I'm desperately after some advice. Basically my brother has a nearly 4 year old daughter who's mother binge drank regularly throughout her pregnancy when they were in a relationship together. My brother and her are separated now and have been for a couple of years. Ny niece stays with my brother every weekend so my parents and my husband see her all the time.
We have had concerns about her development for a couple of years with the hope that things would improve naturally in time. Sadly this is not the case. The mother is quite lazy in general with her children un everyday things like cutting their hair, bathing, cooking, washing clothes etc, but more importantly she doesn't take any responsibility for her actions while pregnant (she drank during all 3 pregnancies, 2 of her old children were from previous relationships.)
We are desperate to talk to a doctor or somebody who can helo advise us on what to do. My brother is a little scared of the mother so doesn't do anything to "rock the boat" or cause an argument which usually ends in her threatening to stop seeing his daughter. But, her inability to communicate and develop properly is hindering the rest of the families ability to bond with her. It's hardly ever talked about due to not wanting to upset my brother, but pretending that all is okay isn't working. Even my 18month old us starting to overtake her cousin on certain things.
As a family we feel we should be doing more to help, and if she could just be diagnosed she could get the support needed and we can learn how to help her and teach her.
The issues in her behaviour, are they normal for FAS or ARND or whatever she may have? Any advice would be so welcome as we are at a loss as to what to do next.
Unable to remember things for very long. Unable to grasp potty training. Puts whole pieces of food in her mouth that are far too big to chew instead if biting pieces off, ie a sandwhich halfs, cake. Forgets to use spoon and scoops things up with her fingers, yogurt etc... Squeels and gets very loud. Can't sit still for a second unless attention is grabbed by something on telly, then zones. Gets very shy around close family members for no reason. She hides in small spaces when shes upset. She struggles with simple instructions like "please shut the door". Also when she'stold off she often doesn't react to discipline and continues regardless. We also find with her words that she gets them wrong alot, like she will call me Mummy all the time, or call her Dad by his real name. Sometimes she will say the right things but in the wrong context, like, "Are you okay?" but she will say it to the wall. Its asif the words are there but she doesnt understand the context in which they are to be spoken and at the appropriate time? Its so hard to teach her things, like songs and actions because she forgets them.
Because these issues aren't being dealt with everyone is trying to interact with her the same way they interact with my 2 children, the eldest one being only 5 months older than my niece, and of course you automatically expect her to be as able minded as other children who aren't damaged maybe?
Can anyone please advise me on what I can do to help her? Are we literally powerless without the Mothers consent to get her any help? Does it sound like she has some form of FAS to you guys?
Thanks in advance x