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.
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
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesAir Quality Alert in Placer CountyThe Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control District are issuing a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential for poor air quality
Roseville and Lincoln to Host Senior Softball-USA Western NationalsThe 15th Annual Senior Softball-USA Western Nationals (SSUSA) will take place August 3-9 at Foskett Regional Park in Lincoln and Maidu Regional Park in Roseville
California Statewide Fire Summary (7.28.15)While most of California saw a rise in temperatures, firefighters across the State continued to make good progress on the 9 active large wildfires.
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (7.28.15)Crime report digest update for Roseville, California July 28, 2015.
Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders August 7thThe 12th Annual UC Davis Summer Institute on Neurodevelopmental Disorders - one of the nation's premier gatherings of health professionals, educators and families
Hyundai Azera: A sleeper among large sedansThe Hyundai Azera may soon rise to the level of its in-house competitors thanks to a new design and some notable upgrades
Leadership Rocklin Program Returns in SeptemberRobin McConnell-Trimble, CEO of the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, recently announced that the Chamber will once again host Leadership Rocklin
4 Firefighters Injured Battling Lowell FireFour firefighters suffered burn injuries while battling the Lowell Fire. 1,800 structures in Placer & Nevada Counties threatened.
Roseville Gas Prices: Find the Best DealsRoseville, CA- Roseville gas prices remained mostly flat this past week with prices hovering above $3 gallon at a few locations
Californian with Autism Struggles to Fit InHers was one tough way to discover a disability.
Grateful Dog Rescue Run/Walk in Rocklin this AugustThe second annual Grateful Dog Rescue Run/Walk will take place Sunday, Aug. 30 at Johnson-Springview Park in Rocklin
Rocklin Crime Report Digest Update (7-24-15)Rocklin, CA- Weekly crime report digest update for the City of Rocklin from July 13-19, 2015
NEWS: In Case You Missed It