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 HeadlinesHyundai Santa Fe has two diverse modelsRoseville, CA - One of Hyundai's more impressive vehicles is the Santa Fe, a sport utility vehicle that seats either five or seven people, depending on the model chosen
Lincoln Showcase: Fun, Exceptionally DoneLincoln, CA- Under a clear and comfortably warm autumn sky, Lincoln once again rose to the occasion for the annual Lincoln Showcase
WJU Opens New Science LabROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University recently announced the opening of its new Gandy Chemistry Lab to students this semester, thus paving the way
Sacramento Capital Cup Fundraising Shatters $500,000 Goal Roseville, Calif. - Organizers of the Sacramento Capital Cup announced that they have surpassed their $500,000 fundraising goal
Video: Roseville State of the City AddressRoseville, CA- Roseville Mayor Carol Garcia kicks off the 2016 State of the City address highlighting the city of Roseville's strengths.
Oktoberfest at The Village at Squaw Valley September 24thSquaw Valley kicks off fall with the return of Oktoberfest, featuring authentic German craft beer, food, music and Bavarian-themed competitions.
Paid Placer County Poll Workers NeededAUBURN, Calif. -- Can't get enough of this year's election? The best seats in the house on Election Day are still available - and we'll pay you to take them.
Free Design & Engineering Advice in Rocklin and SacramentoRocklin, -- In celebration of National Manufacturing Day, on October 7, 2016, Sierra College, SME Sacramento Valley and Hacker Lab
Trash Talk Community Meeting in Roseville October 4thRoseville, CA - The Western Placer Waste Management Authority will host its sixth annual community meeting Tuesday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. to discuss odors and other operational issues
Mazda CX-9 a major hit with redesignRoseville, CA- The V6 engine is gone and the horsepower has been reduced, which leaves one wondering just what the heck Mazda was thinking when it put together the redesigned CX-9
Free Health & Wellness Fair September 23 in RocklinRocklin, CA -- Did you know that right here in Placer County there are a wide range of Health and Wellness services designed just for seniors and their caregivers?
25 States Impacted in Kellogg's Recall due to Listeria ConcernKellogg Company is voluntarily recalling approximately 10,000 cases of Kellogg's Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria
NEWS: In Case You Missed It