Understanding The Behaviors Of Children With FASDs.

Season 7, Episode 58- The Honestly Adoption Podcast

We receive hundreds of emails every month from parents who are struggling with children suffering from the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure.  The daily challenge of living with children who rage, lack of impulse control, and seem to never learn can be beyond frustrating!

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We are extremely blessed this week to have Dr. Ira Chasnoff join us to kick off our very first Honestly Adoption Podcast!  Dr. Chasnoff wants us to know that there is hope for both parents and their children as we learn to approach our children by first looking at the major effect and changes alcohol has on the brain. Then, we look beyond and behind the behaviors, and finally, we find regulatory strategies to help our children thrive.  Join Mike, Kristin, and Nicole as they chat with Dr. Chasnoff about all this and more!

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Should I Talk About My Child’s Traumatic Past With Them?

Some see it as a taboo topic. Other’s share freely with detail. Still, there’s a debate over whether or not you should talk about your child’s traumatic past, or their current diagnosis, with them, or in front of them. Here’s where we land…

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It was a normal summer night a few weeks ago when we sat down to dinner as a family. Actually, I should say, we FINALLY sat down to dinner as a family. Let’s just say, the summer was long, and we were running in at least 5 different directions every day since the end of the previous school year. As much as we filled our minds, and calendars, with lofty ideas of how the summer would play out, it all became delusions of grandeur.

Why I Stop Myself From Defending My Special-Needs Child.

This is a guest post by our good friend, Courtney Westlake. She is the author of A Different Beautiful. She lives in Illinois with her husband Evan and two children, Connor and Brenna. After Brenna was born with a severe skin disorder, Courtney began chronicling family life and experiences raising a child with physical differences and special needs on her blog. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

You really want to speak up, because, you’re a mama bear (or papa bear). It’s so hard to let them stand on their own when you’ve spent so much time advocating for them, defending them, and fighting for them. But there’s a time and place to stay quiet and let them stand.

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I wanted to insert myself into the conversation happening a few feet away from me, to explain and to defend, but I held back. I craned my neck a bit, waiting to hear what my children would say to the little girl who had just asked about my daughter’s red, peeling skin.

The Stuff I Learned From Unexpectedly Becoming A Special Needs Parent.

Most of us who are parenting children with special needs, had some sort of advance warning that our children would have a disorder or diagnosis that would require extra attention and care. Our guest on today’s episode had none. In fact, she was planning for the complete opposite.

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Imagine being pregnant for 9 months, expecting to deliver a normal, healthy child, and suddenly, in the delivery room discovering that your brand new baby had a rare skin disorder that could pose a threat to her life. How would you feel? What would you think in that moment? Would you feel lost…broken…maybe hopeless? You would no doubt feel dismayed. Courtney Westlake and her husband, Evan, had no idea their new baby girl, Brenna, had a rare skin disorder until the moment she entered the world. But in the years since, they’ve discovered a different beautiful. I’m excited to share their story with you in today’s episode…

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How Parenting Kids From Trauma Is A Lot Like Being A Pilot.

This is a guest post from our good friend Ryan North. He is the Executive Director of Tapestry, the Adoption & Foster Care Ministry of Irving Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. As Executive Director of Tapestry, Ryan also leads Empowered to Connect. He frequently writes and speaks on connected parenting and ministry leadership. Read his blog here and connect with him on Facebook here.

Parenting is tricky in general. But parenting children from traumatic places is tricky on an entirely different level. It often leaves you exhausted and bewildered. How can you be successful when it takes so much out of you?

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I was invited to speak at the Florida Foster/Adoptive Parent Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida last weekend. It is always a special privilege to share with families who are in the trenches. I love meeting them, hearing their stories, and being able to share information and experiences that can help them on their journey of hope and healing. I find it easy to be vulnerable with like minded people. I feel like I want to open up to them, honestly, it’s very therapeutic. Perhaps that is what I ultimately like about having the opportunity to speak at events like this one.

How Do You Get Through To A Child Who Doesn’t Think Logically?

We used to think that carrying a piece of drywall around with us so we could bang our head into it every time we had to re-explain something to our kid, or try to reason with him, was the ticket. And then, we discovered a better way to connect.

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A friend and I were recently talking about our kids when he said something I totally identified with- “Mike, he just doesn’t think. It’s like there’s no ability to think logically. I tell him to not do something and he does it anyway, even though he knows he’ll be in trouble!” I nodded and repeatedly said, “Yep, I know. Right there with you.” If I had a dollar for every time I was in this position…..retirement come early!

4 Ways To Partner With Your Child’s School Over Summer Break.

Believe it or not, summer is the perfect time to start planning for a new school year. A few weeks ago we shared a podcast episode entitled How To Form Healthy Partnerships With Your Child’s School. As a follow up, we wanted to share additional steps you can take now, to form a solid connection with your child’s school before the new school year begins.

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It’s almost summer here in Indiana! My kids are planning trips to the pool, playdates and sleepovers. I’m tempted to get caught up in all the summer fun daydreams. But before I can break out the flip flops, I remember I’ve got to start planning for the next school year. I’m the mom of a few children with special needs. School can be stressful for our family, summer is a wonderful time for us to reconnect, build our relationship and just plain relax. It’s also a time to get prepared for the inevitable start to the new school year.

How To Navigate Summer Vacation With Children Who Need Structure.

Season 5, Episode 48- The Honestly Speaking Podcast

For millions of families, summer break is all about staying up late, sleeping in, and hanging out by the pool, when they want, for as long as they want to. But for those of us parenting children with special needs, summer break can spell disaster due to lack of structure. How do you successfully navigate this season with children who thrive in structure and routine?

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We would have drained our bank account to register our kids for every summer camp on the planet last year. We nearly did. Parents of normal functioning children may raise an eyebrow, or two, at that statement; even call us bad parents. But, unless you are in the trenches of parenting children from trauma, with attachment issues, or disorders like FASD, you don’t understand the enormous need for structure and routine.

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