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Old 04-13-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
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Fetal Alcohol syndrome

What can you tell me about this? I know some, but I'd like more in-depth info. Basically, I'm concerned about one of my students. I was reading another post on here where FAS was brought up and it was almost an OMG moment for me thinking about this student. However, I'm not close with this parent, have no idea whether she drinks now or previously, and I'm not wanting to confuse African American features with any of FAS features

I have noticed for a while now that his nose bridge does seem to be wide and flat (which is where I get nervous on the features) - but it also looks remarkably like one of my mom's unofficial foster kids from years ago. Also, my student has 4 fingers on one hand. He had surgery when he was younger to remove a finger. By how proportional his hand is to his 4 fingers, I believe the removed finger was likely malformed or under-developed. We (his parents and I) have not ever discussed his hand, other than his mom expressing concern at our spring conference, over whether he was clumsy in school for that hand being weaker. I haven't noticed any weakness or clumsiness in class, however. He is a young 5yo, btw.

I wouldn't even think twice about anything except he is SO emotional and super-sensitive. I don't know if that is anything that is ever seen in FAS. If someone has spit come out of their mouth while speaking, he flips out about them spitting on him. Everything is 100x bigger of a deal to him than it actually is. If he thinks someone might do something to him, in his mind they HAVE done it, and to a magnified degree. Mom was relieved to get my POV on this because his brother apparently had been getting in troubke a lot for things the 5yo said had been done to him.

On the other hand, maybe there is absolutely nothing developmentally off about him, and he could just be an emotional wreck due to home life (dad has just been released from jail within the last month).

Either way, I do think it would be beneficial for his mom to talk to their ped about having counseling for the 5yo. I just want to know how to work with his super-sensitivity!

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Old 04-14-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Re: Fetal Alcohol syndrome

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Old 04-14-2010, 11:34 AM   #3
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Re: Fetal Alcohol syndrome

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Originally Posted by boy-oh-boy View Post
What can you tell me about this? I know some, but I'd like more in-depth info. Basically, I'm concerned about one of my students. I was reading another post on here where FAS was brought up and it was almost an OMG moment for me thinking about this student. However, I'm not close with this parent, have no idea whether she drinks now or previously, and I'm not wanting to confuse African American features with any of FAS features

I have noticed for a while now that his nose bridge does seem to be wide and flat (which is where I get nervous on the features) - but it also looks remarkably like one of my mom's unofficial foster kids from years ago. Also, my student has 4 fingers on one hand. He had surgery when he was younger to remove a finger. By how proportional his hand is to his 4 fingers, I believe the removed finger was likely malformed or under-developed. We (his parents and I) have not ever discussed his hand, other than his mom expressing concern at our spring conference, over whether he was clumsy in school for that hand being weaker. I haven't noticed any weakness or clumsiness in class, however. He is a young 5yo, btw.

I wouldn't even think twice about anything except he is SO emotional and super-sensitive. I don't know if that is anything that is ever seen in FAS. If someone has spit come out of their mouth while speaking, he flips out about them spitting on him. Everything is 100x bigger of a deal to him than it actually is. If he thinks someone might do something to him, in his mind they HAVE done it, and to a magnified degree. Mom was relieved to get my POV on this because his brother apparently had been getting in troubke a lot for things the 5yo said had been done to him.

On the other hand, maybe there is absolutely nothing developmentally off about him, and he could just be an emotional wreck due to home life (dad has just been released from jail within the last month).

Either way, I do think it would be beneficial for his mom to talk to their ped about having counseling for the 5yo. I just want to know how to work with his super-sensitivity!
This pretty much describes my nephew, really, to a T. Knowing my brother's ex it would not surprise me if she drank during pregnancy, but like in the situation you describe he has no developmental delays, he is just over emotional. In his case I have always written it off as bad parenting on the part of both my brother as well as his ex. Love my brother, I really do, but he is very immature and has had his share of problems. He is not that great at parenting. He does not interact with dn at all, my mother takes care of him but she is frequently working at home so she can't devote every moment to interacting with him. My brother just kind of ignores him unless his behavior has gotten so bad that he can't ignore it anymore. His mother is the same way (he is with her all week, with my brother at my parent's home on the weekends), except whenever he so much as bumps his head she over reacts. As a result he has learned that the only way to get attention is to scream as if he is hurt all of the time. I don't like my kids to spend time with him because he is manipulative. Despite my oldest being autistic and my youngest being 2yrs younger than dn, dn has always gotten his way. For example dn will push my oldest down and then cry so he won't get punished. And instead of dealing with the behavior my brother coddles him because "he's crying". All I ever hear from dn is "I never get my way", "Kearnan and Tharen never let me win" ect. Like you said, if he thinks some one even considered doing something then they did it and they did it maliciously. Even my 4yr old can grasp that sometimes his brother hurt him accidentally (tripped over him or dropped something ect), but dn can't seem to see that. I really do think it is just a parenting/emotional issue. But like in your case I can't say for sure that it isn't FAS, his mother has a drinking problem, as does everyone in her family. It would not surprise me if she drank in excess during pregnancy. Right now she is pushing to have him diagnosed as ADD, problem is no one will agree with that diagnosis for her. She wants an excuse for his behavior so it isn't her responsibility, she tried blaming it on his teacher but that just didn't fly.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Fetal Alcohol syndrome

I would be more inclined to think that his behavior has to do with his home situation than FAS. If you're seeing problems and mom is seeing problems can you suggest the ped get involved? Does your school have a social worker/counselor program you can refer the child to?

It definitely sounds like he needs some help along with Mom needs some support too.
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Old 04-14-2010, 04:25 PM   #5
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Re: Fetal Alcohol syndrome

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I would be more inclined to think that his behavior has to do with his home situation than FAS. If you're seeing problems and mom is seeing problems can you suggest the ped get involved? Does your school have a social worker/counselor program you can refer the child to?

It definitely sounds like he needs some help along with Mom needs some support too.
No, there isn't anything in the school. We are a very small free pre-k program through a daycare and partially funded as a charter for one of the school districts.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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Re: Fetal Alcohol syndrome

FASD can be varied from barely noticeable to really severe. He very well could have FASD, but the only way to get a concrete diagnosis is through lots of behavioral testing, and a confirmation from mom that she drank heavily throughout her pregnancy.
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