#FASD Conference Success – Thank You Dr. Jim and #AnnYurcek

Success means a quiet voice and truthful statements
2014 BROCHURE2
FLYER - FASD CONFERENCE-FINAL

Shouting out a special thank you to Dr. Jim Yurcek and his wife Ann Yurcek who stepped up to the plate to make this conference happen when the funding was removed. It was awesome.

  • Loved how everyone in the audience worked together.
  • Loved what Liz and Sam had to say.

 

Hope we impacted people with new ideas and strategies and visions for helping and understanding persons living with the challenges of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders #FASD.

It was a day well served – the road of seeing FASD now has visibility!

Thank you from the Kulp Clan – Let’s do this one again…

 

 

Adoption “Where The Systems Have Failed Both Children and Families”

Adoption in the media again.

Adoption Horror Stories and the Rehoming Stories.

By Ann Yurcek 

Republished with permission
First published Oct 1, 2013

The Child Exchange.. America’s Underground Market for Adopted Children

This time with a big way… Rehoming. Adoptive parents who became so desperate that they resorted to moving their children to another home without going through proper channels.

First I will not condone any of the actions of the parents who put their adoptive children in jeopardy, but I can understand just how desperate they could be.

This blog post is going to be complex, but it is a complex problem that causes parents to give up on their children. I hope this helps to put another spin on it but with research to support my arguments.
Not media hype.

I saw glimpses of this as it was happening over the years and stayed away from any of the discussions and discussion boards on the subject.  A couple of times on other groups the subject came up and I talked about finding the help through the proper channels. Starting with the Mental Health, Adoption Support, their insurance and Medicaid and tried to help some parents find scarce help.

Back in 2000 I wrote a letter in the middle of the night. My thoughts about having to tell my daughter that she was going to have to go back to vary system she came from to find the mental health services she so desperately needed.  I searched and searched and found no hope or help for her.  I tried every door and found that the system was not set up to help parents who found themselves in our situation.

I found the little known secret of failed adoptions.
Adoption Disruption and Dissolution from the Child Welfare Gateway 

Some of those circumstances from lack of knowledge about what it takes and think love is enough. Sometimes it is because of often not disclosed information. Most often it is the lack of proper supports. For those who find themselves with children with severe complex needs, it is a lonely world.I know that in our own circumstances, we were not allowed to see any of the records and they did not disclose that our children were not general level of care kids. We were promised that none of the group of kids had any needs that would put other children in jeopardy as we had our own children and a medically fragile child to think about.  But we found ourselves with four of them who were in therapeutic foster care and the three seventeen page psychologicals on the kids were never shown us that they were much more needy than we were told. Never-the-less we did not give up even if had been fraud. We had made a promise.

Even more on the tragedy of custody relinquishment to garner Mental Health Services.

Custody Relinquishment from the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Even biological families were forced to put their mentally ill children into the care systems to garner services. But Adoptive Families had to do it to. To return them to the systems to get services suitable to condition and often times residential treatment if one could find one.Those reports highlighted what I had learned. That systems are not equipped to handle our most complex children and families find themselves struggling to find competent help  that is hard to come by.  One has to exhaust all services and then there are few options. Hospitalizations and residential treatment are hard to come by and often will not except our seriously disturbed children.I fought hard and did not give up custody and learned to fight for my daughter and her right to family. But most families will not be as lucky as I was.

Families who have adopted from the foster care system and the worlds child caring institutions. We have no safety net when we find ourselves with children too severe to attach or too damaged to remain in the home safely.  We are vilified for not loving them enough, not caring enough, for throwing away a child. The more of these stories, the harder it is for parents to reach out for help as we are judged, juried, convicted for not loving our children enough or doing enough to help them heal from the ghosts of their pasts.  But it is much more complex than that.

We need a support system all the way from better training  and support from the adoption agencies, health and mental health care systems, child welfare, schools and communities supports.

We adoptive parents who take on these children, sometimes unknowingly are Parenting Complex Children.

Complex…

Some once told me that they are Genetically loaded (they inherit the parents genetic predisposition). There is actually a study going on to see if prenatal alcohol exposure changes genetic structures.

Many will be prenatally exposed. A parents substance abuse issues often put these children into the care of the states and countries. A new study confirms what we parents have known for awhile.
Fetal Alcohol Common in Adopted and Foster Kids   
Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. They look normal but can’t do normal and normal parenting strategies do not work.

Children who face poverty, neglect and abuse can have neurocognitive issues. Their brains changed by their earlier experiences.
Neurocognitive Impacts for Children of Poverty and Neglect from the American Psychological Association.

Most will have at least some mental health issues of some sort from their trauma they have face. The majority are milder or moderate, but some can be severe. For older child adoptions we need to expect Post traumatic stress disorders. Trust issues, and Attachment Disturbances. Why wouldn’t they?
They are removed from the only people they knew, put in institutional settings, or disrupted placements.

Often kids act out their stress and those behaviors can cause multiple placements. The child also learns that nothing is permanent and if you are bad enough, you move on and you don’t need to attach and trust.

Parents have answered the call to give children homes, not just from the worlds institutions but from the foster care system in our own country. Many parents go through the trainings and say what they can and can’t deal with. But often times the problems will not appear until later when the child can’t hit their developmental milestones that it will become apparent or puberty hits.

I remembered reading early on a statistics of adoption disruptions and dissolutions.
Adoption Statistics: Disruption and Dissolution from Adoption.com.This not a new problem and these are not new numbers.

This article written long before the push to move children from foster care into adoptive homes.We when adopt the children, we make promises to care for them and help them to the best of our abilities. But for some parents, they find themselves with a child that nothing seems to help. Sometimes the more you love them, the more you try to care for them, or parent them. The worse it becomes.  Adoptive parents reach for therapists, books, strategies and anything they can grasp for and often times the worse the situation gets.  I remember the conflicting advice I got from the five different treating professionals in the differing spheres of my sibling set of 5. The advice from one conflicted with the advice of another, and learned to trust my own intuition and fire the ones that were worsening my children’s conditions.  The Reactive Attachment Therapies do not work well for kids prenatally exposed with alcohol. They actually worsen them. Then the schools with their behavior modifications that do not work with FASD and then the triangulation of the child pitting unattached people against the caregivers. It is a set up for Adoptive Parent Burn Out and a child in danger of blowing out of a home.

Parents are finding themselves having to run residential treatment facilities without any training or support. I have seen adoptive parents/kinship caregivers have to manage kids that have been released from psychiatric hospitals because they could not be managed there. Thrown out of schools for misbehavior’s and left to function solo. All the while trying to be on guard 24/7 to protect the child, the other children and even themselves from catastrophe.

The failures of the mental health system in our country for children are written.
America’s Failing Mental Health System, America’s Struggle to Find Quality Care

But for the complex children from the care system, they are stuck in a place where the care systems and mental health clash. They are always the others responsibility.  For those who bring in kids from other countries they are in a No Man’s Land and often on their own.

I have added to this piece a chart.  My favorite with sharing just how complex these children can be. Overlapping Characteristics.  I once asked a person in power in the state mental health system. Where is the evidence based practice for my children?  He didn’t answer, except with the statement you are?

What I learned is that I had to trust my intuition, leave no stone unturned, I had to fight for my daughter, but also know that I had to keep everyone safe.

Overlapping Characteristics Download PDF

But the systems of help in our country are failure based. Not preventative. The medical system can diagnose the prenatal exposures, but can help us understand the cause. The Children’s Mental Health system is not the right place for those prenatally exposed to alcohol but often can help those with the complexities of abuse and neglect issues.  But as children mirror the behaviors of others others, these children learn from their peers and those behaviors often worsen in the home. But the lack of competent support for those from the care systems is a challenge.  For my kids the Mental Health system and the groups for those kids actually worsened my kids disorders.  Knock on the door of Adoption Support and often they tell you you have to use your insurance and Medicaid first.  But that is another series of Medicaid stories about that failures for the most vulnerable of children.

But our kids have no coordinated Silo to find support. Many of the children from the care systems are often of normal intelligence, so developmental disabilities services will not help us. Mental Health services are a poor fit and the strategies do not work with children with prenatal brain injuries. Those lucky enough to present as having autistic tendencies may find services under the Autism Umbrella.

I was told to look for help in places that were not equipped to handle our needs. I was not an abusive parent, I was not a neglectful parent. I had a daughter too dangerous and damaged to live at home. I was ordered by the Community Mental Health System that I had 60 days to relinquish our daughter and to dissolve the adoption or be charged with abandonment. That document came up missing and I had thought to stow a copy hidden where no one would look for it.  Someone told me that when you go public documents burn.

I had been warned that if we abandoned my daughter in the state hospital, we would face charges and the loss of our other children, not just the adopted sibling set, but our own biological children.  The care system trumps parents say, bring this child home or possibly lose your other children, your professional licenses, and be put on the abuse and neglect registry. It is Least Restrictive Setting that is used to say that ALL children belong in the homes and then it is our fault that we are ill equipped to meet their needs.  Even when someone gets hurt, we need to go against the recommendations from the professionals that we need to have them home to attach.

If you have to place your child into foster care system, the adoptive parents often lose their adoption subsidies if they are lucky enough to have one if you adopted from the US or if you adopted internationally you will be charged with the cost of the child’s care.  I have even seen where an adoptive parent was charged and they took not only the child’s adoption subsidy but the adopted siblings subsidy as well and handed the adoptive parent the bill from the state and put liens on the parents home. The same state that adopted the child to the couple and the agency hid the records.  Adoptive parents are often charged with paying for the court fees to get help from the justice system when the Child Welfare and Mental Health Services fail. Too many adoptive parents face calling the police as the option of last resort. Followed by the knock on the door from the Child Protective Service Workers.

No wonder why parents take into desperate measures to find support, the wrong way. Because has anyone tried to Navigate the MAZE to find help for those most vulnerable of children who are the small percentages of kids whose needs are great. Some of us who find ourselves with a child with intense needs, we will get secondary trauma not just for the parent, but the siblings as well.

PTSD in Parents of Children with RADWe are held accountable for the failures of the Child Welfare, Adoption and Child Mental Health Systems, Medicaid, Insurance and Schools to have a Continuum of Care and a Safety Net.  and it is time for all of us to stand up for finding Post adoption support services and a continuum of care for the  the adoptive children and families so they can honor the promises. For those of us who have adopted from the United States Foster Care System we need not just a check, we need real help and not be judged and serviced by the child protective services the same care system that our kids came from.We need a post adoption program and laws that will protect our families from the catastrophic costs of having a child with severe issues.

We need the media to focus not just about the adoption horror stories, but real stories of real families fighting the odds to try to help very complex fragile children.  We need evidence based adoption conscious services and supports in all the service sectors and those parents will not resort to give up on their adoptive children.  And for those children who do not fit into the adoptive home, we need laws that no do penalize the family for trying to find healing for the child and for everyone involved.  It should not be seen as failure, but just another place to meet the needs of the child.

We did not give up on my daughter, or her siblings, but we did pay a price. Many an adoptive parent said that they were more traumatized not by trying to help their child.  The trauma of the lack of support and navigating the systems if often times are much more damaging than our circumstances.

Postscript: My daughter is now 28 and she still has a family to advocate on her behalf and call home to and we have gone on to adopt another little guy with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome plus a host of other problems and he is thriving. We have full disclosure, we will do whatever and find whatever it takes to give him the love and supports to thrive. But we also know that we cannot heal his prenatal brain damage but love him and nuture him through his challenges.

A followup to our story written for the North American Council for Adoptable Children in 2003

#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

#5 Days To FASDay – Fetal Alcohol Awareness Month

Write a PSA!
Or use one that already exists –

September is Fetal Alcohol Awareness Month – so share this wonderful PSA with friends – or take a look at some of the other great PSA’s online – most of the people working with FASD Awareness willingly share –

This was created by a 2009 high school graduate in a tiny rural KY county – he’s got real talent, and I’m so grateful to him for taking the time to do this. Please feel free to pass it on – I want Parker and his fabulous PSA to get a lot of views today!!

Happy FASD Awareness Day from Kentucky!
Laura Nagel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_USXRi8zt8

#7 Days To FASDay – You only need one minute

More Ideas for Minute of Reflection


Everyone participating in FAS Day is invited to share in the “Minute of Reflection” 9:09 a.m. on September 9, as it goes around the world.

In this magical moment the ninth minute of the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month we want to get out the message that in the nine months of pregnancy, while breastfeeding or planning to conceive, women should not drink alcohol.
In this minute, we also want the world to remember those millions of people around the world who are living with fetal alcohol disorders. If a large bell or carillon is not accessible or appropriate, participants can do many things to observe that special minute in accordance with their own cultural background or religious beliefs.

The Minute of Reflection symbolizes the worldwide circle of community which links all of us who care about FASD, all of us who are working towards prevention, all of us who are trying to help children and adults with fetal alcohol disorders reach their full potential. Here are nine more suggestions for observing the Minute of Reflection. If you have other ideas, please share them with us.

  • Alone or with others, sit outside quietly and listen to the birds, or the wind blowing through the trees, or water lapping against the shore of a river or lake. You may want to focus on the wonderful gifts and strengths of the person(s) with FASD in your life.
  • Say a prayer or recite a poem appropriate to your beliefs or culture.
  • Sing a song or hymn.
  • Listen to an excerpt of your favorite music. (Any suggestions?)
  • Play a musical instrument, alone, or with fellow musicians, or ring tiny bells and “triangles” as the children of Queen of Apostles School, Toledo, OH did at 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999.
  • Sit in a circle and share some pure spring water with people you care about.
  • Place a long-distance phone call to a special friend who is equally committed to the FASD issue: you could even make it a three-way or teleconference call.

You may find 9:09 a.m. inconvenient and may prefer to mark the Minute of Reflection at 9:09 p.m., and light a candle to symbolize both the flame of your love for individuals living with FASD, and your burning desire to eradicate this preventable birth defect.
Simple silence.
Each person with FASD is different, and those of us who love them respect their differences. Respecting each other while working together is what FASDay is about.

#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!