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Anabaptist Disabilities Network
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
Our May 2012 issue of ADNotes offers an introduction to fetal alcohol disorders for congregations that want to be supportive of persons with the condition and their families.
"God Will Get Us Through the Challenging Days." Sherry Martz, mother of three adopted brothers with FASD, shares photos, stories and reflections from her family life. She attends Topeka Mennonite Church (Topeka, IN), where her husband Robert is pastor. For more from Sherry, read her story of the first year with their boys on her blog.
"An Invisible Disability," by Joan Rinker. An introduction to FASD and suggestions for Christian responses. In The Banner, Feb. 1, 2010 (Magazine of the Christian Reformed Church). Rinker is co-chair of Alcohol Babies Anonymous, a Christian response to FASD.
Can't Not Won't: A Christian Response to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
A review of the video "Can't Not Won't," produced by Mennonite Central Committee Canada and reviewed by Cindy Warner Baker.
Worship With All of God's Children
Keith Ham. A sermon that challenges readers to include persons with disabilities in the life of the church.
Faith, Hope, Love and Community
Don Miedema. Report of a visit by MCC Canada Disabilities Committee members to North Kildonan United Church which has a program to address the needs of persons with FASD.
Six FASD Related Issues and Our Churches
Mavis Olesen. Six key issues are identified in which FASD affects the life of the church.
FASD and the Church
Irma Janzen. An introduction to some of the issues involved when the church deals with persons in its midst who have FASD.
A Ray of Hope
Stephen Neafcy. Stephen Neafcy tells about his diagnosis of FASD at age 43 and his Christian conversion experience.
We welcome your suggestions of websites that offer information and support on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, especially those written from the perspective of Christian faith and those that offer resources for church congregations.
Alcohol Babies. An organization of Christian parents whose lives have been disrupted by wrong use of alcohol. Sections of the website address needs at home, school, work, play, the doctor's, and court.
"An Invisible Disability", article by Joan Rinker, in The Banner, magazine of the Christian Reformed Church.
Parenting FASD Kids, a website maintained by Terry Quinn, a Christian, website designer and mother of nine--four by birth and five adopted, two of whom live with FASD.
FASD Center for Excellence. A federal initiative devoted to preventing and treating FASD. A project of SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Includes resources in Spanish.
FASD Support Network of Saskatchewan. Look for their collection of FASD Tip Sheets and many other resources.
FASResources - Online discussion group created to give families - biological and adoptive - who live with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects - a place to learn more about the disability and exchange information with families just like themselves.
Living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers from Drug Education Network Tasmania
FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) results when a child is exposed to alcohol in its mother's womb. In the last several decades physicians and researchers have come to understand the serious neurological damages that can occur with prenatal exposure to alcohol.
Some of the results manifested in the life of the church are children who are disruptive in Sunday school, seemingly sincere young adults who nevertheless impulsively make poor decisions, and adults who seem to bounce around from one crisis to the next.
Knowing that such persons have a disability that affects their brain and its ability to cope with stimuli and make sound judgments, opens up the church to new ways of thinking about sin and redemption and facilitates more helpful relationships with these persons.
Recommendations from Christian parents of children with FASD:
Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mothers Struggle to Understand the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy, by Bonnie Buxton. Da Capo Press, 2005.
Recognizing and Managing Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects: A Guidebook by Brenda McCreight. CLWA, 1997.
Our FAScinating Journey: Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury by Jodee Kulp. Better Endings New Beginnings, 2002.
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children by Ross K. Greene, Ph.D. Harper Paperbacks, 2005. Not exclusively about children with FASD, this book includes many strategies that can be helpful for such children. See also the author's website, Lives in the Balance.
The Best I Can Be: Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome-Effects , by Liz Kulp.Better Endings New Beginnings, 2000. Written by a teenager with her adoptive mom.
Fantastic Antone Succeeds: Experiences in Educating Children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, ed.by Judith Kleinfeld and Siobhan Wescott. University of Alaska Press, 1993.
A Mother Held Hostage: My Journey with Jon , by Barbara Borntrager. 21st Century Press, 2004. The parent who recommended this writes: "This book is not about FAS. It is about a boy so troubled by social rejection due to Tourettes that he committed suicide as a teenager. It is a touching story from a mom's perspective. I love the way that this book ends focusing on God's grace and 'the gain in the pain.'"