Adoption Involving Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Laura Bloch adored his picture. "My husband and I had just been approved through an adoption agency and the agency sent out a letter with a picture of a child on it," said Bloch of Edina, Minnesota, over the telephone.
The letter said this little boy was available through a Russian orphanage. He was almost three years old then. This may sound crazy, but the minute I saw his little face, I would have moved heaven and earth to get him."
The Blochs adopted Alex. At first, their adoption agency and pediatrician believed he didn't have fetal alcohol syndrome-something of particular concern with Russian adoptions.
However, in kindergarten, Alex had fine motor development challenges, including having difficulties holding a pencil. In second grade, he had persistent trouble following through on tasks. After a pediatrician diagnosed Alex with attention deficit disorder (ADD), Bloch learned about fetal alcohol syndrome through an acquaintance and she researched. Eventually, another physician re-diagnosed Alex after much more thorough testing.
The National Institutes of Health defines fetal alcohol syndrome (or spectrum disorder) as permanent "growth, mental, and physical problems that may occur in a baby when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy."
Today, Alex is 17. Bloch said, "As a parent, the most frustrating thing for me is how it affects him in school. It looks like ADD on the outside in that he can't maintain focus for long periods. But really (on the inside) the two sides of his brain aren't communicating."
She cited one example of her working an hour with Alex to prepare him for a spelling test. An hour later, she said, "It was like we'd never worked on it. His short-term memory was shot, but three weeks later he could spell those words. He'd known the information (in the short-term), but couldn't access it."
Bloch said children with prenatal alcohol exposure don't have the ability to link actions with consequences, meaning they live in the moment. For Alex that's good because he never holds a grudge, but bad in that he makes the same mistakes repeatedly, even after continually receiving negative consequences.
She added, "As a parent, I'm scared to death he won't drive responsibly. These kids are very into the moment. To them, if it feels good do it. So risky sexual behavior is common, too."
Bloch volunteers as a Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome board member.
Print This Article
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesPlacer County Tourism Gets Boost Placer County organizations team up to promote tourism in the region.
Want to Buy a Home and Need a Rich Uncle?Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP)- Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville writes about new program to help get families who can't currently qualify for a mortgage into homes of their choice and on the road to homeownership.
U.S. HealthWorks Offers Onsite Flu Shots U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, a leading operator of occupational healthcare and urgent care centers in the nation, said today it is offering to visit businesses on-site and provide flu vaccination shots
Roseville Police Bust Nets $40,000 Cash, Guns and MethRoseville narcotics detectives suspected that Joshua Holmboe was both selling illegal drugs directly to users and also supplying lower-level drug dealers, and that some of those drugs were then being sold and used in Roseville.
Governor Brown Signs Bill to Help Disabled VeteransLegislation sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans has become law. Senate Bill 1113, authored by Senator Steve Knight (R-Antelope Valley),
Roseville Chamber Events October 2014Roseville, CA -- The Roseville Chamber of Commerce featured events for the month of October 2014.
Sacramento Area Gas Prices Down AgainAverage retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 2.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.61/g yesterday, according to
Nontraditional Employment for Women Event in RocklinSierra College seeks sponsors for the second Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) event on October 17
$160,000 for Scholarships Raised at WJU Anniversary GalaJessup's Gala Honored 75th Anniversary and those who brought the Growing University to Placer County
Wakefield Gets SA Chapters RunningMy featured person this week, Margery Wakefield, of Lansing, Michigan, has had lifelong struggles with schizophrenia, a mental health disability.
Overcharged Tax on an Auto Purchase? Get Your RefundUnfortunately, I've been hearing from my constituents that the Department of Motor Vehicles is overcharging tax on their vehicle purchases.
Ford Focus Sportier and More RefinedFord redesigned the Focus two years ago and has produced a fairly sporty and refined compact car that has received strong statements of approval from prominent auto publications.