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 Headlines7 Tips To Consider: Changing Your LandscapingDrought Watch:The water crisis facing California is serious and carries imminent environmental, financial and human impacts.
Rocklin Police Officers Honored by MADDOn April 23, 2015, three Rocklin Police Officers were honored at the Sacramento Region Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) at an annual luncheon
Roseville Police Warn of Grandparent ScamRoseville Police report that they have had had two elderly residents fall victim to the "grandparent scam" this month.
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (4.24.15)Weekly crime report update digest for Roseville, April 24, 2015
Maui: Kapalua features some terrific dining optionsRest assured, there will be no shortage of great dining options when visiting the Kapalua region of Maui
Beatles Tribute in Auburn May 17thIn My Life - A Musical Theatre Tribute to the Beatles is the nationally touring musical biography of the Beatles through the eyes of manager Brian Epstein
Roseville Hosting USA Ultimate Regional ChampionshipsUSA Ultimate Southwest Regional College Championships will be held May 2-3 at Maidu Park in Roseville.
10 Billion Gallons of Water to Save a Few Fish?Drought Watch: Congressman Tom McClintock issued the following speech regarding a 10 billion gallon water release from the New Melones Dam.
Public Invited to Baker's Nursery in LoomisThe Patrons, a volunteer arm of the Sierra College Foundation, invite the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization to attend the May 4
Auburn Library Getting Spruced UpAfter 21 years of high traffic use, the flooring in the Auburn branch of the Placer County Library is worn out
Real Estate: New Home Sales - Get Help!Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about new home sales and how buyers can save money when dealing directly with the builder.
Tour of Unison Comfort Technologies OfferedOn April 27, tour Unison Comfort Technologies, located in McClellan Park, to see how this company develops and manufactures customer-centric commercial HVAC systems
NEWS: In Case You Missed It