Thursday, May 31, 2012

I am haunted and inspired by your story about life with brain damage


Bravo Liz Kulp. 
I am haunted and inspired by your story about life with the brain damage caused by your birth mom drinking alcohol while she was pregnant with you. There should be a law requiring every girl/woman of childbearing age to read this book before they even think about having sex and/or drinking alcohol if they are sexually active. So many women don't know they are pregnant when they drink. So many women have addiction issues and think they can drink and not hurt their developing babies. So many doctors are ignorant and tell women it's okay to have a drink or two while they are pregnant; they simply don't get it that there is no safe amount or kind of alcohol that can be consumed by a woman who is pregnant, nor is there a safe time during pregnancy when a woman can drink. Your life is a heartbreaking testimony to that fact that drinking while pregnant is not unlike taking a sledge hammer to the tender head and brain of your developing baby, and your willingness to share your pain, trauma, abuse, addiction, and recovery makes you a hero. You and your precious parents are brave and tireless and I appreciate all that you do to get the word out about this 100% preventable, 0% curable brain damage: FASD.
Carey Sipp

Mom's Choice Gold Award - Non Fiction - Life Challenges


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Service Dog "Wonder Dog" for Fetal Alcohol Wins International Literary Award

Nuzzle has now received recognition from six prestigious book/audio awards
We will share more about Chancer's recognition meanwhile....


"This book is based on a the true story of a boy born with fetal alcohol related problems, but it is written in a very adorable way. The book is also available on CD and the character's voices are done to perfection. The story could have been dark and sad, but instead is written in a wonderful, easy to understand, uplifting, empowering way, especially for children. Personally I found it interesting to learn about the world of service dogs and the tremendous amount of effort that goes into preparing the dog, the child and the family. I have a whole new understanding, as do my three children. This is the second book that we have read by Winokur, and hopefully there will soon be a third."

CONTINUE TO HELP US VOTE FOR CHANCER - ONE VOTE PER DAY THROUGH END OF JUNE - We appreciate getting our children't voices heard. I voted for Chancer Winokur Animal Humane Society "HERO DOG" award - consider joining me to build awareness of FASDs

We are honored to have Chancer nominated in the Animal Humane Society Hero Dog Contest. Chancer has become our "SpokesDOG" for fetal alcohol awareness. We are allowed to vote once a day - let's see if we can make some noise.


- Jodee

Saturday, May 26, 2012

S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K Program Jumps Into Summer

Summer is a great time for families to start S.M.A.R.T Pre-K for ages 3, 4, and 5 or older children that need additional readiness. 

Get to the MORE of Readiness will be available in July 2012. Always do CORE before adding MORE!

Chance to Grow will soon be releasing the 2nd book in our series and we have been busy putting in all the details and fun activities for families, daycares and preschool programs.

build Balance and Vestibular systems in children. 

Pure Fun 55 Inch 
Trampoline and Enclosure Set
TIP: When introducing a rebounder or trampoline make sure children are given instruction how to step onto the flexible area.
If you are looking to get a rebounder or trampoline for your children this summer. 
Visit The Great Trampoline Store!

Shop Trampolines, Inc Today!

Getting a Water Fearing Boy Child Into The Bath


Wish this idea was around when my young man with a water phobia needed a bath. Something tells me it would have been hard to get him out of the tub until the water got cold!


Click banner to get to Mattel ...

Delivering play, every day at Mattel Shop!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Swing Low Sweet Chariots - Vestibular and Balance

You may know you have entered the home of a family with atypical neurology when you see one or two hammocks in the yard, a tire swing, a porch rocking chair, another rocker in each living area, bouncing chairs, balance balls, a porch swing, swing set and hammock swing.

You know you have entered the home of a family with an atypical child when "THAT" child has explored, examined, jump on, twirled around and experienced most of them before you leave....AND you have only come to visit!

For those of us who need a deal on SWINGS!!!!
And HAMMOCKS because we never seem to have enough of them!

Visit the 
Hammock Superstore! 

It is filled with wonderful summer swinging things for people of all ages.

Try the hammock above - it is light weight and you can pack it and GO anywhere for a safe place to hibernate when life gets overwhelming!

Shop at the Hammock Superstore Today!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Translating the world for a person with fetal alcohol


In an abstract world a brain that thinks concretely may need help with interpretation and by having a cognitive translator our daughter can avoid mistakes and frustration in professional meetings in finance, social welfare, medical, and the judicial process. When needed she enlists me as her cognitive translator and I attend the appointment or meeting to make sure the communication between the professional and my daughter is understood.

To translate I make myself an only when necessary piece of her conversations. I may bring a magazine to glance through to look busy or I may catch up on a text message. I make sure to give her the space she needs to manage herself and remain in charge. If she gives me a preset signal, I interject into conversation for clarification. After the end of the meeting I ask for a recap of next steps or meeting.  Cognitive translations provides safety to remain on course and navigate through complicated adult discussion, keep her trust in the professional and increase skills and knowledge.

When she trusts and feels safe she is able to manage more complex situations. With time and experience, she manages her life challenges.

While some professionals consider my attendance a hindrance to her progress I wonder how clearly they understand the brain and metabolic system of a person with fetal alcohol.

For example:
  • In a therapy session for anger management, a therapist described the range of emotions: "Emotions are like waves, there will be low times and high times and if you wait through a low time you can ride the wave up to a high time. Then you will ride the wave back down. Like this." (Therapist demonstrated with her hand a waving motion.)  I remained silent, watching my daughter process what she heard. When we arrived in the car, I said, "Your therapist had a good idea today about managing anger, tell me about it." She replied, "I don't get it, why would she want me to ride in a wagon?"  
Why did this miscommunication occur? 

First, we live in Minnesota so she has no experiential frame of reference for a large wave. (Professionals must think what experience this person has that I can connect new learning to) Second, she took "wa" sound and assumed her auditory processing issues had confused her once again. "You can not ride a wave on a Minnesota lake. If you ride on it, could it be a "wagon?" 

How many times "What we say" is not "What is received?
  • At a job placement meeting, a counselor stated, "I am a realist, do you think senior citizens would like your hair?" "I am a realist, do you think senior citizen's would like your clothes?" (And she continued with more questions beginning with "I am a realist") When we reached the car, my daughter turned to me and said "Why would a Realtor care how I look for grandmas and grandpas. They like me just how I am." I was glad she had missed the professionals point.
  • One adult I have translated for begins nodding her head when she "does not" understand. This provides two results - "The person explaining believes understanding has occurred and stops talking." Another polite adult states, "Thank you so much for telling me that, now I understand." Only later in the safety of her home do you realize the words understood were hot air.
As a cognitive translator, I do not consider myself an external brain any more than I would consider a seeing eye dog an external brain for a person who cannot see. 

My daughter's brain is beautiful - very different from mine and very capable. In a world that has moved from agricultural to industrial to informational and now to communication we have left this population behind. I do not believe my daughter is a lesser person because of her challenges. She is a strong, dynamic adult with valuable insight into a world that often seems to talk too fast and too much.

Cognitive translation empowers versus de-powers.