Author, Barbara Studham

Creator of memoir, fiction, and the children's picture book, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


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FASD: The Teen Years

1. Does TIME really HEAL?

I decided this week to offer my memoir Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The Teen Years in print. Now available in ebook format, due to its popularity, print form would make it viable for libraries and book fairs. Wanting to be sure the manuscript is up to date, I clicked on the file to edit. Big mistake!

The adage Time Heals is a misnomer, a fake, a big fat lie! Time does not heal; at least, not in my case. When I read the first chapter, I thought my heart would break. Tears streamed down my face. Time heals—what a joke. 

Reading that chapter resurfaced memories from my years parenting grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The stress, the sadness, the worry; it all flooded back. Here is a peek into part of that chapter.

Chapter 1
My Eldest Grandson, Rocky,
Placement # 1

I am in line at the information desk of Hamilton Police Station. As I wait for my turn, I gaze through the heavy, glass double-doors. Rain pelts down. People hurriedly step over puddles to push their way inside. A woman shakes out her umbrella, careful to avoid those of us patiently waiting.

        With eyes on the entrance, I watch for my fourteen-year-old grandson, Rocky, to arrive with his Children’s Aid caseworker. Five minutes later, they step inside out of the rain. Rocky tosses raindrops from his blond, curly hair.

        Dread surges through me. He is about to face a grueling interview and I am uncertain how he will react. His worried gaze scans the lobby searching for me then brightens as he smiles my way. He knows I love him and will be there for him no matter the outcome.    

        Arrested for criminal activity the previous evening, Rocky was removed from our home and placed into the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Now, he is at the station to discover his fate. He and his worker join me in line until the information officer directs us to a specific department. A detective approaches and dismisses the CAS worker but instructs me to stay. She leads us to a small, brightly lit room where she explains our interview will be videotaped and everything we say recorded. I glance at Rocky and my heart pounds. His face is pale. I sense his nervousness.

        For the next hour, the detective addresses Rocky and the reason for his arrest. The facts that emerge sicken me until I feel I will pass out. My mind screams. “Get up and get out; don’t come back, don’t even look back. This is too much, even for you. After everything you have been through, you do not deserve this. Come back later, when he is an adult and you are no longer his guardian. Come back then and simply be Grandma.”

        I ignore my mind and stay. After all, everything once again depends on me. I’m broken, exhausted, and overwhelmed by the fourteen years I have spent raising him and three of his siblings, all challenged by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. I am in no shape to absorb this new catastrophe.

To read more about Rocky’s rocky road in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Teen Years, visit this link

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

2. Another seascape!

I love painting seascapes. Having recently taken up painting, I work on my pictures daily. Painting reduces my stress and offers me a break from writing and promoting my books: memoir, fiction, and children’s picture books.

Following our weekly meet-ups for updates on the second in the children’s picture book series, titled, Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, illustrator, Heather Lamb kindly gave me tips on painting. I learned how to hold a brush for optimum detailing, to paint with tools other than brushes, and the importance of shading and highlighting.

Painting a Seascape with Acrylics.

Once a week for four weeks, Heather oversaw my seascape painting. It is now complete and added to my collection of beginner’s works. The reason I am posting the sequence of pictures here, is not because I see the final as a masterpiece (far from it), but to encourage readers to indulge in a new interest. Being a senior, I am constantly on the lookout for new projects, and love this one. Thanks, Heather!

During our London, England, trip in 2018, my son and I are planning to visit the National Art Gallery. It won’t be the first time for me as I was born in England and lived there until the age of 26. A few years before immigrating to Canada, I visited the National Gallery, and want my son to share the experience. If ever you get the opportunity to visit London, don’t miss the Gallery. The masterpieces are breathtaking. I can guarantee, you will leave the building a new person.

If you are looking for a relaxing experience, why not join me on my Amazon Author Page at the following link. There you will see my FASD memoirs, my fiction books including Under The Shanklin Sky English seaside series, and my children’s FASD picture book titled Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: The School Day. 

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

 


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Children’s Picture Book Illustrator

Strawberry & Cracker, Book 2

Heather Lamb, illustrator of the children’s books Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is seen here sketching the pictures for book #2 titled FIDGET!

It was my recent pleasure to visit Heather Lamb at work. Together, we share a vision of creating picture books specifically designed for children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Hence, the recent release of the first in the Strawberry & Cracker series titled The School Day.

Heather Lamb, children’s picture book illustrator.

As author of the books, I am amazed how seamlessly Heather transforms my rough mock-ups into works of art. Her pictures capture the essence of children with FASD and the challenges they face on a daily basis. She is currently working on the second in the Strawberry & Cracker series titled FIDGET! The story and pictures emphasize hyperactivity in children with FASD, situations that cause fidgeting, and how people can offer support. The following is a blurb outlining FIDGET! 

Book Blurb

The two main characters in the book titled FIDGET! are Strawberry & Cracker, twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The twins live with their grandma and her dog, Thunder. The twins also struggle with fidgeting. All children fidget, but a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome frequently over-fidgets, thereby annoying people who do not understand impulsive behaviors. Fortunately, there are strategies to calm the child enough to control fidgeting.

The storyline of FIDGET! introduces the reader to Strawberry & Cracker’s typical fidgeting scenarios. While no one strategy to avoid fidgeting will work for every child, Grandma realizes the importance of discovering which ones work for the twins. By discussing those strategies with other adults, she hopes people will apply the calming methods and lessen the stress of fidgeting.

As with the first in the series titled The School Day, FIDGET! is designed to fulfill several needs:

  • To offer children with FASD a fun picture book highlighting daily challenges they can relate to.
  • To help children with FASD accept their diagnosis with dignity and self-respect.
  • To encourage children with FASD to read.
  • To offer caregivers a tool with which to introduce their child with FASD to the disorder.
  • To bring public awareness to FASD.

Where to purchase.

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The School Day

is available in print and eBook from Amazon, and from the following link

http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham

Genre: Family and relationships/special needs children. Glossy front and back cover. The picture book includes twenty-six inside pages with color images and large print. Size: 8.5” x 8.5”.

Price: $9.99 USD for print. $4.99 USD for eBook.

Coming in 2018!

The second children’s picture book in the

Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, series,

titled,

FIDGET!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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eBook: Strawberry and Cracker, Twins with FAS

eBook Now Available!

In a few weeks, I will be celebrating my 70th birthday. Wow, I never expected to make it this far, but now I have, I am finding it fun. When I was in my thirties, I believed my becoming old would mean ill-health, dentures, wrinkles, and crepey thighs. Okay, so the thighs are a bit on the crepey side, but apart from that I look fine. And, who cares about old-lady looks anyway? What I am excited about is the recent launch of my children’s picture book. Already available in print, it is now a downloadable eBook on Amazon. Who knew retirement could be so busy?

Children's Picture Book

Children’s Picture Book

Information

Strawberry & Cracker: Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is now available in both print and ebook from Amazon. Category: Family & Relationships/Children with special needs. Printed version priced at $9.99 (usd). Ebook $4.99 (usd).

Introduction

Meet Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)! With over twenty years of experience parenting four grandchildren with FAS, I have created the children’s picture book through my perception of the disorder. Illustrated in the first of the Strawberry & Cracker series titled, The School Day, is the twins’ use of visual aids, the necessity to attend a special needs class, and living with a caregiver other than a biological parent. Initially featuring Strawberry and Cracker’s strengths, the story subsequently introduces the reader to a typical school day in the life of a child with FAS, and the supports required for a successful outcome. Strawberry & Cracker, Twins with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the picture book series, is designed to be enjoyed by children with FAS, for caregivers with a desire to introduce their children to FAS, and for the public to learn about the challenges associated with the disorder.

Illustrator

It is difficult to judge a book by its cover, so visit this link http://www.amazon.com/author/barbarastudham to take a peek at the story and Heather Lamb’s, fabulous illustrations. Without a doubt Heather has captured the essence of FAS in her paintings, and done the book proud.