Twelve Points of Acceptance
Parents of the FAS Community Resource Center
When our local parent support group started meeting here in Tucson a few years ago, there were so many issues and problems, it was hard to know where to begin, and it was difficult to meet everyone's desire to share their struggles with FAS. We started a doing what is called a "Suggestion Circle" that was helpful in finding several possible solutions to a particular problem in a short amount of time. Learn how a Suggestion Circle works.
The last few meetings of the parents of the FAS Community Resource Center have been unusual in that there were no pressing issues that needed to be aired. It seemed that for the most part, the families and their children were doing quite well. Most attending were regulars who have learned the "Seven Secrets to Success," and have actually applied these suggested intervention strategies. These parents were truly enjoying success for their children with FAS disorders. So our discussion turned to what we thought was most important in bringing about that success. The parents unanimously agreed that one factor was more important than all the others. That crucial component of success is ACCEPTANCE. They all stated that parents and others working to help their children had accepted the reality of FAS. Having acquired a healthy acceptance that "this is FAS and that's the way it is," the parents were able to find the strength to consistently apply the interventions that each child needed. Here is what they said they had learned to accept:
These points of acceptance were recorded and shared here so that perhaps other support groups can find the same success for their families.
- FAS is brain damage, let's call it what it is.
- The past is done and over with. We can let go and move on.
- Everyone has problems, some are obvious, some are not.
- They cannot learn good judgment, it's just not going to happen.
- When they make mistakes, it's not a matter of broken trust.
- Society is not very accepting of our children's inappropriate behaviors.
- Every person deserves respect. To teach respect, we show respect.
- We cannot change the child, but we can change the environment.
- FAS lasts forever.
- Our children need consistent and close supervision.
- Our grief is chronic, we mourn the loss of our dreams over and over.
- Our grief is shared by others, we can find comfort and strength from each other.
An addendum from another wise Arizona mom:
My daughter, Kay, who turned 15 this week, is having a really tough time.
Lately, I've been telling her she can't go places "alone" with her friends
because she can't take care of herself and stay safe. I've told her it's not
because I think she's "bad" but just because of her disability she can't make
good judgments. She can be talked into ANYTHING and lies and steals
compulsively. If she's not watched closely, I'm afraid she will end up in
jail. Arizona locks up kids as young as 13 in adult jails. She's way past
that age and unfortunately, presents very well. I feel bad that she is
hurting over this, but not as badly as I'd feel visiting her in jail. And
everything I read says that kids do best when they come to accept their
disability and correctly compensate for it -- in the case of kids with FASD,
to accept their "outside brain."
So, I'll continue to do it, but it's hard on both of us, really.
Oh well, just another day in the faslane. --Suzy
Return to the FAS Community Resource Center
Last update: November 10, 2010