“For many of our families, summer can be an extra trying time,” says Executive Director, Sara Messelt. “It is challenging to find both activities that are appropriate, and the money to do some of the things that many families take for granted.” With the help of MOFAS, these families will be able to spend the day at a water park or go to Valley Fair, head to the zoo, go camping or simply purchase a season pass to their local pool. All are great activities that families can enjoy together and have the structure, supervision, and opportunity for expending energy that many kids with FASD desire.
One mom wrote in her application, “We blend in at water parks. The kids can run, splash and play hard without sticking out as having too much energy and inappropriate young skills.” Another mom talked about how water can be very soothing to her son, who has a sensory disorder as well as FASD.
“This $200 may not change these families’ lives in a permanent way, but we hope that it demonstrates that MOFAS understands the special challenges that parents raising children with FASD face. We want them to know, that we will be here to help support them in any way that we can,” said Sierra Asamoa Tutu, a Program Coordinator at MOFAS. “It was a great day to be able to call and tell them, ‘start planning your trip!’”
Individuals with FASD have permanent brain damage caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Many times this affects both the person’s thought process and behaviors. Common symptoms include hyperactivity, short attention span, poor coordination, poor impulse control and difficulty with social boundaries.
MOFAS was founded in 1998 by former First Lady, Susan Carlson, and works around the state of Minnesota to educate and train about the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and to provide intervention and support for those individuals and families already affected. For more information contact MOFAS at (651) 917-2370 or toll-free 1-866-90-MOFAS; 1885 University Avenue, Suite 395, St. Paul, MN 55104; www.mofas.org.