Obtaining a diagnosis of FASD can be extremely difficult, often frustrating parents who recognize the signs and symptoms in their child. But a confirmed diagnosis can open the door to vital services without which the child runs the risk of becoming a homeless or incarcerated adult. I cringe on hearing that children/adults with a confirmed diagnosis of FASD are embarrassed over their diagnosis. Due to stigma attached to mental illness, their decision to never mention their disorder is understandable but can limit services they deserve and cause chaos in their future.
Accepting and supporting mental illness is the first step to removing boundaries between those who struggle with mental illness and those who don’t. Communities must start listening to caregivers, support workers, advocates and, most of all, the individuals affected by FASD who should never feel pressured to hide their diagnosis in order not to offend the sensibilities of others. We are all in this together.
My memoir: Two Decades Of Diapers describes my twenty years raising grandchildren with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
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