An email sent to me from Mrs. Smith…
I adopted John at birth, 3 days old through foster care. I attended an FAS training, for professional purposes, when he was 2, and began seeing the unmistakable “red flags” that said he might be alcohol affected. I’m a teacher by my training and experience, so I knew “normal” and what was outside the normal.
He had trouble in school, so I began homeschooling him at age 7. He was diagnosed officially at age 8. He is FASD….. has a normal IQ, and looks and acts for all the world as normal,or “very bright” when you first meet him. Therapists have a hard time thinking he’s not “normal.” He talks very well, and his thinking problems do not appear until you see him in action over time.
He became increasingly hard to manage as he grew up. I placed him in as structured a school program as I could find for 4th grade when he was 10, he went into residential treatment after being twice suspended and removed from his charter school, at the age of 12….. in the middle of his 5th grade year. He’s been in residential since then. He is now 14.
He is a physically strong and healthy young man. He can cook, follow directions well, and is great at chores. He planted and cared for a garden 2 years in a row. He is a great yard worker, and landscape worker. He has potential he can use. He is sorry for his bad behavior in the past, and wants to grow up and do good in society. I am very interested in the new farm idea being proposed here for FASD young adults. I am hoping he can be part of that as it develops.