Blogging with Dr. Susan

 

Blogging with Dr. Susan

Iím Here in Russia

Just in! Susan’s latest blog from a hotel in the City Center of St.Petersburg, Russia.  She begins training families, infants, toddlers, and children and youth with handicaps … now

Hi and what do you think?  The weather is perfect.  April in Russia, about the same as the weather in Cleveland Ohio, where I departed, with my toys and games in my duffle bag,  not much room for anything more!  I started coming here in 2004 ….nine trips ago, I am psyched to get to be doing what I love to do….playing with kids and demonstrating for parents exercises, songs and games activities and play therapies .

Write me on fan list on Facebook ….if you are new to the site, sign on as a fan and keep up with my progress through the week. Back in Cleveland I wrote short profiles on my laptop for each child and then…..we translate back to the parents through Tatyana, friend and godsend… interrupter.

I will observe then get busy demonstrating with the children what parents need to do!  good information, best practices and recent it is like a big puzzle, as I get my toys that I use as teaching tools, arrive at the school or at a home, and take my position on the floor or in a home on a couch and others ways to help their child or children develop skills, recover their abilities to the greatest extend they can.

My work is all about developing skills and unleashing potential and I look forward to it as always!

The bad news world wide

Most of this world’s families do not get the help they want on raising kids.   Susan does as much as she can for as long as she can for as many families as possible!

Susan uses world-wide research and practical experience to reach families whose children have disabilities ranging from cortical visual, cerebral and sensory deficits, autism, apraxia, disorders such as speech delay, mutism, cerebral palsy, dysplasia, developmental delay, mental retardation, even undiagnosed disabilities and a variety of relationship and social conduct disorders.



Susanís Latest Trip to Russia April 2010

Just in! Read Susan’s latest blog from a hotel in the City Center of St.Petersburg, Russia.  She is just a day away from beginning her training visits to families, infants, toddlers, and children and youth with handicaps …

Susan blogs as follows:

Hi and what do you think?  The weather is perfect. Well it is perfect for April in Russia, about the same as the weather in Cleveland Ohio, from where I departed, toys and games and handouts in my dufflebag, with not much room for anything more!  I started coming here in 2004 ….nine trips ago, and I am psyched to get to work doing what I love to do….play with kids, train and demonstrate activities that help kids achieve their potential through exercise, activity and play.

The parents watch the teachers as they join me to try out the exercises.  All that starts Monday so write me on Facebook and wish me well.  Sign on as a fan and keep up with my progress through the week.

I plan carefully to be back in Cleveland to write a short profile for each child from my laptop and then to translate back to the parents through Tatyana, my loyal interrupter and constant companion….

I play and she talks!  I also talk to the children in Russian…really!

Observation is my most important skill and those observations are watched carefully by grand mammas, papas and relatives….my toys are a big hit!   I use them during floor play as teaching tools……want to hear (clysheetsza) more about what I do?  Susan says,” stay tuned!” then get busy demonstrating with the children what parents need to do!  good information, best practices and recent it is like a big puzzle, as I get my Stay tuned.

Susan Says….

Most of this world’s families do not get the help they want on raising kids.   Susan does as much as she can for as long as she can for as many families as possible!

Susan uses world-wide research and practical experience to reach families whose children have disabilities ranging from cortical visual, cerebral and sensory deficits, autism, apraxia, disorders such as speech delay, mutism, cerebral palsy, dysplasia, developmental delay, mental retardation, even undiagnosed disabilities and a variety of relationship and social conduct disorders.



Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a child’s right to be born without a disability! Fetal Alcohol syndrome doesn’t have to happen.

Alcohol use is gross abuse in the womb, increasingly prevalent, as a growing trend to drink during pregnancy develops among young parents-to-be.  It is a growing problem among men who do not link drinking effects to the fetus they and their female partner conceived. Fetal alcohol syndrome (or FAS) is not a genetic accident, or a case of genetic inheritance or any other condition associated with the gene pool…it is a group of defects among genes caused by alcohol consumption.  Blame can be directly leveled at a parent’s conscious decision to drink in the early months of pregnancy when gestation is in the early stages and the fetus is at the mercy of genetic development. Hardly a disease exists that is the result of such selfish and unmanaged use of drugs and alcohol.  The choice to continue drinking is often a thoughtless social habit that will haunt drinking parents without end… fathers-to-be can care!

When pregnant women and their partners choose to drink alcohol, their choice impacts the early and middle fetal stages of growth and development. It is as simple as that!  A mother who drinks every day and the father, who joins her, run the risk of having a child whose care can top a hundred thousand dollars. Beer and wine and hard alcoholic drinks are time bombs, going off regularly in biological time terms, destroying fetal cells, their shapes, their productivity and soft tissue resulting in abnormal fingers and toes, ears and other anomalies, widely varied, but dependent on a healthy central nervous system, negatively affecting the brain’s flexibility and brilliant ability to throw off infection and disfigurement.

Now, a description of a family whose children who showed symptoms of FAS after several months and who had to give up their dreams at early ages.

Brenda is a divorced mother of three sons and a daughter.  It is the girl that she and Mike conceived a year prior to their marriage who has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome.  She was pregnant (a boy) again the next year when they did marry, using drugs in addition to alcohol throughout this time.  Now, with 2 boys in diapers and pregnant, Brenda came to the decision, to throw Mike out of the house, file for divorce and move in with a new man who was older and had “resources.”          Brenda’s daughter was diagnosed in the nearby school, as mentally handicapped and unable to be in a regular prekindergarten classroom.

The daughter‘s slow development in visual-motor activities and lack of coordination were ignored, and she stayed home with her brothers.  Brenda cut back somewhat on her daytime drinking and noticed that her daughter was not eating or growing.  The girl’s name was Marcy, and she appeared (at this point Brenda was taking more notice) to lack the ability to hear or follow directions even at the level of her younger brothers. Marcy’s frequent eye- blinking episodes and seizure-like twitches, lack of bowel and bladder control at home now caused Brenda to think more clearly and concerned, for the first time, and she took her five year- old to a walk-in clinic, where an assessment was done.  The clinic insisted on a drinking and drug abuse oral history of Mike and Brenda at that first meeting.

Answering questions concerning Mike’s drug abuse and her neglect of the children, Brenda says she “came clean” and asked for help for her family.  The diagnosis, a week later, was fetal alcohol syndrome with mental retardation and pervasive developmental disorder.  She and Mike talk more often and are able to take turns, since neither is working, to use public transportation to take Marcy every day to an early intervention program five miles from Brenda’s home which she shares with her boyfriend.  Now Brenda points to her daughter and says, ”Marcy is going to recover and get smarter!”  she is determined to make a life that is as normal as possible for her boys and Marcy and she doesn’t think the boys have the same problems.

In fact, the clinic identified that the three little boys have forms of hearing loss, poor bone mass, low muscle and joint problems in their fingers, toes.  They, too, will start early intervention therapy at a school-based clinic closer to their house, where Brenda hopes they will later go to school there, and learn normally.  “I know my drinking and Mike’s caused this so now I have to help the kids, she says.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results from prenatal alcohol exposure. If you drink during pregnancy, you place your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. The defects that are part of fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible and can include serious physical, mental and behavioral problems, though they vary from one child to another. As many as 40,000 babies are born with some type of alcohol-related damage each year in the United States. If you suspect that your child has fetal alcohol syndrome, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis may reduce the risk of problems associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, including troubles at school, with substance abuse and with the law.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a disorder that may occur to the embryo when a pregnant woman ingests any amount of alcohol during pregnancy. An ingestion of alcohol does not always result in FAS, but no amount of alcohol whatsoever is proven safe for consumption during pregnancy. The current recommendation of both the US Surgeon General and the UK Department of Health is not to drink alcohol at all during pregnancy.[1][2]

Alcohol crosses the placental barrier and can stunt fetal growth or weight, create distinctive facial stigmata, damage neurons and brain structures, and cause other physical, mental, or behavioral problems.[3][4][5] Surveys found that in the United States, 10–15% of pregnant women report having recently used alcohol, and up to 30% use alcohol at some point during pregnancy.[6][7][8] The main effect of FAS is permanent central nervous system damage, especially to the brain. Developing brain cells and structures are underdeveloped or malformed by prenatal alcohol exposure, often creating an array of primary cognitive and functional disabilities (including poor memory, attention deficits, impulsive behavior, and poor cause-effect reasoning) as well as secondary disabilities (for example, mental health problems, and drug addiction).[5][9] The risk of brain damage exists during each trimester, since the fetal brain develops throughout the entire pregnancy.[10]
Fetal alcohol exposure is the leading known cause of mental retardation in the Western world.[11][dubiousdiscuss] In the United States the FAS prevalence rate is estimated to be between 0.2 and 2.0 cases per 1,000 live births, comparable to or higher than other developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome or spina bifida.[12][dubiousdiscuss] The lifetime medical and social costs of each child with FAS are estimated to be as high as US$800,000.[13] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetal_alcohol_syndrome

Signs and Symptoms

If you adopted a child or consumed alcohol during pregnancy and are concerned that your child may have FAS, watch for characteristics of the syndrome, which include: low birth weight, small head circumference, failure to thrive, developmental delay, organ dysfunction, facial abnormalities, including smaller eye openings, flattened cheekbones, and indistinct philtrum (an underdeveloped groove between the nose and the upper lip), epilepsy, poor coordination/fine motor skills, poor socialization skills, such as difficulty building and maintaining friendships and relating to groups, lack of imagination or curiosity, learning difficulties, including poor memory, inability to understand concepts such as time and money, poor language comprehension, poor problem-solving skills, behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, stubbornness, impulsiveness, and anxiety http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/fas.html

FASD Widespread Among Inmates, Yet Overlooked Study Says

According to a new report, individuals with FASD are at high risk for coming into contact with the criminal justice system, and as a result FASD is pervasive among both male and female inmate populations across the U.S. The report emphasizes an earlier finding that sixty percent of individuals ages 12 and older with FASD have been in trouble with authorities, charged or convicted, at some point in their lifetime. http://www.nofas.org/