Of course you can drink alcohol when you are pregnant!

44ed4-samliz-photoGUEST BLOGGER—Liz Kulp
FASD SURVIVAL STRATEGY TEACHER

OR DO ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO –
IT’S YOUR CHOICE

Liz Kulp lives with the challenges of that choice and will for the rest of her life. She is the Mom’s Choice Award winning author of two books to help people understand fetal alcohol spectrum disorders from the inside out. The Best I Can Be – Living with FASD and Braided Cord – Tough Times In and Out.

“Expectng Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong—and What You Really Need to Know,” by Emily Oster was published August 20, 2014 by the Penguin Press and created quite an uproar in the FASD community.
My heart remains with the babies whose mothers listened to her advice.
The first of those babies will be born in May 2014.
If my mother ONLY drank a glass of wine a night for 270 days and she ONLY drank a standard pour of 5 oz in each glass – I would have ONLY had 1350 oz of wine to ingest while waiting to be born. Don’t worry that’s only 21 GALLONS of wine – you translate it yourself into how much alcohol. I will be relieved for the babies when their beverage of choice becomes MILK!  
5cdb8-besticanbeBraided Cord is ruthlessly honest.Read my books before you decide to not celebrate 0-4-9. It is such a short time of your whole life!  When I was two I spoke in paragraphs and knew 60 breeds of dogs—no one suspected.
My concrete understanding of the world is solid. The clues were all there and they who needed to understand my needs did not see. Now that I am an adult I want the world to understand for the next generation of children —Liz Kulp (transcribed)
“Wow, oh wow. What can I even say?
As adults we live as active of life and more independently than many persons who share our secret. Oh and we’ve been down the path of experiences no parent wishes for their child. I know what it feels like to have your book published and win awards and get talked about. I am sure this has been quite a journey for Emily and her family—
I just hope her writing did not place other children on life path I endure.”
Dear Emily,
My name is Liz Kulp, any woman who is able to have a baby is very blessed. My birth mother was blessed to have me. She was a single mom, who drank wine and as far as I know – not by the gallon. But her life choices became my life. And my life is not the life you want for any of those future beautiful children like Penelope. There are a lot of things that can create the secret most people don’t see when they meet me. They don’t see that I understand every third or fourth word of a conversation. People think I know what they are saying. Some of it I do know and some I don’t, then later I have to figure it all out on my own—that is overwhelming. Perhaps you say I should just say I don’t understand. Well, Emily I have tried that, and what happens when I do, people began to use more words and they add to my confusion. Or they slow down their speech as if I have no brain and treat me like a child.
If I trust you, I will tell you I need more information, but I have found over the years that people with high intelligence get frustrated when they try to help me so I remain quiet.
Note, I am not an unintelligent person. I am differently intelligent. In fact, some of the ways I see the world may actually be a gift to you.
My life did not begin as a child who people thought would struggle with brain and metabolic injury and that is a problem that will haunt me for the rest of my life because the therapies that could have been in place when I was in preschool and an infant did not happen. As I said, my differences are a secret, and unless you REALLY know what to look for you will not see what I deal with everyday.
In fact, my grandmother, Dr. Carrie Kulp, a professor at West Chester believed I was gifted and so did my great-grandmother who graduated from college as a child developmental professional. That was because the parts of my brain that work very well are in concrete thinking.

Award winning author, Liz Kulp, shares “049” from Jodee Kulp on Vimeo.

Emily, I am a woman, and like you I love and grow and learn new things each day. But, unlike you my life experiences because of my mother’s choice have been hindered. I won’t go into the details – they exist in all my books. And why would I want to write such books. Because I know how hard life is for people like me and their families. I know how hidden our secret is. I know that unless you love a person like me and truly get to know us and our families you remain hidden from our reality. I have chosen not to follow my mother’s path. I have been sober four years and if I am blessed with a pregnancy when I am ready to parent a child in a healthy way – I will give that child the best I have to give from it’s beginning. I know the cost. I am the cost.
Click Sam and my picture to
find my book on Amazon

 

I like Ed Riley’s statement to the Wall Street Journal

I find it amazing that the author wants to take on the responsibility of assuring so many women that it is ok to have “a glass of wine or so a day” while pregnant. She readily acknowledges that “all drinking isn’t created equal,” but fails to recognize that all women are not created equal. There are many factors that go into determining whether consumption of alcohol during pregnancy might have an impact on the developing fetus, besides the timing, amount, and pattern of consumption. Additional factors that influence the outcome relate to nutrition, age and one’s genetics. A recent study out of England (Lewis et al, 2012) on over 4000 children found that several genetic variants controlling alcohol metabolism were strongly related to lower IQ at age 8. Importantly, the effect on IQ was seen in the offspring of mothers who were consuming 1-6 units of alcohol per week. If you had these genetic variants, but abstained during pregnancy your child did not show an effect on IQ. A unit is probably a little less than the standard American drink, which brings up another issue. Just how big is that one or so glasses a day you are recommending? A standard drink of wine is 5 oz, but over-pouring is the norm thus underestimating the volume consumed. I for one believe that most women are probably ok with a glass of wine now and then during pregnancy, but I just can’t tell who those women are. Individual genetics, drinking habits, and other contributing factors limit the ability of science to make the assurances that Dr. Oster appears willing to endorse.

To find my books visit http://www.fasdbookstore.com



FASDAdult from Jodee Kulp on Vimeo.

The Innocents… FASD…. Victims

The Right to a Healthy Brain

GUEST POST by ANN YURCEK
award winning author Tiny Titan
Keeping Up with the Tiny Titan –
original post April 3, 2013

I was talking with a friend today about a conversation with Miss Dee who was talking about her FASD.

“Why did she and Little Guy not have the right to be born with healthy brains?”   

How can I answer that question?

We  were venting about the unfairness of FASD.  Those who have FASD are innocent victims. Innocent Victims of being exposed to alcohol prenatally and further victimized by the lack of appropriate services. There is no place for people on the spectrum to fit. Mental Health services, Developmental Disabilities, Autism, are the silos where they can garner support for their prenatally acquired brain injuries. But for many who are on the spectrum they “just” don’t fit. FASD is not even in the DSM as a disorder. So many service silos require a fail first mentality, you have to fall so far to get any help. We need preventative early intervention services from birth on and life long support for those affected.

For the fortunate few, they can fit someplace. They fit on the DD if their IQ’s are low enough, or on the Autism Spectrum if they have enough social inadequacies or sensory issues, or on the Mental Health Spectrum when they have floundered and failed enough to fall into secondary mental health issues. People who have a Traumatic Brain Injury have a silo to garner services, but not FASD.

But also, why can’t we get help for those with FASD’s. It is a shame based disorder. Most will not get diagnosed to the root cause. It is OK to have ADHD, ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, LD ( learning disability), or other mental health problems in our society. But to get diagnosed, there has to be confirmation of drinking alcohol during the pregnancy which then becomes someones fault. In our legalistic society, we blame the parents, we blame something for outcomes.  What parent is brave enough to admit they caused their child’s brain injury? There are a few courageous Parents who love their child enough to do it. But most who are diagnosed are not the families of origin.

Kids from the foster care system or adopted from one of the countries known for their alcohol comsumption are sometimes fortunate enough to get diagnosed at a good diagnostic center. But many will still be missed. For many of the others, it is the other “little” d’s that they will be their umbrella.  ADHD, ADD,  ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder), AD, SID, ASD, BD, DD, OCD, LD. So many little d’s that they will find a label, but never the underlying cause.

But finding the root cause does not help our kids/adults,if we can be fortunate enough to find a diagnosis. They still will have to be served under one of the umbrella’s that often times are a poor fit.  Many will not.

But there is no place for them to find supportive services that really address their unique needs.  They are often too bright to feel comfortable but will not qualify for services under the Developmental Disabilities Category. They are not Mentally Ill enough to qualify for MH services until they really fall apart. Sometimes when their predisposition for Substance Abuse Issues gets them addicted enough, they may qualify for their services, but they can’t manage to learn and keep the sobriety they teach.

Many a parent calls who have that young person who barely passed high school, who cannot hold a job, they may or may not have gotten special education services and they were adopted or live with a kinship caregiver and know that their young person has been prenatally exposed and they are floundering on where to go next. They do not have enough documentation or they have been held together by the families support and they know that their loved one cannot make it on their own. They want to know what to do, where to go for help? 

I have heard some professionals who actually think these kids can outgrow their Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders???   There were those who told me that it was TOO LATE to help my children and just write them off.

We need HOPE, we need HELP, and we need to recognize FASD.

They were innocent victims of prenatal alcohol exposure and they will pay a lifelong price for their mother’s drinking. 

5 Heart Smart Steps for Anger Management


Five Heart Smart Steps for Anger Management

Conflict happens to everyone. 

For persons with hidden differences these conflicts can be invisible until there are so many that the person explodes. One hurt builds upon another hurt and no one sees it happening. Conflict self-care is an individual responsibility, but how can we manage it before it grows out of control especially if we deal with FASD, ADHD, SID, ASD and all those other silly D’s.

Some of the things that may cause hidden conflicts others do not see or understand:

  • When I am blamed for something I didn’t do, it is easy to immediately go on the defense because I am not able to confidently dance verbally around the reality. I don’t know what words to use to protect myself so I go off to keep the person away.
  • When someone uses a big voice instead of speaking to me with kindness, I can feel the hard or aggressive tone and when I feel that tone I am triggered. It is different coming from a woman or a man. From a man it is deeper and I may be triggered quicker because I believe at that moment they are being mean and I react to protect myself. I go into defense to defend myself and I do it without thinking I simply react. With a woman when the voice is firm or bratty, it doesn’t make my heart jump so I am not on automatic snap, but I may still be rude to give myself time to think about what just happened. 
  • When plans are quickly changed it is overwhelming and frustrating because I have worked my schedule around the situation, and navigated  to get there which can be very difficult on public transportation or relying on another person. I even have to sometimes reschedule my medication times to make an appointment work, so I can be functional at that appointment. I know people without my differences don’t understand the extreme rudeness change is for me and how it affects my life.  

1. When your heart is upside down – BREATHE first!


BREATHE – Something has turned your heart upside down… frustration, confusion, bully behaviors, overwhelming situations or just life in general. Realize emotions you may consider negative like anger and pain are not always bad.  

  • BREATHE deeply into you belly until you can hold no more air think ‘I can get through this, I can handle this, I can do this.’ (One way is to count in 7 short breaths)
  • BREATHE out your feelings of hurt or anger until you have no air left in your lungs and you need to take another breath. Repeat. (One way is to blow out 8 – 1 long breath and the 7 short breaths)
  • Do this as many times as you need to… Repeat – repeat – repeat

If breathing is not working – 

2. Place your hands together and press hard


PRESS YOUR HANDS TOGETHER HARD (like praying flat hands) AND BREATHE- Continue breathing and press your hands together hard. This is when I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding.” 
  • RAISE YOUR PRESSED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding.” 
  • RAISE YOUR PRESSED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD, MAKE A BIG CIRCLE OUT AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding” or sometimes by this time I can simply be quiet…. 
If I am still overwhelmed – 

3. Grasp your hands together and hang on for the ride!


GRASP YOUR HANDS TOGETHER (like folded praying hands) AND HOLD ON TIGHT NOW  BREATHE- Continue breathing and grasp your hands together hard. This is when I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe.

  • RAISE YOUR GRASPED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe.
  • RAISE YOUR GRASPED HANDS ABOVE YOUR HEAD, MAKE A BIG CIRCLE OUT AND BREATHE  –  This helps the tightness I feel in my shoulders, arms and neck. I continue to I say “_______, give me love, peace, joy and understanding. Against such things there is no law.” Try to relax your hands as you breathe. Usually by this time I am ready for a walk or thinking time. 
Open your new heart – 

4. From your praying or grasped hands open your hands into a new heart – now right side up!


  • TAKE A MOMENT FOR YOURSELF – Give yourself a pat on the back for stepping through another hard place. Go for a walk, listen to music that is peaceful, look at something in nature that is beautiful to you (clouds, flowers, trees, animals). 

Take the next step – 

5. Reach out to another person and share your new wisdom.  

  • IF YOU LEARNED SOMETHING NEW from this experience of riding your anger safely through a cycle let someone you love know what happened, how you managed it, what you plan to do again and what the person can do to help you navigate this if needed. 

  Do the best that you can.

 Each one of us can reach another in kindness and love. 

Do something for another today.


Special thank you to POWER PEOPLE
Sam, Liz and David – for their counsel in the development of this program. 
Please share in fullness with our connections –  2013 Better Endings New Beginnings

Need to encourage your place of faith to have a
special needs inclusive ministryRead more

FASDay – TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!

Can’t do anything —- Sure you can!
Send this message on your mobile

TEXT TEN FOR FASD DAY
This message will save a baby’s life!!!
Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause brain damage, birth defects, premature birth, and death.
WWW.BABYBORNFREE.

COM
Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders –
Pass this on to 10 people.

And if you can’t do that “Each one can reach one” tell one other person about FASD.

Amazon.com Widgets

#3 Days To FASDay – Dog takes a stand on fetal alcohol

If a dog can do it so can we!

Each one of us can reach a new person this coming year. For those of us who live with the realities of FASD, it is our job to share this knowledge. 

Last year we asked…

Could we use the woof of a dog to build FASD awareness?

So Chancer, Iyal Winokur’s service dog woofed in …

  • The New York Times (February 2012) Wonder Dog – A golden retriever reaches a raging boy by Melissa Fay Greene
  • Readers Digest Canada (May 2012-Pages 84-91) Creature Comfort – A golden retriever did what the Winokur family could not—he befriended an soothed their raging son by Melissa Fay Greene
  • Guidepost (September 2012)  A Dog’s Devotion Brings Healing— She had no idea how severe her adopted son’s problems would be—or what form the answer to her prayers would take. By Donnie Kanter Winokur, Roswell, Georgia
  • Entro Magazine (June 2012-Pages 24-25) Building Bridges to Success for Children Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
  • Adoption Today (October 2012) shhhh…. it’s coming! 
  • Another potential BIG SURPRISE – keep posted to Silent Voices Blog and be the first to know!

How can you take a stand…
  • Miss Illinois talked about FASD when she represented Southern Illinois – she is an expert from the inside out
  • Karl Kulp told his classmates at his 50th Class Reunion – “The most important thing I have done in my life, that I am the most proud – is raising my daughter who lives with the daily challenges of fetal alcohol into an interdependent adulthood.” 

Stand up in your congregation this weekend! And share your story!


If we want to create an “REAL” Economic Stimulus Package – now is the time to begin promoting “Building Better Baby Brains” by Raising the Standard for the Future – Alcohol and Babies don’t mix and add to the future cost of education, medical, community and judicial services.
  • Join our virtual Million Mind March to give One Million Babies in the next year the opportunity to develop healthy minds

Participate in a Local Radio Show and Get Your Events Talked About
Call your local radio show and see if you can get on a program to talk about FASD during the next 60 days. You may just open up some minds and save a few baby brain cells.
Visit:

Step out, speak out, get out and make some friendly noise to build awareness of FASD – fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

#4 Days To FASDay – FREE STUFF Be a poster poster

Become a Poster Poster!

©http://www.fasstar.com/

Get your school involved this month… involve your health teachers… high schoolers give a presentations to your elementary and middle schools –

Print out some FREE – FASD Awareness posters and hang them up on local bulletin boards, at the store, the laundromat, churches, universities, etc. You might even get your local schools to post them.

Little One” everybody’s favorite poster

NOFAS Posters and Brochures

If you print these out yourself on photo paper at “best” resolution on your color printer they will have a high quality appearance. You can have large posters printed for just a few dollars at your local print or copy shop. Even one may be seen by hundreds of people.

PURCHASE A SET OF BOOKS FOR YOUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO HELP EXPLAIN FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS TO STUDENTS IN A KIND AND GENTLE WAY – Prevent Bully Behaviors against children with FASD this school years.


Click book to purchase and use $3.00 coupon code Direct links provided for discount – Just add coupon code JZLZLVT2 to order Nuzzle, My Invisible World, Braided Cord, Whitest Wall or Our FAScinating Journey – you can simply click special link for each book provided below. Any reviews or comments on our books are appreciated. Happy September 9 – for larger quantity please message me and I can get you a deal.

PLUS THIS IS FREE E-CURRICULUM FOR Elementary Schools From Chancer!!!!!



Speaking, workshops or wholesale books contact: www.betterendings.org or jodeekulp@gmail.com

$3.00 Gift for each book from the Kulp and Winokur Families to build awareness this month. Additional or classroom quantities please contact us:

NEW! 3rd Revision Our FAScinating Journey -Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury – (2012)https://www.createspace.com/3579462
The Whitest Wall (2012) – A Mystery novel
Braided Cord (2010) – Liz’s adult transition with FASD

#8 Days To FASDay – Write a letter to the first lady

How to Write a Letter to 

First Lady Michelle Obama


Dear First Lady Obama
let me tell you about FASD

As part of International FASD Awareness Day, please join us in this easy, free activity to help raise awareness of FASD at the highest levels of our government.

This idea originated with Tami Eller, a member of our local FASD Council.
Cheri Scott, FASD Family Support Project
Stone Soup Group
www.stonesoupgroup.org

If you would like to write a letter to First Lady Michelle Obama there are certain steps you need to follow. While you may feel comfortable writing letters to your friends and family this letter needs to be formal and concise. Please follow these steps to correctly send the First Lady a letter.

________________________________

Dear First Lady Michelle Obama…

Let me tell you about FASD

International FASD Awareness Day Letter Writing Campaign

Did you know that First Lady Obama reads 10 letters each night written by everyday Americans?
Imagine if every letter the President read was written by someone whose life is impacted by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.
If everyone affected by FASD writes to the First Lady prior to 9/9 then the probability of her opening even one letter regarding FASD is incredible.
The more letters, the higher the probability that all ten letters she reads will be written by those affected by FASD.

  • Are you a parent of a child with FASD, are you an adult with FASD?
  • Does your sibling have FASD?
  • Do you teach a child or an adult with FASD?
  • Are you a grandparent of a child with FASD?

For everyone person born affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol, everyone who loves that individual lives are also affected.

Join us in educating our First Lady regarding the most prevalent of all birth defects: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Join us in asking our First Lady to ring a bell at 9:09 am on September 9, 2009 to recognize the importance of Nine Months of an Alcohol Free Pregnancy.

Tell your story of how Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders have affected yourself and those you love.

Send First Lady Obama a letter to at:
First Lady Michelle Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500

Send First Lady Obama an email by filling out the form at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

Talking Points

* The Facts:
* Fetal alcohol exposure is an international and national crisis
* Prenatal exposure to alcohol causes permanent brain damage
* Prenatal exposure to alcohol is the leading cause of mental retardation
* Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% and easily preventable – simply no alcohol consumption during pregnancy
* Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are a life long disability – from cradle to grave
* More babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders than Autism Spectrum Disorders or Downs Syndrome
* There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy
* It is estimated that more than half of the prison population is affected by FASD
* Prenatal exposure to alcohol costs the United States millions of dollars a year to provide services to individuals affected by a FASD
* Early identification and intervention has huge impacts on the reduction of mental health concerns and behaviors resulting in legal intervention
* Even with early identification and intervention,individuals with a FASD will need to lifelong supports
* The Daily Realities of Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

As a Parent:
* Struggles with you have raising your child with FASD
* Struggles you have explaining the invisible brain damage to others who deal with your child
* Struggle finding appropriate services for your child
* The lesson you have learned in your journey of raising a child affected by FASD
* Your dreams for your child

As an Adult affected by FASD
* Struggles you had to overcome in your lifetime
* Strengths and talents you have
* Accommodations that enable you to be successful

As a Profession working with individuals affected by FASD
* What systematically is working for your clients
* What systematically is not working for your clients
* Struggles your clients face on a daily basis
* Struggles you face on a daily basis in obtaining resources for your clients
* What resources are necessary for your clients to be successful
* What needs to happen
* Proclamation by the President of the United States recognizing September 9th as International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day and the importance of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy
* Ask him to ring a bell at 9:09 am on September 9 in recognition of the individuals affected by FASD.
* Diagnostic teams in all 50 states to facilitate and identify early diagnosis and intervention
* More resources toward prevention and early intervention

#9 Days To FASDay – Speak Out on Fetal Alcohol

Prepare to give a speech

This is the first time Liz and I stepped out years ago at the 1st International FASDay –

You can do it too!

Here is my speech – feel free to use mine and adapt to your community.

Today is a day… International FAS Awareness Day — 9.9.99 @ 9:09
Jodee Kulp, Parent Keynote, Federal Courthouse Plaza, 12:30 pm — Minneapolis, Minnesota

Thank you for being part of International FAS Awareness Day 9 9 99.
The Bells have rung out in Minnesota and are continuing their journey around the globe. We were the 18th time zone in the International Bell Concordance and didn’t they sound beautiful! Thank you to the citizens of Minnesota and all those involved with prenatal exposure for the mighty effort they put out to make this day happen.

It is my privilege to speak on behalf of all the parents who love and live with children exposed to alcohol before birth. It is my privilege to speak for those who live daily with the primary and secondary issues erupting from this exposure.

Today is a day of awareness.
We have stripped back the dark covering and let the sun shine in. We have come together as a world family, united in the cause of making a difference and hope this first “One Magic Moment” will begin to change lives.

Today is a day of awareness.
Alcohol is devastating, and most devastating to the weakest and most vulnerable in our society — the unborn child. Alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of mental retardation in the western world – US, Canada, Europe and Australia.

In the United States 10,657 babies are born daily (1999 US numbers are listed below)

  • . . . 3 will have Muscular Dystrophy
  • . . . 4 will have Cystic Fibrosis
  • . . . 4 will have Spina Bifida
  • . . . 4 will be infected with HIV
  • . . . 10 of these babies will have Downs Syndrome.

Researcher and fund-raisers are working for these children.

But — are you ready for the figures —

  • . . . 20 babies will be born with FAS
  • . . . these children will have visible facial and other physical deformities
  • . . . they are the lucky ones

People will see with the eyes, understand and help will be provided. These physical manifestations are not caused by MORE drinking but simply because of the day in gestation the pregnant mother chose to drink.

Today is a day of awareness.
NOW — are you really ready for the tough issue

  • . . . 100 babies will be born with Fetal Alcohol Effects
  • . . . these children’s deformities will be hidden within their bodies, in their brains and organs.
  • Most will go undiagnosed.
  • Most will live a life with little help with behaviors misjudged and struggling with learning and emotional issues.

Today is a day of knowledge.
Brain damage is non-reversible and a permanent condition that an individual must live with for the rest of their life. The person with prenatal alcohol exposure does not have the choice of NOT being impaired, yet has the responsibility of learning to live and to fit into a society that neither tolerates nor understands their impulsive behaviors.

Today is a day of knowledge.
Any one of us could become the parent of a prenatally exposed infant. FAS is no respector of persons or culture. It crosses economic and racial lines. The results of a very recent survey of over 100,000 women discovered that women in households of greater than $50,000 income, women who are college educated, unmarried women and female students have a higher than average incidence of drinking during pregnancy. I ask that no fingers be pointed at any person for this affliction. I ask for forgiveness from the past. I ask for a resolution of personal responsibility from this day forward for even one child to be saved.

Today is a day of knowledge.
A can of beer, a glass of wine, a shot of liquor and a wine cooler all contain about 1/2 oz. of absolute alcohol. If a woman consumes 2 drinks in one hour, her baby could have a blood alcohol content higher than the mother could. FAS is 100% preventable. If a woman becomes pregnant, she shouldn’t drink. It’s that simple. There is no known safe amount of alcohol for a pregnant woman. When a woman drinks, her baby drinks, because alcohol passes directly through the placenta to the baby.

Today is a day of hope.
When we join together we can achieve a better tomorrow. The knowledge each of us holds can provide the tiny pieces of a large puzzle to help contribute to the success and happiness of those afflicted. Together we can provide knowledge, wisdom, support and encouragement to women who are planning to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding a child. This we can all do with love.

Today is a day of hope.
Solutions require us to work together. Doctors, researchers and nutritionists around the world can share their discoveries and treatments that are already making a difference. Mental health professionals, educators and parents can join as a team to reach, teach and train these young people, sharing ideas from around the globe.

Today is a day of hope.
We must open our eyes and our ears. We must shift our focus and understand the inner world of living with prenatal exposure. We must begin to see these children differently, and begin to build the bridge of understanding. Diane Malbin a tireless advocate provides the clues by changing from:

  • “Won’t to can’t”
  • “Bad to frustrated”
  • “Lazy to tries hard”
  • “Refuses to sit still to overstimulated”
  • ‘”Fussy and demanding to oversensitive”
  • “Trying to make me mad to can’t remember”
  • “Resisting to doesn’t get it”
  • “Doesn’t try to tired of failing.”
  • “Doesn’t get the obvious to needs many reteachings.”

Yes it is hard to be the parent of an FAS child.
Yes it is hard to be the teacher of an FAS child.
But have you tried to be the FAS child!

Our adopted daughter Liz exhibits Fetal Alcohol Effects. Our family has grown deeply because of it. The primary issues of hypersensitivity, overstimulation, night terrors and learning disabilities have challenged us.
We have struggled with impulsivity, low self-esteem, anger and frustration.
We are determined to prevent the secondary issues from occurring – violence, suicide, alcohol abuse, poverty, homelessness, delinquency, incarceration, and early pregnancy.
We have discovered that proper nutrition, added nutrients and sleep make an incredible difference and allow Liz to function very well.
We have discovered she is happiest when provided clear boundaries and concrete communication.
We have discovered her learning styles and teach everything in multiple modalities….see it, hear it, do it. With a strong emphasis on doing it.

I am proud Liz is my daughter and she is doing wonderfully. This growth did not come easily for her. She is a fighter and has climbed many mountains. In a quiet one-on-one teaching arrangement she has been able to gain 5 years in reading, 7 years in spelling and is currently at age level in mathematics. Learning any new material has been very difficult for her. We have been building one very tiny step at a time, without moving on until mastery has taken place and then often reteaching areas a number of times.
Though her brain still works compartmentally we are beginning to see transfer of some information and together we are learning how to teach and how to learn. She and I are on the same team. By “compartmentally” I mean, for example, that when are doing spelling she can spell at the 9th grade level and when we are learning to write she can spell at the 6th grade level. The transfer of information is very difficult for her.
Two weeks ago, my daughter Liz and I bought a peck of cucumbers to make into pickles. Our science classes are very hands on and we were going to study sterilization and Louis Pasteur. We washed and carefully brushed each cucumber so they were perfectly clean – they were beautiful. Then we soaked the cucumbers overnight in a 5% salt solution. In the morning the cucumbers looked the same, but no longer tasted the same. We cut up garlic and dill and red peppers, and boiled vinegar, salt and water with pickling spices. We packed sterilized jars tightly with our beautiful bright green cucumbers and poured on the brine. Then we sealed the jars and boiled them 20 minutes in a hot water bath. When we lifted the jars out of the water a dull green pickle had replaced the bright green cucumbers…
And I thought THIS IS WHAT we have done to these children.

Today is a day of advancement. Growing up with FAS is a community process and it takes a united community to raise these children. It took one dream and two people to create the vision for today — Bonnie Buxton and Teressa Kellerman.
They believed:
‘The oscillation of butterfly wings in Brazil may set off storms in Texas.’
And what a storm they set off. They mobilized and motivated individuals from around the globe. From New Zealand to Alaska people have united. The Internet has connected a previously silent world of creative, intelligent and hardworking individuals willing to lay down differences for a common cause of helping children and adults living with FAS
Where do we go from here?…
These children are teachable, lovable, creative and energetic but they do not learn like other children. They need to be taught things other children just seem to simply know. We need to discover the resources already available and we have powerful resources in our backyards — birth parents, adoptive parents and foster parents who are living, loving and growing together 24 hours a day with prenatal exposure. These families have been creative in developing processes that work to help their children succeed and find happiness in a world they struggle in.

I challenge each of you to make a difference.

  • Tell people this is an important issue.
  • Join with NOFAS www.nofas.org and share ideas and information.
  • Visit our website at http://www.betterendings.org/
  • Email your successful ideas to us. We will publish them.
  • Encourage women to remain alcohol and drug free during pregnancy.
  • Write to your congressman, senators, schools, community leaders and medical professionals and let them know “We’re Tired of Our Children Being Pickled.”

Today is the day to make a difference.
My words on this 1st hopefully of many future International FASDays are dedicated to my wonderful Liz. May we begin this difference in changing this world for others together.

Speak Out in Your Community and open the minds of others to Help Raise the Standard to Build Better Baby Brains
Join the International Virtual Million Mind March

If we want to create an “REAL” Economic Stimulus Package – now is the time to begin promoting “Building Better Baby Brains” by Raising the Standard for the Future – Alcohol and Babies don’t mix and add to the future cost of education, medical, community and judicial services.
  • Join our virtual Million Mind March to give One Million Babies in the next year the opportunity to develop healthy minds
Participate in a Local Radio Show and Get Your Events Talked About
Call your local radio show and see if you can get on a program to talk about FASD during the next 60 days. You may just open up some minds and save a few baby brain cells.
Visit:
Step out, speak out, get out and make some friendly noise to build awareness of FASD – fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Tomorrow I will share the first speech I fearfully spoke on 09.09.99 at the 1st Annual FASDay – sadly the same message still needs to be heard.
Enjoy coming up with GREAT ideas – we’d love to hear from you!

#11 Days To FASDay – Tie Some Knots

Let’s Knot to be Silent
INSTRUCTIONS TO TIE YOUR OWN FASKnots

By Bonnie Buxton,
author Damaged Angels
co-founder International FASDay
Re-printed from December ICEBERG 2008

In January of 1999, while digging out from a Toronto snowstorm, my husband Brian Philcox and I realized that September 9, 1999 (9-9-99), would present an opportunity to inform the world that during the nine months of pregnancy, alcohol is dangerous to the baby.

Within 24 hours, Teresa Kellerman of Tucson, Arizona, had contributed her creativity and Internet genius by encouraging volunteers in seven countries and 11 time zones to participate in the first International FAS Awareness Day.

Because every ribbon colour had been taken by other causes, Brian and I spent several hours developing the FASKnot symbol in honor of the first book about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Michael Dorris’s “The Broken Cord.”

Ten years later, the events continue and now we challenge FASD advocates to take advantage of 2009 to build awareness all year long, particularly on 09-09-09. This year in Canada, FASDay events included a major conference, some candlelight vigils, “mocktail” competitions, breakfasts, luncheons, a play, and one brave woman with ARND speaking out for the first time to a group of university students. Many of these events brought media attention to FASD, building awareness in the community.

Join the movement to Build Better Baby Brains Let’s Raise the Standard

Jodee

#20 Days To FASDay – Listen to persons with FASD

One of Many Voices 

for Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day

Note from jodee: I have removed L.’s name and country and added word changes in (–).
Please understand that this woman with fetal alcohol is writing in English, speaks
the language of the country she lives in and was born in another country with another
language – Well done L. You are a beautiful person. Keep safe.

Dear Jodee and Liz

I am 31 years old…I have FAS

I have pay (bought) Liz and your book,
the best i can be…i have been,
is comfusing very often,
and think bad things about myself…
but when i read the book i cried..
becuse i’m felt not alone anymore…
I’m catholic and is very comfusing their sometimes..
no one can see that i have FAS and
is hard to lived up to the church..
i always failed..
everybody failed,
but i’m never learnd,
and i’m feel bad..

but when i read your and Liz book,
and about your trust in God
i’m now feeling calm…
but i cry and cry..

I’m single mother to a boy who is 5
and get help from the socity in my country
…clean help,
and with paper…
but i wish more
…it’s very difficult

…i pray for God’s protection and
that he chow me to be a good mother…
hope you understand my english.

God bless you and your family.
Love from L. in Europe

Dear L.
Your English is beautiful and
very very good I am happy with your English.
To speak three languages and write to me
is very very wonderful.

Lord I pray for L. –
you know she is a good woman
and person and kind and loving.
Lord I ask for you to help her
and let her know she is not alone,
that many men and women have FAS and
many live good lives
She is living a good life
being the best she can be.
Father be with her and
help her learn good things
to grow in your love.
Amen

Jodee and Liz
L. may I share your email with other families?
Or may I add to my website –
I think your words are wonderful!

Dear Jodee and Liz,
thanks for caring and answer
Thanks for your beutiful prayer…
yes you can add it on your website,
but please not wright where i’m from…

My FAS is many fysical disorder
like haert deffects, and i have problem
with member (memory) in daily life,
when i cooks food,
and sometimes i’m not see cars come in my way…
and problem with anger, and self defence..
but i tried gfcd ( wtithout gluten and casein milk)
and now i don’t cut my self,
sometimes i have bite my self in anger,
but your book gave me hope,

It learned me to try to pray insted,
or chows bite paper insted…
my son gives me so mutch and i love him,
so i need to focus him..

the daily life is hard to focus and
it’s so mutch planning…
but God leads me,
even i’m bad sometimes…
One time in week i,m riding.
It’s good for me too

Love and pray, L.