Our daughter is now 22 and we have been on a journey she and I both hope to prevent for the next generation of teens with FASD behind her. I do advise parents and grandparent to get a re-evaluation at 17 because our daughter's IQ dropped from 90 to 84 to 70 which qualified her for some services. This was due to her understanding the world in very concrete terms while testing adjusts for normal development.
The next part of her journey of four years of independence was lived in the world of Peter Pan flying out our window as a freefall to county commitment. There were moments she soared and that is where we work to build from. Moments we hold onto as treasures. She has served seven months and 4 placements - today she is home - for a moment - before accepting the placement of a semi-assesisted living program.
I have moved from Mom to mom-lifecoach or simply Life Coach and together were are developing daily forms for reviewing strengths and challenges (daily review of each day, plan for the next day building on skills recognized), spending plans (budgeting was too abstract) and meal development (she is celiac to complicate things). She is attendings a Mental Health young adult drop in program where she has peers to talk to and groups to participate in, and she is looking for an effective AA program - last night was a thumbs down.
Once again I stroke her battered wings, once again she will shake me free to fly. We have seen growth - and love - and a settling that was not there are a teen - the rebelliousness of fighting her disability has vanished because the disability conquered her almost to death. She now accepts it and works to understand it using her strengths to hobble with her challenges.
The last fall was sharp and hard, she was bruised and battered in body, mind and spirit. But like so many of us who have faced diffcult life experiences she has come through stronger and wiser. Our daughter is not a book learner, though she can read - she does not able learn from videos - though she can see and experience nightmares from them. She learns from walking and doing and being - and that style of learning comes at a very high cost to everyone - her, her parents and our society.
May God Bless all the children born with Fetal Alcohol today across the world. May God grant us mercy and favor to change this 100% perventable disability and all work toward Building Better Baby Brains.
I am happy to announce that The Whitest Wall is off the presses and will soon be available. Reviews have been appreciated and warm. Thank you to all and let's hope this small book can move this mountain.
For those who wish to build awareness this month of Fetal Alcohol Recognition there is a free downloadable community quilt on my website at www.betterendings.org