A recent training here at Adoption STAR shared valuable insight, information and resources regarding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
As a part of our commitment to ongoing professional development, Adoption STAR staff participated in a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) training on 3/31/15 that was held here at the agency. Helen S. Weinstein, from The Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, conducted the training.
Adoption STAR prospective adoptive parent clients know that the agency encourages them to learn more about FAS during our child interest home study class. As a reminder, there is some helpful information on FAS included in section 2 of the Adoption STAR Adoptive Parent Educational Manual.
What’s important for everyone to know is this – prenatal alcohol exposure causes brain damage. The effects of FAS will last a lifetime. However, people with FAS can grow, improve, and function well in life with appropriate supports. If adoptive parents suspect their child may have FAS, there are concrete benefits to working cooperatively with health care provides to secure a diagnosis (if applicable), because a diagnosis will provide:
- Awareness and a clearer understanding for family members and providers;
- Answers to why there are confusing behaviors or delays that don’t respond to the usual “tried and true” methods;
- A realistic evaluation of appropriate intervention strategies and implementation of such strategies as soon as possible;
- A commitment towards better communication among families, educators, doctors, and other providers;
- A concrete understanding that children grow up and will have FAS for the rest of their life.
Helen also offered up the following resources for additional reading/information:
- NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services
- Erie County Council
- SAMHSA FASD Center for Excellence
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)
All Adoption STAR prospective adoptive parent clients need to become well educated on topics related to children with special needs, children at risk for special needs, and the concept of invisible special needs. Adoption STAR is committed to working with pregnant women who are interested in making an adoption plan regardless of what issues the child may present with upon birth.