Broken Hearts #FASD and Grief

rjcatSpecial thank you to guest blogger — From R.J. Formanek – R.J. is one of our beloved FASD Survival Strategy Teachers

When dealing with FASD it is important to recognize that everyone is at some point, confronted with grief. And with the growing number of grandparents taking over raising children I feel it is something we need to confront, understand, and accept.

Let’s take a look at who grieves, and why.

The process of grieving through FASD will last a lifetime. It is a daily process we all can walk together. It is not necessarily a sad daily process though. _ CLICK PHOTO FOR FREE SURPRISE!!!

The Child – The child living with FASD grieves for his own lost potential at times, but very often the child grieves each and every time he fails and lets down those around him. He wants to do well, he tries to do well… but when he fails often it isn’t just A failure, it’s ANOTHER failure.
This leads to guilt, shame, and self blaming… that’s ALL grief. The child is grieving. The Parent – The parent of a child with FASD is often battling feelings of guilt and shame as well, whether that is their biological child or not. The reasons for the bio mom may seem evident, but the adopted mother or caregiver also join her in a shared grief of sorts. Each of them wants the best for the child, and each time the child fails at something, or is hurt the parent feels not only that pain, but the guilt of not being able to stop it.
Not being able to help when you want to causes feelings of shame and guilt. The parents are grieving. Grandparents – The grandparents are often saddled with guilt themselves, and this often goes unnoticed by those who don’t really understand.
There is an added dynamic here, the grandparents are naturally grieving for the child, the same as any other parent. But they are also often grieving for their own child as well, the parent of the child they are now raising. Many people do not understand this double level of guilt and shame and how it impacts so many people. Like any parent, when their child fails they feel it, and doubly when raising an FASD affected grandchild. The grandparents as well are grieving.

When we deal with people in the FASD world it is important to recognize this, and rather than ignore it we should honor what these families are going through every single day.

A workbook to help persons with concrete understanding navigate grief.
A workbook to help persons with concrete understanding navigate grief.
FREE sample pages from Broken Heart – a concrete understanding workbook to help adults, late elementary and teens deal with grief.

This is inter-generational grief. There is no ‘cure’, but there is acceptance and understanding.
 Everyone is at a different point in this journey with grief, and we all must deal with it at some point.

It is good to help one another along this hard part of the journey; we need to remember we are all in this together.

Thank You.
R.J. Formanek, FASD Survival Strategy Teacher

What is FASD?

How to help children with fetal alcohol understand and think

The Kulp family home schooled for five years and over that time we learned to meet the children we schooled at the level of thinking they were capable of at the moment. Depending on rest, stress, diet and daily schedule abilities fluctuated. We have provided the Hierarchy of Thinking Skills by Benjamin Blom to help you work, live, laugh and love your child. Armed with this information you may be able to take an assignment or project and adapt it to the child’s success. This developmental chart and over 30 others are available in our 3rd Edition of Our FAScinating Journey – Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury by Jodee Kulp

Blom’s Taxonomy Hierarchy of Thinking Skills (Benjamin Blom)

1. Knowledge — To remember information you have learned. Remembering facts, terms, definitions, concepts, principles.
  • recognition
  • recall

What?Who?  list, name, define,describe, order, recite, list, record, recall, label, reproduce, match, repeat, underline, state, recognize, relate.  
By  books, facts, events, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, films, tapes, CD’s and movies
2. Comprehension — to understand the meaning of things learned.
  • interpretation
  • translation  
  • extrapolation

Explain. How?Why? interpret, summarize, give examples, predict, translate, arrange, locate, indicate, describe, restate, sort, classify, translate, express, discuss, extrapolate.
By  d
iagrams, puzzles, logs. stories, games, journal, reports, task cards, illustrations, drawings

3. Application — Using information in a new way to solve a problem.
  • implication

Apply compute, solve, modify, construct, sketch, practice, illustrate, measure, schedule, choose, use, demonstrate, prepare, operate.
By diagrams, model illustrations, photographs, sculpture, model stories, diorama, scrapbook, puzzles, mobile, collection, map

4. Analysis — to break down knowledge into parts and show relationships among those parts. Physical, historical, functional descriptions 
  • elements
  • relationship
  • organization

Examine. How?What? analyze, diagram, question, appraise, test, calculate, discriminate, distinguish, categorize, compare, criticize, contrast, experiment, inventory.
graphs, charts, surveys, events, diagrams, objects, reports, commercials, puzzles, questionnaires.
5. Synthesis — to produce something original from elements and components of previous knowledge. To bring together.
  • unique communicate
  • plan or set 
  • abstract relations 

Organize. Bring togetherarrange, design, prepare, assemble, formulate, propose, collect, manage, set up, compose, synthesize, create, plan, write, construct, modify, conduct.
By stories, news, articles, poems, games, magazines, TVshows, cartoons, recipes, plays, songs, machines, puppet shows, hypothesis, advertisements
6. Evaluation — to make judgments based on pre-established criteria.
  • internal evidence (logical accuracy, consistency)
  • external evidence (application of external criteria)

 Support. Why?Why not?  appraise, estimate, select, argue, evaluate, assess, judge, value, attack, predict, score, compare, rate, defend.
Bypolls, group letters, surveys, recommendations, evaluations, panels, simulations, discussions, news items, court trials.