Friday, September 8, 2017

Don't Ask My Child To Fly - Living With FASD

September 9 is National Fetal Alcohol Awareness Day

What is FASD - Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
- an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may physical, mental, behavioral and/or learning disabilities with life long implications. -FAS DPN

The majority of my readers are the parents of children who either have FASD, are suspected of having it or have behavioral/mental/emotional disabilities. In light of that, I am not going to write post on preventing FASD. I was going to highlight some of the difficulties and unique challenges those with FASD and their caregivers may face in life, but I came across this poem and it describes parenting a child with FASD, perfectly!

Don't Ask My Child To Fly

Don't ask my child to fly
for he has no wings.

Don't ask my child to see the glint on the eagle's beak,
for his vision has been diminished.

Don't ask my child to remain calm amid the din,
for her ability to screen out the noises has been taken away.

Don't ask my child to be careful with strangers,
for he is friendly with everyone and prey for the unscrupulous.

Don't ask my child the "settle down,"
for the clock which works for you and I, does not exist for her.

Don't ask my child to not play with the toys of others,
for he has no concept of property.

Don't ask my child to remember you tomorrow,
although you met today.

Don't ask my child to heal your wounds,
for her hands cannot hold a scalpel or sutures.

Don't ask my child to meet the challenges set by society,
for you have denied her the tools.

Don't ask my child to forgive you for standing idly by,
while he was being tortured in his mothers womb.

for he will,

        but he may not. 
               - Bruce Ritchie 1997

Imagine for a few moments if you will, a teenager/adult with no sense of boundaries. 

Imagine a child who has no sense of "stranger danger."

Imagine a teen/adult with no sense of property.

Imagine a child/teen/adult who has no idea what is appropriate in society.

Imagine someone who wants to fit in but due to his inability to understand world or read social cues, finds himself constantly searching for someone to be his friend. Often in that search, he meets up with people who willing take advantage of him.

These are the people who are easily exploited and can be lured into dangerous situations. This is why we as parents are so vigilant and why the future looks so scary.

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