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  #1  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:07 AM
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ALI143 ALI143 is offline
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What kind of future for polysubstance exposed infant?

I have two committees coming up. One for two sisters and everyone has been great about sharing their experiences with the girls types of behaviors. The other committee is for a one year old. (I'll only get chose for one or the other.) The caseworker wants a family with experience with polysubstance exposed infants. I don't, really. I have done respite care, but short term under 1 month and have taken medically fragile infant classes. I want to make sure I am really ready for this baby if we're blessed enough to be picked. Here's some of her background if anyone can share their experiences:

She is an interactive little girl who gives back to people around her.
She has good hand coordination and is able to transition objects from one hand to the other and to her mouth. (she was about 8 months old when that was written)
She is about 2 months delayed in motor and mental skills.
She has some difficulty holding her head up which has affected her ability to roll from her belly on to her back as well as eating solid foods. (written at 8 months old)
She does not qualify for Early Intervention at this time.
She tested positive for cocaine and opiates at birth.
She had suffered from seizures until she was placed on medication.
She will need a family that can dote on her and help her overcome her delays. A family experienced with polysubstance exposed infants who can access needed services is important for continued growth and development.

Anything I should know or books I should read?
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2005, 10:53 AM
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It can vary so much from one child to the next. Some come out of it with no lasting effects, others have ADHD or other neuro disorders. In my experience, alcohol has the worst lasting effects.

Do you have Early Intervention services in your area? PT and OT might be in order for the little one.

What you need to decide is can you adopt her with a LOT of unknowns and love her in spite of the worse scenerio? That's how we decided to adopt our children. Thankfully they have had little lasting affects, but have had other issues that we've had to deal with (RAD).
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Old 09-03-2005, 12:10 PM
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ALI143 ALI143 is offline
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Luckily our area has great Early Intervention services. We are committed to the unknowns. Before having bkids we decided we were happy/able to commit to issues involving Downs Syndrome, Autism, needing to live with us forever, or anything else that can happen in utero or otherwise. So I know whatever comes up with her will be handled the best we can do.
Like you said it's just a lot of unknowns and I can't find a book with a lot of information because the effects range so greatly. I just want to know as much as I can.
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Old 09-03-2005, 12:24 PM
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sounds like you are doing your homework. We've adopted two children with prenatal exposure to poly substances. One was born addicted, as well as being exposed to about 6 known substances.

The outcomes for individual children varies because they are individuals. The level of exposure is different for each child, if the child is not placed in an appropriate environment after he is born the level of neglect after being born has an effect, all kinds of environmental issues come into play, etc.

Our son had developmental delays in all areas but made up most of these delays by about age 2 or 2 1/2. At age 4 he continues to have speech delays; whether this is due to his addiction and prenatal exposure is unknown. (It could be genetic, could be "just" his own developmental process, who knows.) He does (possibly) exhibit some signs of fetal alcohol exposure, but he is a bit young to tell if it is fetal alcohol or delays relating to speech...but I think he does show signs of FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder).

The long term prognosis for these kids is wide-open. Being flexible and ready to cross bridges as you get to them is really the only way to "be prepared". Being educated, watchful and nurturing as well, of course.

Feel free to PM me if you have any specifics you wish to talk about.
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