If you're looking for the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (MOFAS) you have come to the right place. We have some exciting news about our organization. We have a new name! MOFAS has officially been renamed Proof Alliance. Our mission remains the same: to prevent prenatal alcohol exposure and to improve the quality of life for people living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).
We now have the proof that prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading cause of brain injury in children. We have the proof that FASD is 100% preventable and people living with an FASD can reach 100% of their potential.
We seek to build powerful alliances with people with an FASD, their families, legislators, experts in the field, new partners, and community members to bring awareness, research, and services to this field.
Proof Alliance is rebranding, expanding, and we're moving! We have a new logo, website, and prevention campaign to help change the norms around drinking during pregnancy. And in May 2019 we will be moving to a stand-alone building. Proof Alliance commits to the people of Minnesota and we will continue to develop transformative programs to help Minnesotans impacted by FASD.
My 11 yr old is experiencing his first few weeks of Middle School…..it’s been interesting.
He seems to love it. Apparently is happy while there and eager to learn. He has had a few trials though. Read on to find out.
Not advocating for self:
First problem he encountered involved not getting to school in time (via bus) to eat breakfast for the first few days. So instead of letting me know, he went hungry. I mentioned that in a previous blog but it makes me sad he doesn’t advocate or even think to advocate for himself. All it took was for me to ask him how breakfast was going and he responded that he wasn’t getting there in time to eat. Um, did you think about telling anybody kid? Actually, no, he didn’t.
Next issue was spending LOTS of money on the ‘a la carte’ line at lunch (probably because he was missing breakfast unbeknowst to me!) He was informed prior to school starting for the year that he was only to go in the regular line. We told him numerous times and drilled it in to him. I had been planning to put a ‘block’ on his account that only allows him regular lunch but being busy, tired, and sick, I was too slow to the draw and now am bearing the brunt of not being ahead of the game. When I questioned his extra spending, he said he knew he wasn’t supposed to go in that line but other kids did and the food looked good. He not only ate a regular tray of lunch daily but he also purchased many extra’s in the ‘a la carte’ line such as Gatorade, 2 chocolate chip cookies/day, 2 slices of Pizza, chips, hippy snacks (whatever that is), along with numerous snacks not detailed on his account. I want this kid to eat. He is thin and needs nutrition but not junk food and snacks. He also does not need to spend $7/day on lunch! We are on reduced lunch and what should cost us $2 this week for his lunches has cost us over $20 for the week. He has no clue about money. The cost for all these extra’s has been explained to him, that he has spent 55 days of lunches just in 4 days of lunches. That seemed to have surprised him. I also said he will have to earn money by helping clean and/or do house errands or he will have to take his lunch for those 2-3 months since I cannot give him extra money since all the kids received the same amount at the beginning of the year. I explained it isn’t fair that we pay extra for his lunches. We need to make it fair for everyone. That was pretty sobering for him, don’t know if he will remember it but he will be reminded as he is asked to earn money for his lunch account. By the way, I told him I was blocking his account the day I found out of his infraction and I found out from the cafeteria staff that he tried the ‘a la carte’ again after that. Grrrrrr…….guess I’m not scary or threatening enough. Or, it’s possible he just doesn’t get it.
Getting inside the school:
My son rides the ‘short’ bus since he really doesn’t handle the regular bus very well. We had a change of bus schedule so that he could get to school in time to eat breakfast and the first day that they got there early enough, the bus driver dropped him and his 3 bus mates off at the back of the school by the doors and left. The kids went to the first door in the back and it was locked so instead of going to one of the other back doors (as most kids would have done), they stayed by the one door for I’m guessing close to 15 minutes waiting for a teacher to see them and let them in. I called the Dean and explained to her what happened. She said they went to the wrong back door and that the other one was open. Of course it was. Did it occur to those ‘short’ bus children to check any other doors? No. They could have checked several other doors or even walked to the front of the building and entered there. These are children 11-13 yrs old and they can’t problem-solve. It’s so evident. My non-affected 10 yr old would have gone to every door at the school until he found an open entrance, no problem. But, these children did not have that cognitive skill to figure out how to solve the ‘locked door’ dilemma. Executive functioning issues become more evident as my affected children get older and should seem more independent and able to problem solve. They can’t, it’s reality for my child and his sweet ‘short’ bus companions.
I hope today brings good news. My dream: He got to school in time to eat breakfast, he didn’t try to get a high dollar lunch via ‘a la carte’, and he was able to get in the correct door without standing outside for no reason. One can remain hopeful that things will eventually work out.
In my world with children on the fetal alcohol spectrum, everyday brings new events and challenges. Hope is something I must hang on to. Hope, and the support from other ‘short bus kids’ parents whom I am proud to call my friends.