NOFASD Australia works with many families living with FASD to provide information, support, referrals and encouragement. It is often a difficult road to travel and we are inspired by the determination of parents and carers to find appropriate supports for their children.
This web page gives parents and carers of children living with FASD an opportunity to share their stories and experiences with the aim of providing support to others. We would like to encourage you to consider sharing your family story. You may wish to use the questions below as a starting point and we ask that you limit your story to 300 words.
We also encourage adults living with FASD to share their stories too. Click here for some stories from adults living with FASD in the USA.
Please contact us to share your story being sure to only include personal identifying information that you are willing to make public’
Q. How many children do you have in your care with diagnosed or undiagnosed FASD?
Q. Can you share a little bit about their story/stories without divulging identifying personal information?
Q. How old are your child/ren?
Q. How long have you had your child/ren in your care?
Q. What are your child/ren’s strengths?
Q. What do your child/ren find difficult to cope with?
Q. What has been your experience in trying to find support for your child/ren and your family?
Q. What strategies have you found to be most helpful in managing the difficulties your child/ren face?
Q. Is there any other advice you would give other families living with FASD?
My 12 year old son DJ has FASD and is constantly challenged by the world in which we all live. Simple changes such as the time family members get up in the morning, different cleaning products, a change in the brand of basic food products can have a significant impact upon his behaviours. As his mother, my day is consumed with implementing strategies to regulate his behaviour, reduce his anxiety and teach him the skills required to function in our world. The strategies I use change constantly as his needs and behaviours change, which depends upon events, changes and mood. Keeping up with the latest information and research is vital for me to continue developing my "tool kit" of strategies and ideas to get through each day. One of the best strategies is using his strengths and/or to develop something into a strength. This doesn't happen easily and in some cases takes years. Each day has its challenges for us and some days are extremely difficult, but when I see the result of what he has produced from his strengths, that then gives ME strength. DJ, is a lego whizz and is very talented at art and photography. Here are two examples of his photos that reflect his creative skills.
"I am a mother of 2 adopted daughters who have FASD. They were diagnosed at a very early age and with lots of speech, OT,early intervention, meds, Drs, councillors, psychologists etc. Our 19 yr old is mildly intellectually delayed with no job but she is a very good Photographer and lives with her boyfriend and struggles with saying things without thinking first or considering who it affects. Our 18 yr old struggles with small stature, ADHD, ODD, bad boil-overs, lies, steals, can't keep friends, smokes dope and is known to police. Sadly we kicked her out of home but got her into a youth program but she can't live with others so now couch hops (goes from one friend to another and sleeps where ever she can). We hear from her every now and again. She is a very bright girl but won’t follow through with anything. We love them both but it has been a very long road and will be for the rest of their lives."
I want to share a positive story about our 8 year old daughter who has FAS. A few months ago she had an idea to help sick kids in the neonatal intensive care unit of our local hospital. Her older sister is a nurse there and she has often spoken with her about the babies. She wanted to raise money to give to them and after thinking about ways to do this we agreed to an afternoon tea that we could charge a $10.00 entry fee to. My 8yo helped with the decorations and menu and was in charge of collecting the money. We had a small raffle on the day also. She raised $589.00. The afternoon was a success and we only nearly had one melt down! I received her school report this week also. Isn't it a shame that we seem to measure our children on academic results? (Hers were not that great.) Yes, as her Mother I could not be more proud of her, reading and writing may not be her strong points. However, her social awareness and kindness is so much more important now and in the future. These kids have strengths in all different areas its up to us to help discover and nurture and encourage them.
Right from this very young age Debbie has always shown a deep yearning to be in close contact with people who love her. She much prefers to do things together rather than alone. She loves to explore beautiful things that move and make interesting sounds like the bird in the picture. She’s always been tactile and sensitive, where the close relationships she builds with people are the building blocks for all her learning and development. Debbie is now 20, continuing to explore her world at Woolies where she works part-time, with friends her age at church and youth group and special Olympics swimming and even when she’s just walking her dog, chatting to people in the neighbourhood along the way. I am Debbie's Foster Parent and what a privilege it is, to have Debbie as part of our world.