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Conflicting medical opinions re FASD

(9 Posts)
Rey2216 Mon 15-Feb-16 23:00:11

Hi All,
Longtime lurker to the adoption forum, first time posting! First of all thanks to all the regular posters, these boards were a godsend when I first started the adoption process. So thank you!
I'm a single adopter, approved since Dec 2014. I have been tentatively linked with a LO who is 2.5yrs old, 3 this summer. There is a question mark over whether she may have FASD. The LA's medical adviser states it can't be ruled out as she thinks "BM has lied" about alcohol consumption during pregnancy and are of the opinion she has some of the associated facial features. The LO's SW & my SW don't agree (I haven't yet seen a photo of LO). LO has also been referred to a Geneticist at a local University who doesn't think she has it. As far as I can tell LO is meeting all of her milestones so far and other than some temper tantrums when first placed in FC she doesnt appear to present with any other behaviours associated with the condition. She also attends Nursery twice a week and they advise she doesnt present any differently from the other children. She also has 2 elder half siblings, neither of whom have a diagnosis of FASD. I have done a lot of reading re parenting a child with this condition and honestly I'm just not sure whether I could cope as a single, first time parent.
My question is, is she too young for a proper diagnosis? Is it quite possible that she may not display any signs now but may do so further down the line? If so, would these likely to be lower down on the spectrum or could she still present with more significant issues later on? The reports just seem to be so at odds with each other, the medical adviser is presenting quite a bleak scenario while SW is playing down the potential for FASD saying she feels the adviser is 'just covering their back' so to speak. Who would be more informed, the Dr or the Geneticist?!!
Any advice or links to relevant info would be gratefully received. Many thanks.

fasparent Mon 15-Feb-16 23:34:02

Hi have two children one FAS one FASD, both now responsible adult's, one diagnosed at birth one at age 7, are in full time employment, drive and are fully independent, even have their own property's, Yes it can be difficult but aside from the negative stigma surrounding FASD Children, one has too look after the child 1st then the problem and enjoy life with love and understanding, understanding meaning learning how they behave and understanding their world, both have been a blessing too us (now Grandparents) .
We have looked after quite a few ??? FASD children over our 33 years of fostering and are really ??? FASD, with I can say with very positive outcomes, of course lots depends on the extent and severity of possible
secondary problems, which can be significantly reduced with good understanding and interventions. Too much negativity surrounds FASD sadly.
PM me if you need any good resources have plenty collected over the years.
Wish you well

tldr Tue 16-Feb-16 01:06:12

I'd completely ignore the SWs opinions on the matter (unless she has medical degree). She has a different agenda to yours at this point.

I know that still leaves you with a conflict, but it would reduce the noise a bit!

Rey2216 Tue 16-Feb-16 08:15:08

Thank you both for your replies. Fasparent that's very refreshing to hear a positive experience. All the info I've had up to now has been extremely bleak. It is still very early days as LO doesn't yet even have a PO. Once I read her profile and can speak to the Medical Advisor hopefully I'll be able to make more of an informed decision about whether I am able to meet her needs & be the parent she deserves. tldr, I agree about the SWs, I'm more conflicted about the differing opinions of the Medical Advisor & Geneticist. But thank you both, your posts have been really helpful.

fasparent Tue 16-Feb-16 10:06:22

Their is now also the New adoption support fund from April last year, which allows FASD Children Adopted long term support if their is a suspect of related FASD problems also offers a free NHS Assessment.
Would be say too sw you are aware of this and would it be available for you if you decide yes.
See www.firstfor4Adoption.org.uk " Adoption Support Fund is in small print , good too know though.
Regards.

mydutifullaunderette Tue 16-Feb-16 12:09:00

I'd keep a running list of questions and allow a good long time to talk when you get to see the Medical Advisor. They will have their reasons for raising this, and they may have a wider more detailed knowledge of the child and the family than the geneticist (who may not have had access to BM's medical or pre-natal info, for example). I second what tldr said - please don't take the SW's word for anything medical. With the best will in the world, they want to place a child with a caring, nurturing parent, but they are not qualified to make objective fact-based medical judgments. Don't let the SWs brush off any medical concerns, because you really need to investigate fully now and make sure any needs feel like things you can cope with.

Good luck getting more information, and I hope all goes really well for you.

fasparent Tue 16-Feb-16 13:20:00

When our children were placed with us we knew that both were at the very high end of FAS FASD was no doubt at all, but back then there was not the support and understanding had too learn for ourselves.
Would be hard too assess before the age of 6 due too child's development
Genetics can only go on History and possible chromosome testing which would revel any genetic dysfunction's.
SW are correct in a way do not have a Chrystal ball , can not stigmatise a child at this stage of their life's, but only look at the very best outcome for each individual child irrespective of opinions.
Not forgetting FASD is an umbrella term which included many conditions
under complex needs. Many of which are NOT contributed too FASD .
Considering the recent (yesterday) announcement of 1/200 children in the UK have mental health problems. Would pause for thought.

Rey2216 Tue 16-Feb-16 20:03:18

Thank you both, your comments have been really helpful. I suppose I'm jumping the gun a little bit, you're right until I get to speak to the medical adviser it's just speculation at this point. SW has advised they wouldn't usually give info like this before PO is granted, they just wanted me to have time to do some thorough 'research as I had previously indicated I would be unlikely to consider a child with FAS. They haven't shared any other info with me at this point. I understand they're just holding back until the PO is granted in case I set my heart on her and then things fall through but it feels like I am only hearing about the (potentially) negative aspects without knowing anything about how wonderful I'm sure she is! And I thought the application process would be the difficult part?!!

PicaK Thu 18-Feb-16 08:29:03

I've been going through this too. For me, it's been best to look at the worst case scenarios and think deeply if we can cope now, in 5 yrs, 10yrs, 20yrs. Financially, physically, emotionally we think we can so we're going ahead.
From reading, research done we've realised that only time will tell. Facial features can diagnose but absence of then only proves there was no damage in the first 6 weeks. Most FASD affected children can keep up with their peers until end school but 80% don't lead independent lives. (Bit skewed those figs as taken from large sample of adults who perhaps didn't have early intervention, suffered from other conditions etc but still a little sobering)
The no-fasd page on the website is v good. There's a big downloadable pdf that's got v similar content to the Julia Brown book which is also good for the chapter at the back on fasd adults.
I'm not sure the Dr is going to be able to tell you what you want to hear. Your social worker seems to be down playing things. You're the one that will have to be there 24/7.
My social worker was brilliant at reminding us that if we didn't feel we could take on this child then there were other people who would. That it wouldn't be held against us. It really lifted a weight of responsibility (and desperateness) we felt.
Make the decision that's right for you.

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