Saturday, May 7, 2011

FAS Support Group

We have an FAS support group here in NC.  We meet once a month or when we can.  You know how things can pop up in an FAS household.  We went to the group meeting in April so thought I'd share a little and also a few pictures from it. Obviously, I don't take pics of other people's kids.  But, this is a nice group of people who understand each other & understand each other's kids.  They all seem to play together pretty good. 

This is Bojan.  He is are only child not effected by FASD.  He was enjoying sorting a whole batch of Pokeman cards that his friend gave him.  I mean his friend gave him an entire binder full of cards.  Kept him busy the whole time.  We go as a family to various things.  When Bojan has limb difference events, we go.  When Nik has Deaf events, we go.  When kids have FAS stuff, we go.  Gives them a chance to see various disabilities.  My kids don't think twice about people that are different.  They're more interested in what they do & if they can play together.  I think that's good though.  Hence, why we drag all of them to all these different functions.  And no one had complained.  

The flowers surrounding the church are just gorgeous.  Here's Irina in front of some azaleas.  It was just so beautiful out that day, we all decided to hold the meeting outside while the kids played.  Everyone was in site & was able to play.  Seemed to work out well & the kids enjoyed it.

Alyona and Nik sure enjoyed hanging around the playground area.

Alex and Max shooting some hoops.  They had a great time together.  they were also playing w/ a few of the other kids that came to the meeting.  

Max's expression is interesting here.  He was listening to his music the whole time.  

Okay, Yana had the camera.  Hence, why she is not in a single shot here.  I was at the meeting.  Anyhow, she told Nik to make a funny face & this is what he came up with.  That's my son.  

The meeting usually lasts around an hour and a half or so.  We are great resources for each other for sure.  FAS is still so hard for others to understand as the kids "look" normal.  I hear that SO much.  They're not. 
FAS kids have many issues and each & every single FAS child is different.  It doesn't affect every kid the same way.  People at the meeting understand this.  They totally understand the uphill battles of the schools.  Many of us there are fighting the schools and IEP's.  There are others looking for RTC places.  Again, tough when many are $500 a day or more!  Some are looking for respite.  Everyone there has different reasons for being there but the main thing is we are all there together and all understand what the other is going through.  That is priceless.  We all have an unspoken bond.  Can talk freely and not be judged by others.  Something most of us can't even do with family.  I'm hoping one day a few of them can come over for a cookout or something.  Let the kids swim and play or what have you.  Who knows.  Just know we will try to continue to make the meetings.  I suggest others w/ FASD kiddos to try to make meetings in your area.  It does help.  Makes you feel not so alone.  It really is an isolating disability that very few understand.  I am very glad we have a support group in our area.  And very thankful for the people we have in it.  

One lady even had a talk with Alex one evening regarding what happens if you continue to lie and steal.  She was honest & very blunt with everything.  I had asked her to be.  She used her son as an example of what could happen if Alex continues down this path of lying and stealing (though we have gotten the stealing pretty much under control now).  Alex was listening so intently.  I was amazed.  He was glued to her words.  No matter how many times I told him before, this was someone else.  This was real to him.  And since then, Alex really hasn't had as many incidences.  

After the meeting, we were starving.  We normally eat before we go but we had such a rough day that we didn't have the chance to even grab a sandwich.  So, we took the kids to Logan's Roadhouse to eat.  We all love that restaurant.  Kids love the peanuts they can shell & throw on the floor along w/ endless yeast rolls.  I know it's kind of ironic being surrounded by beer signs after an FAS meeting but we really were there for the food, not the decor.  Kids know we all order water to keep costs down & the four youngest order from the kids' menu.  Trust me, between all of us, there is plenty of food and we usually will have some to take home.  Just was a pleasant evening for all of us.  GReat meeting, kids loved playing & hanging out w/ friends, and we all got a great meal.  

Our FAS Support group meets on the third Tuesday of every month.  If you don't have a group in your area...start one!  It may take awhile to get people going but it is great to have others who totally understand you and your kids.  Just thought I'd share a little about our group. 

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