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.
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
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 HeadlinesRoseville Flash Police Report (10.24.16)Roseville, CA- Roseville police activity and summary report for the period covering October 12-21, 2016.
Subaru Outback features off-road capabilityRoseville, CA- It's considered a sport utility vehicle, but could easily be mistaken for a wagon. I'm guessing the folks at Subaru could care less how the 2017 Subaru Outback
Roseville Gas Price Competition Heats UpRoseville, CA- Gas prices in Roseville have eased slightly during the past week. Competition among the low price leaders has tightened
Brain Foods and Cognitive Health Lecture October 27thWhile aging is inevitable, most people want to maintain their brain power including memory, reading comprehension and cognitive skills
Advocate Fighting Invisible DisabilitiesChristy Smith of Florissant, Missouri, saw nine doctors over a three-year span beginning in 1991 before learning exactly why she had periodic, intense dizzy spells
Wizard of Oz in Folsom this NovemberEl Dorado Musical Theatre is proud to present The Wizard of Oz which will run November 4-20, 2016 at the Harris Center
Disney on Ice Coming to Golden 1 CenterJoin Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as your tour guides a magical globetrotting getaway as they travel to the timeless worlds
Free Health Fair for Seniors in Rancho CordovaOn Wednesday, October 26, Home Instead Senior Care serving the Sacramento, Auburn, El Dorado Hills and surrounding areas is hosting
Jack Reacher Opens at IMAX in SacramentoSacramento, Calif. - Set four years since the first film events, Jack Reacher is returning to the headquarters of his old military unit, but reveals that he is now
Genetic Testing Could Prevent DisabilityRecently, I had quite an experience trying to prevent a disability or two in myself. Several years ago, I found online a genetic testing service and later another similar service
Remodeling Your Kitchen - Think WhiteRoseville, CA- Sacramento Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about the basics of remodeling kitchens to get the most out of your investment when selling a home.
Desert Trip: You Just Might Find, You Get What Ya NeedIndio, CA- Desert Trip 2016: "Any more fun and we'd be in trouble". Perhaps it was the heat of the desert sun, but
NEWS: In Case You Missed It