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This is Children of Alcoholics Week

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February 12-18, 2012 is Children of Alcoholics Week – A Celebration of Hope and Healing – Across Generations. The week calls attention to the one in four children under the age of 18 who are exposed to a family alcohol problem, and the many others affected by parental drug abuse.

Children of Alcoholics Week “celebrates the recovery of the many thousands of children (of all ages) who have received the help they needed to recover from the pain and loss suffered in their childhood, and it offers hope to those still suffering,” according to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA), which sponsors the week.

NACoA states that preschool children of alcoholics have poorer language skills. School-age children of alcoholics are at risk for being worried, distracted and absent, the group says. These children may be at greater risk of both mental and physical health risks.

For materials and resources on Children of Alcoholics Week, visit www.nacoa.org.

1 Response to this article

  1. kathryn page / February 13, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    The absence of fetal alcohol damage from ALL Children of Alcoholics material continues to astonish me, along with the rest of us working in the FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders) field. We now know that roughly 5% of us are affected by prenatal exposure to alcohol–and hardly anybody recognizes it, or even thinks to wonder about it. Not schools, not counselors, not physicians. It shows up as some combination of the usual assortment of diagnoses given to misbehaving kids: AD/HD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, learning disabilities, Bipolar Disorder. In adulthood it is simply called irresponsibility.

    The facial features of the full Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are present in very few people with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. Diagnosis is available in the smattering of clinics around the country (30? maybe? at most?); otherwise we are left to hypothesize. At BEST we hypothesize (w/o diagnosis)– because understanding this possibility can change the child’s world from an angry and impatient one to a helpful, encouraging one. Usually, though, a child with fetal alcohol damage is punished and shamed over and over for behaviors that are not their fault.

    Please consider raising the issue of fetal alcohol exposure in your discussions of children of alcoholics.

    thank you,

    KathyP

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