As parents we have to make many, many decisions in life for our children. We decided to parent our FAS kids quite a bit different than what I hear most others do. Just gathering by the boards I'm on and the support group I attend. We do not go to therapists. We do not do a special diet. We do not do behavior modifications. We treat them as regular kids. Yes, we know they have a disability. And yes, some times we do things a little differently such as choose a not so crowded time to go to a restaurant. But, for the most part, they are punished for the things they do as regular kids would be. My RADishes that punch holes in the wall are made to repair them. They are not off the hook b/c they flew into a rage. Sorry, not here. I will say this last month all of us have slacked on chores including me. I can't remember when I last made my bed. Grand scheme of things, not that important. But, told the kids over Christmas break them & I are getting back on track w/ chores. In our house we say what we mean & follow through. I think that is key in any family & parenting...follow through. If it comes out your mouth, you best be willing to follow through. Shoot, one of my daughter's missed a field trip. Point is, I try not to treat my FAS kids differently b/c I know as adults society will not cut them a break. Society won't understand b/c they "look normal." Ooh, I get that all the time. Drives me nuts b/c it's NOT normal to have permanent brain damage. It's not. So, I'm trying to find a balance. How much do we share with others at this point? When she is applying for a job do we share that she is mentally challenged? I think we'd almost have to as she can't perform any tasks related to money. She would not be able to work a cash register. Yet, I don't want them to treat her differently either. That's what others at her high school do. Since inclusion(HATE IT!!!-- but it is different in every state), Irina has gained a lot of weight (about 40 lbs since September) and very low self-esteem. They single them out. She told me they announce all the OCS students come with me and that all the other kids then know she's retarded(Irina's words,not mine). I hate that she feels this way. It has come to light for her that she does have a disability and she is trying hard to deal with it as am I. I don't want her to feel pity for who she is. Not at all. We clearly explain it is not her fault. FAS is though something she'll have to learn to live with. We are trying to give her the tools to do that as best we can.
So, when it is her birthday next Monday, those local maybe wish her a Happy Birthday. I know it would mean a lot to her to know she's thought about. Coming from Mom & Dad just does not quite mean as much. You all know how that goes. Hoping we can figure this all out together with her. FAS as an adult and what it means. We're both nervous about it, I can tell. She's 18 almost and yet doesn't want to turn 18. Irina told me she'll have to make more decisions when she's 18 and she's not ready for that. I told her it's not like you're leaving home. Nothing is changing but your age. That's it. Any other suggestions to put an FAS child's mind at ease about becomign an adult, do share. I know this was an all over the place post. Didn't mean for it to be but thought it's important to share. See, many read who are new to adoption or new to FAS. We've been at this for awhile & still exploring new territory with our FAS children. It's a learning experience at every milestone & age they reach. Also, most blogs speak of the young kids when adopted. I want people to see that it is ongoing...parenting that is. Especially, if your child has a disability such as FAS. It will be lifelong. So, bare with me as I share bits of pieces as my oldest enters adulthood as a person with FAS and what all that means. Maybe we can all learn something together & Irina can be our teacher. Time will tell