Over the past few years, first cities, now countries are becoming more tolerant of LGBTQ individuals. It is wonderful to see how accepting communities can be when they open their minds to groups or individuals who are considered minorities, undesirables, or less vital to the community.
But there is another group in town who, for many years, has been overlooked in the acceptance department. They are the FASD’s who, like LGBTQ’s, struggle to maintain an identity.
Why? Because persons with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder are considered less valuable than those who don’t struggle with mental illness and are therefore disposable. Yet, despite their struggles, with proper supports, such individuals are equally capable of contributing to society in positive ways. And not only to society, but to people involved in their lives.
For example, having been sole caregiver to one daughter, and four grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome over a span of three decades, I am not the person I was before parenting. Due to a difficult childhood, I was withdrawn, had few goals for my life, and cared little for others. Now, I advocate for individuals with FASD through speaking engagements and my memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers. I search for resources for my grandchildren to get them the best support they deserve; I blog on FASD (www.challengedhope.com) and have a website on FASD (www.twodecadesofdiapers.com), all in the hope of raising awareness about FASD. Awareness leads to eventual acceptance, so those who struggle with the disorder will no longer need to hang their heads in shame. Tolerance of FASD is long overdue. Let’s start opening our minds to mental health disorders today.
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