its need for change.
Website Overview – A list of the many tabs and their functions.
Chronological listing of Website additions – A chronological list of website teachings and the dates they were put on our site. This is a good o check for new entries.