Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lifestyle During Pregnancy Results are in for 5 year olds... WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY ARE 10

Children at age five, who are affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol are still in concrete operations. At that time in the life of my family members, our children were precocious, fun-loving, creative and energetic despite the fact that one child dealt with huge attachment and sensory issues which overshadowed her reality until she was over twelve years old and another had suffered two strokes before age eight months. 

If IQ testing is given during early elementary years the results will be based on concrete operations. When IQ testing is given after age ten, abstract thinking begins playing a larger part in the scoring criteria. Professionals missed her diagnosis until she was two years passed the time of entry into abstract thinking and if we had known earlier we could have supported skill building in additional ways. From ages 6 to 17 our daughter lost 30 IQ points - she was not growing less intelligent, she was unable to gain abstraction. Even as an adult, her world remains in concrete operations

At age ten, (fourth grade is often the time) life and education moves into abstraction. It is during this phase of childhood we see increased raging and/or shut down as they try to navigate a world quickly becoming unreachable. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is a lifetime choice you do not have to make to create additional challenges for the persons who must live with it. For researchers to make a statement with preschoolers without the additional data that may be forthcoming at ages 10, 15, 20, and 25 is unfair to the hundreds of thousands of people living with this hidden disability. Let's hope the media does not spin this out of control - let's hope we continue to stand for do no harm. 

May the best continue to be our best...
Jodee Kulp

Please read the letter I received from CDC.

Dear Colleagues,

As you recall, in October 2011, the first paper from the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study, “Low to moderate alcohol intake during pregnancy and risk of psychomotor deficits,”  was released in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (ACER). This paper was the first to be published on the findings from the Lifestyle Study, designed to examine alcohol use and neurobehavioral effects in children (sampled from the Danish National Birth Cohort and funded by CDC and the Danish Research Council). Although the first paper examined motor function in five-year-old children whose mothers reported drinking low to moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy and found no effect, our message continues to be that women should refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Today, five additional papers from the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study were released electronically in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and GynaecologyFindings from these analyses again suggest no serious effects on three specific neurodevelopmental functions in five-year-old children whose mothers drank low to moderate amounts of alcohol in pregnancy. However, because no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy has been established and alcohol is known to cause birth defects and developmental disabilities as well as other adverse pregnancy outcomes, advice continues to be that women should refrain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy. We know that FASDs are 100% preventable if alcohol is not consumed during pregnancy, so why take the risk?

We have listed the citations and abstracts below and encourage you to read the articles. We are also adding a “Key Findings” summary to our website which discusses the findings. You will be able to find this shortly on our FASD home page at

Please let us know if you have questions or would like to discuss further. 

Thank you! 
US Center for Disease Control

References/Abstracts for BJOG articles (2012):
Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Mortensen EL, Kilburn T, Underbjerg M, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Wimberley T, Grove J, Kesmodel US. The effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure in early pregnancy on IQ in 5- year-old children. BJOG 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03394.x
Kesmodel US, Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Underbjerg M, Kilburn TR, Støvring H, Wimberley T, Mortensen EL. The effect of alcohol binge drinking in early pregnancy on general intelligence in children. BJOG 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03395.x  
Underbjerg M, Kesmodel US, Landrø NI, Bakketeig L, Grove J, Wimberley T, Kilburn TR, Sværke C, Thorsen P, Mortensen EL. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on selective and sustained attention in 5-year-old children. BJOG 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03396.x
Skogerbø Å, Kesmodel US, Wimberley T, Støvring H, Bertrand J, Landrø NI, Mortensen EL. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption and binge drinking in early pregnancy on executive function in 5-year-old children. BJOG 2012; DOI 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03397.x
Kesmodel US, Bertrand J, Støvring H, Skarpness B, Denny CH, Mortensen EL, and the Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group.* The effect of different alcohol drinking patterns in early to mid pregnancy on the child’s intelligence, attention, and executive function. BJOG 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2012.03393.x

*The Lifestyle During Pregnancy Study Group
Bakketeig LS, Boyle CA, Cogswell ME, Falgreen Eriksen H-L, Grove J, Kilburn T, Landrø NI, Skogerbø Å, Underbjerg M, Wimberley T

How to help children with fetal alcohol understand and think

The Kulp family home schooled for five years and over that time we learned to meet the children we schooled at the level of thinking they were capable of at the moment. Depending on rest, stress, diet and daily schedule abilities fluctuated. We have provided the Hierarchy of Thinking Skills by Benjamin Blom to help you work, live, laugh and love your child. Armed with this information you may be able to take an assignment or project and adapt it to the child's success. This developmental chart and over 30 others are available in our 3rd Edition of Our FAScinating Journey - Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury by Jodee Kulp

Blom’s Taxonomy Hierarchy of Thinking Skills (Benjamin Blom)

1. Knowledge — To remember information you have learned. Remembering facts, terms, definitions, concepts, principles.
  • recognition
  • recall

What?Who?  list, name, define,describe, order, recite, list, record, recall, label, reproduce, match, repeat, underline, state, recognize, relate.  
By  books, facts, events, TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, films, tapes, CD’s and movies

2. Comprehension — to understand the meaning of things learned.
  • interpretation
  • translation  
  • extrapolation

Explain. How?Why? interpret, summarize, give examples, predict, translate, arrange, locate, indicate, describe, restate, sort, classify, translate, express, discuss, extrapolate.
By  d
iagrams, puzzles, logs. stories, games, journal, reports, task cards, illustrations, drawings

3. Application — Using information in a new way to solve a problem.
  • implication
Apply compute, solve, modify, construct, sketch, practice, illustrate, measure, schedule, choose, use, demonstrate, prepare, operate.
By diagrams, model illustrations, photographs, sculpture, model stories, diorama, scrapbook, puzzles, mobile, collection, map

4. Analysis — to break down knowledge into parts and show relationships among those parts. Physical, historical, functional descriptions 
  • elements
  • relationship
  • organization

Examine. How?What? analyze, diagram, question, appraise, test, calculate, discriminate, distinguish, categorize, compare, criticize, contrast, experiment, inventory.
graphs, charts, surveys, events, diagrams, objects, reports, commercials, puzzles, questionnaires.

5. Synthesis — to produce something original from elements and components of previous knowledge. To bring together.
  • unique communicate
  • plan or set 
  • abstract relations 

Organize. Bring togetherarrange, design, prepare, assemble, formulate, propose, collect, manage, set up, compose, synthesize, create, plan, write, construct, modify, conduct.
By stories, news, articles, poems, games, magazines, TVshows, cartoons, recipes, plays, songs, machines, puppet shows, hypothesis, advertisements

6. Evaluation — to make judgments based on pre-established criteria.
  • internal evidence (logical accuracy, consistency)
  • external evidence (application of external criteria)

 Support. Why?Why not?  appraise, estimate, select, argue, evaluate, assess, judge, value, attack, predict, score, compare, rate, defend.
Bypolls, group letters, surveys, recommendations, evaluations, panels, simulations, discussions, news items, court trials.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mom's Choice Gold Fiction Novel - FREE KINDLE - download

Better Endings New Beginnings is offering a FREE fun summer read of "Whitest Wall" our Mom's Choice Gold Award - Best Fiction for Young Adults and Mom's Choice Gold Award - Best Fiction Adults.

To get your FREE DOWNLOAD just click the book cover it will send you right over to Kindle Downloads - Enjoy and let us know how you like it.

Some current reviews:

The story starts in a small community of Riverdale where a horrible tragedy occurs. Sally find her husband shot to death in the woods near their home and the sheriff knows exactly who did it or does he?

It does seem like all the evidence points to Kevin, but as the story progress's you start to wonder, did he really? 

Is it because of the way he acts and does racism have something to do with it?

As Kevin sits in jail, he starts doing strange things and the sheriff decides he needs to bring in a forensic criminal psychologist to assess Kevin. Dr. Lamar Watkins is hired and as he investigates Kevin we also learn about Lamar's family and his past.

Unfolds a story about families and how similar/different they are to each other.

I really enjoyed reading about the different families and their lives, my favorite was about Q and Gunner. As you read you realize how these families are all intertwined with each other and the end was surprising and sad. 

Also how FASD can affect so many without them knowing it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

FREE June 2012 Issue Adoption Today

Adoption Today is giving the June issue away for FREE from their website at Throughout the month of June visitors to the site will be able to click on the flipping icon for Adoption Today and view the entire 72-page issue at no cost. For the staff of Adoption Today, this is just one more way they are dedicated to giving back to the adoption community and trying to positively impact the lives of families and children.

Special THANK YOU to the folks at ADOPTION TODAY.

We Love You Guys!

Jodee and Liz Kulp

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sleep Strategies for Children With Fetal Alcohol

Wear them out - wear them out I repeat - fun and laughter and sunshine and water and dirt and play. Running and jumping and fun after school or being overwhelmed in learning new things. A healthy meal and then begin to build in household peace.

Bringing calm to a household of atypical children can be difficult. By developing a sleep transition system you provide your children a lifetime strategy to learn to calm, rest and gain sleep.

We found over the years that the following things made a difference:

  1. Begin shutting off blue light (cell phones, television, computers) two hours before going to bed and change sounds in the home to quiet music or soft nature. Move to a warmer spectrum of lighting. Blue light (which is the light we have during most of the day limits our production of melatonin, in the absence of blue light, melatonin production increases and we get sleepier. 
  2. Shake the "zingys" off - we found rapidly waving the hands, kicking the feet or shaking the whole body helped move energy. "We cast off the troubles of the day." All the yuck fell off... or at least we tried.  If you have night lights this is the time to engage the children to tip toe and slowly turn them all on while turning house lights off or dimming them mouse quiet.
  3. Prepare a warm bath with a chamomile, lavender, sandalwood scent and let the child soak while you write your to do list for the morning and then leave it! 
  4. Dim the lights.  We had a BETA FIGHTING FISH in a night lighted tank in the bathroom that was always alert to protect children padding in to go potty in the middle of the night. If you are staying in the bathroom while the children bathe, use a scented candle and dim the lights. I put the candle away when I am done and hide it.
  5. Tumble the towels and pajamas in the dryer to warm and wrap a child. Drying with a warm towels helps in the transition of leaving the bathtub and warm pajamas help in the transition from towel to bed clothes. 
  6. Practice some gentle slow stretching - help your child find stretches that are soothing.
  7. Read a kind, happy story with child in bed (Goodnight Moon and Nuzzle: Love Between a Boy and His Service Dog). We found a number of gentle reading places - the hammock in the summer, the porch swing or rocking glider, a snuggly day bed, bean bags and puppies, a tent bed or into their room. Settle in the critters - stuffed animals, service dog or pet dogs, dolls, cats - into proper places. Click to see children's tent and trundle beds | some great hammocks
  8. Soft circle touches or brushes from knee to toes, elbows to fingers and on face - clockwork circles beginning at the 6 o'clock help to soothe (children with sensory issues may need different kinds of touches - some days our daughter wants light friction or deep pressure - she usually has an idea of what will help her best.)
  9. Mist the monsters. We use a spritzer with lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, or sage to scare out whatever might be in the closet or under the bed. 
  10. Give a day of thanks. We say prayers. This final quiet time is for remembering all the good things in the day and being thankful and asking for protection for all the people we love - prayers in our house could take a while because even neighbors dogs or the tree squirrels could be added.
Now it's mom and dad's turn. Depending on the rules in your home - ours was unless you need to potty after prayers you wait until the sun comes up to get out of bed - in the summer THAT could be early! This is the time I write in my journal or read before I fall asleep or at least quietly eyes closed rest.

Read more about blue light

Following are some fun bedtime sleep tents and trundles - some children need very empty rooms - for others these are marvelous.