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 HeadlinesRocklin Burglary Suspect Killed by PoliceRocklin, CA- This morning February 25th, 2017 at 10:01 AM, The Rocklin Police Department responded to a residential burglary in progress on the 4900 block of Bradford Place
Roseville Police Activity Weekly Update (2.23.17)The City of Roseville police activity weekly update for the period covering February 17-23, 2017
Fine Forgiveness at Sacramento Public LibrarySacramento Public Library is waiving all overdue book and material fines through Wednesday, March 15 as part of its new Fine Forgiveness promotion
Public Meeting: Sierra Joint Consortium for Adult Education(AUBURN, CA) The public is invited to attend the Sierra Joint Consortium for Adult Education (SJCAE) public meeting on March 15, 2017,
Seniors First Represents Capital Region in National Campaign(Auburn, CA) - Surprisingly to some, individuals age 60 and older in our area continue to experience an increasing rate of hunger.
20 Year Upgrade Project for Northstar Ski ResortAUBURN, Calif. -- The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a series of actions to guide upgrades and improvements to the Northstar California ski resort
Real Estate Watch: Home Seller's Market Roseville, CA - Realtor, Julie Jalone of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, is asking why more homeowners are not taking advantage the current seller's market being caused by high buyer demand and low inventory of home for sale.
Top 5 Healthy Heart Habits : A Dose of Vitamin Ray with Dr. RayDid you know, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States? In fact, per The American Heart Association
Autism Studies: Placenta Provides Time Capsule(Sacramento, Calif) - In two recent studies, researchers at UC Davis have shown that placental tissue can provide critical information about the epigenetic
Winners of American History Essay Contest honored in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Congratulations to winners of the American History Essay contest sponsored by Roseville's Gold Trail Chapter
Placer SPCA Announces 2017 Board of DirectorsRoseville, CA - The Placer SPCA has announced the election of its 2017 Officers for the Board of Directors.
Hyundai Veloster: Unconventional compact hatchbackRoseville, CA- The first thing one notices about the Hyundai Veloster is the odd door arrangement. It's an ingenious idea, putting two doors on the passenger side of this compact hatchback
NEWS: In Case You Missed It