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Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mothers Struggle to Understand the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy Paperback – April 10, 2005

4.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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  • Damaged Angels: An Adoptive Mothers Struggle to Understand the Tragic Toll of Alcohol in Pregnancy
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  • Trying Differently Rather Than Harder: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

One day, clicking around on the family computer, Buxton found her 14-year-old adopted daughter Colette's will. What might have been a typical angst-filled document by another teenager was quite worrisome in this case: Colette suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), an impairment that affects one out of every 100 North Americans, according to Buxton. The disorder made her violent and antisocial. By the time Colette wrote the will, she was addicted to drugs and prone to violent outbursts; before she was 18, she had endured multiple brushes with death. Canadian journalist Buxton thoroughly describes her frustrating attempts to get help for her two daughters (another adopted daughter also suffered from FASD). Her honesty and humility are blunt: "The fact that Brian [her husband] and I could make each other laugh at least once a day, often making evil jokes about our children, was what kept us relatively sane...." The devil really is in the details in this sometimes painful account. On the one hand, Buxton's insistence on logging the minutiae of caring for her daughters is impressive, and she intersperses these sections with copious research and case studies on FASDs. On the other hand, her recounting of umpteen doctors' appointments, forms and phone calls weighs the memoir down and buries some salient gems. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Bonnie Buxton is a journalist who has written articles for numerous Canadian magazines and newspapers. She and her husband, Brian Philcox, are co-founders of FASworld Canada, the Canadian nonprofit organization that works at building awareness around the world. They live in Toronto.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; 1 edition (April 10, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786715502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786715503
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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This is an excellent resource for parents of FAE/FAS children, adopted or by birth. If you have a child who doesn't understand cause and effect, looks normal, but acts years younger than his or her age, this is the book for you.
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Bonnie Buxton does an amazing job in this book of thoroughly explaining the damage that prenatal alcohol exposure does to an unborn child's brain and how that plays out in real-life examples, without painting a picture that is dark and hopeless. We get to see these real families working hard to make good lives for their children, feel their struggles, grieve in their failures and celebrate in their successes. This is a beautiful book full of life and hope.
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Buy this book if you are thinking of adoption. Buy this book if you have adopted. Buy this book if you drank alcohol during your pregnancy. Buy this book if your mother drank while pregnant with you. It will answer all your questions and point you in all the right directions.
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Bonnie Buxton's book, Damaged Angels, will ring true to anyone who has lived the life of dealing with a child who looks normal, but has "disconnects" in their life. After adopting "a visible child with an invisible disability" I valued reading about Bonnie's experiences with her daughter,Collette. Her up-to-date overview of the most current research on FASD was helpful in my journey with my daughter. I appreciated her openness and vulnerability in describing her mothering experiences.

I think every social worker should be required to read this book as part of their training. As a mother in distress, this book was a beacon in the fog for me.
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Profound. Based on research and the touching real-life experiences of people living with the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure, this book provides a detailed insight into living with the hidden disabilities of FASD. A "must read" for any professionals working with children. If you work with children you deal with FASD. Damaged Angels is now the definitive book on FASD. Thank you Bonnie, Bruce and Collette for sharing such deep and difficult places.
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...for parents, prospective parents, medical professionals, educators, & all who work with individuals with FASD. Bonnie Buxton's book describes the day-to-day struggles of those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure as well as the struggles of parenting a child with FASD. I couldn't put this book down; to me, an adoptive parent of a young adult with FASD, it ranks with The Broken Cord as a classic book on the subject.
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This book absolutely is a must have for parents of Fetal Alcohol Syndrom kids(as well as FAE) The author writes first hand on her own experiences and hardships involved with her adopted daughter. My wife and I were stunned to see how much we had in common with her troubles and gained much in understanding of our own daughters struggles. Highly reccomended
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Bonnie has compiled all the current research and up-to-date issues of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in a loving and educational way for both professionals and families. As a hidden disability there is often discrepancy between the reality of the family and the perception of professionals. Bonnie breaks down those barriers and allows light to shine through for both of these camps. Without dialogue and support, collaboration and cooperation in this tightly budgeted world there will be little hope for the futures of these children. Bonnie opens the gate to move all of us to join together to run in the same direction. Thanks Bonnie, Bruce and Collete. You have been our inspiration as our daughter has journeyed into the chasm of adult transition and fledgling independence.
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