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Drinking In Pregnancy

(30 Posts)
thesolesolent Mon 11-Dec-17 17:41:56

Hi we were approved as adopters a couple of months ago and have a potential match of a little boy who is nearly eight months. He has been with foster family since birth and seems to be doing well. Birth Mother drank throughout the pregnancy. We've asked for some more information and I wondered if anyone has adopted a child knowing birth Mother drank and if/what the challenges have been? Also should we be assuming that there will definitely be a level of brain damage from the drinking or can environmental factors over ride the inutero damage? Also any questions we should ask sw would be greatly appreciated!

JustHappy3 Mon 11-Dec-17 18:12:33

We have AD with probable fasd. She is a joy and i love her to bits.
I read loads in advance. I concentrated too much on the fact that brain damage will be irreversible. You can become their outside brain and put in place systems and routines that will help. You can be their advocate. But you can't make it go away. I thought long and hard about having a child who may never live independently and whether we could cope with a retirement where we are still caring and not eg taking a cheap weekend break to Paris.
I didn't take on board the violence - the impulsivity that means she lashes out without even knowing what she's doing. It's linked to avoidant attachment issues but it can be a part of fasd. It can get a bit miserable being scratched and hurt. I know it sounds nuts but i wish i'd asked dh to surprise scratch me on the arm and then smile at me - it would have given me a better understanding of what we were going into.
There's an fasd fb page you have to request to join which is very intense but very honest in the downsides. It is a onesided view though as people there are asking for help.
I'm someone who thinks the more info you have the better.

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 18:21:47

Birth mum drank with both of my two and they were initially treated for neonatal abstinence but both are absolutely fine and show no real impact thus far. It's not inevitable that kids will be impacted, but there is a level of uncertainty with younger babies where you just need to watch and wait.

thesolesolent Mon 11-Dec-17 18:22:23

Thanks happy for your post. Can I ask how old your AD was when she came to you?

thesolesolent Mon 11-Dec-17 18:24:21

Thanks jelly If you don't mind can I ask if the drinking was heavy? Did they have any facial symptoms of alcohol exposure?

Hels20 Mon 11-Dec-17 18:34:24

Another one here where BM drank through pregnancy but so far, no apparent signs (though son is still very young so don’t think we are out of the woods yet). There were no facial features - though whether someone has facial features is only if mother drank at a v specific time in pregnancy.

I was very worried about it - but we took the plunge and we have a gorgeous boy and wouldn’t change him for the world.

JustHappy3 Mon 11-Dec-17 18:58:52

Little one was 9.5 months. Removed from mum at 5 days. Sadly the avoidant attachment problems were caused by the foster carers.
Facial evidence only present in something like 15% of cases.
"Meeting milestones" before the 2 year check doesn't mean everything is ok. And after that they'll prob do ok with reading writing etc. Most of what i read pointed to about yr 5 being when they start to lag behind their peers.

exercisejunkie Mon 11-Dec-17 20:08:36

My newly placed 15 month old has a birth mum who reportedly drank during pregnancy, during assessment it was THE thing I had a big issue with.....which Is why my SW was so shocked when I received the profile via linkmaker and insisted on proceeding. She's brilliant and funny and absolutely wonderful. All professionals at present say it's to soon to see the effects, there are no facial features but if she needs support in the future I know I will advocate strongly for her needs.

thesolesolent Mon 11-Dec-17 20:28:15

Thanks for all your stories. Does anyone know the statistics on the percentage of children who are adopted/have adoption orders who have been exposed to alcohol during pregnancy?

Jellycatspyjamas Mon 11-Dec-17 20:52:35

I would think the vast majority have been. My two have no facial features of fasd and at this point don't have a diagnosis and it isn't considered to be a concern for either, they are 4 and 6 and are doing fine all things considered.

Hels20 Mon 11-Dec-17 20:52:36

I think it depends who you ask. And also lots of other issues (attachment issues, ADHD) can be incorrectly diagnosed when the real reason for behaviour is FASD. When I was reading up on it - I think I was told one in three. But that could be me misremembering.

Hels20 Mon 11-Dec-17 20:53:56

Ps I tried to get a diagnosis but there is only one clinic (in Surrey - Linked to one of the main teaching hospitals in London) that tries to diagnose - but they won’t see you until your child is minimum 6 years old and it costs about £7k!!!

fasparent Mon 11-Dec-17 21:25:27

Have two adopted with FULL FASD are both now adults in employment, drive, and independent but still have FAS just get on with life. FAS FASD
effect children in different ways, all are effected differently as it is a umbrella term (FAS FASD for a good deal of complex needs problems)
When our two were young the knowledge and support was not around had too do interventions and research ourselves. Hence we now find that there is a negative attitude these days and not enough positive's.
Yes it can be a struggle at times but plenty of exercise fun and omega diet sufficed for ours. DD weighed in at 1lb 12oz had a hole in her heart and central nervous system disorders also underwent lots of skeletal surgery but as an adult is fine. DS came at 7 would have been better sooner missed the window of early interventions but again is OK now.
Just remember the good fun times now, were very lovable and brought
the best out of every one who met them, would Adopt the same again if we were younger.

fasparent Mon 11-Dec-17 21:42:29

Just Adopted little boy with Acquired Brain Injury , Interventions is not unlike FAS. He is doing great (age 3) contradicting all the professionals
Use resources from Children's Brain injury trust and www. Do2learn who have detail resources of FASD and Acquired brain injury.

bostonkremekrazy Mon 11-Dec-17 22:32:28

We have 2 with diagnosed FAS, but suspect another of ours has it too (we have 4 siblings).
Yes to facial features - but as PP said these are dependant on the stage of pregnancy when drinking.
Nearly age 3 my dc has no speech, mobility issues, fused hands/toes, behaviour problems, swallowing problems, heart & lung problems, eye problems - (*all children with FAS must have an annual check on their optic nerve), ear problems....i think thats it....
The only diagnosis for my child is FAS. This kind of mixture above is typical/normal. I was at a fasd meeting very recently and we seemed to have got off lightly - though my dc were the youngest there, so maybe it seems worse/problems progress as they age....
Behavioural problems seem worse in girls than boys.
Adhd/Asd are often disagnosed in boys alongside FAS.
I hope that helps.....

fasparent Mon 11-Dec-17 23:46:53

Seam's Boston our children were very similar, had webbed fingers and toes , had too break her legs too increase her height did not help much though. Best scenario for our DD now 28 has been very brave and now lives a near normal active life. There can be light at the end of the tunnel for some. We home Educated her as well rubbish understanding in UK Schools.

thesolesolent Tue 12-Dec-17 11:58:11

Thanks for all the information everyone. We are going to have some more information on him and go from them. It's good to hear your experiences.

Lovebehindthefool Tue 12-Dec-17 12:10:34

Our lo was 9m when adopted and is now 30m. Bm drank “occasionally” through the pregnancy (hmmm) but we have no signs of FAS. Yet. To be honest, there are other much more high profile things we would be more concerned about that she could have inherited. She shows no signs of any of it yet though.

CompletelyUnknown Tue 12-Dec-17 15:14:31

Hi we have a lovely 14 month old same situation. Birth mother drank through pregnancy and with foster parents from birth. She has absolutely no signs of fads and is doing amazing. Although we are aware there may be impulse/control issues later on in life. Do the tease arch and ask SW as many questions as you need. As with a birr child there is always uncertainty in the future. We can't control everything.

bostonkremekrazy Tue 12-Dec-17 15:14:50

@Hels20 any genetic consultant can make a FAS diagnosis.
The clinic on surrey are experts at making a diagnosis where others have not been able to : ie where a child is borderline, no bm story, no facial features and ? on whether its adhd/asd instead.
The nhs will refer and pay if your paed geneticist is unable to diagnoise fasd and sw suspects history of alcohol abuse.
Hope that helps!

bostonkremekrazy Tue 12-Dec-17 15:18:21

Its lovely to hear the positive stories ☺
FAS in girls rears its head later, usually as they hit school and families find at this point they need support and start seeking a diagnosis. Its often helpful for this reason to find out earlier if you suspect your lottle one may have FAS as you dont have to fight for support later if crisis occurs with school stuff....

fasparent Tue 12-Dec-17 16:06:01

Think you will find that FAS FASD Experts in Surrey require that child see's Genetic Specialist before excepting a referral , reason too rule out any other problems not associated with FASD.
So can ask Paediatrics, GP , CAMHS for referral too Genetics Clinic.
As stated can start interventions early ( these would not harm any child would rather enhance their Education as are whole class strategy's as well as the individual.

fasparent Tue 12-Dec-17 17:44:44

Would also Look at first4adoption Webb site regards after adoption support for children with suspected FASD issues. It States long term assessment/support may be considered. Have to read carefully as its only a one liner. have too search around to find the details.
May be worth asking sw if this would apply., if this were appropriate.
Good luck theslosolent

bostonkremekrazy Tue 12-Dec-17 18:13:26

That would be common sense - no point the nhs or self funding for the surrey clinic when a child has not even seen a local geneticist...£7k shock

thesolesolent Wed 13-Dec-17 08:00:57

Thanks fasparent I'll have a look at their website

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