Category Archives: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Articles about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be found here.

Don’t give up on me.

With those few words, “Don’t give up on me.” David ended our phone call tonight.

Dad, don’t give up on me.

I assure him each time that I won’t.  He is our son and will always be our son.  See today he admitted to assaulting his mom.  If he had been adult, he would have been guilty of a felony.

Look closely, this is not what people with developmental disabilities should go through

As it is, he is in a detention center where he has been since March 27th.  On Friday he will move to what is called a safe bed, which will allow him a bit more freedom, as well as a chance to get back on his medication.  (why the detention center for youth doesn’t give him his medications like they are prescribed is a fight for another day).  Then next Tuesday, he will be moving to a Youth Home in another city.

See.  For the longest time, we (his whole team) has referred to his condition as a mental illness.  And really, it’s more than that.

It’s a developmental disability.  His brain was harmed during development.  There is no “cure” for that.  There is maintenance and long term support. His condition is known as FASD  (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder)  it’s a condition visited upon him by his birth mom.  Because she chose to do drugs and drink while she was pregnant.  He went through withdrawals immediately after birth.

So with the upcoming placement we are hoping that he will get support.  That he will again stabilize and become the best version of himself that he can be.  He knows his brain is different.

Seeing him locked in the detention center has been difficult.  To have him in waist chains and handcuffs is very difficult to see.  This is not where he needs to be.  In truth, there isn’t really a place for the kids like him, kids who will grow into adulthood without a place in their world where they can be the best version of themselves.  Places that aren’t jail.

He needs ongoing support.  His executive functioning isn’t what the average person has, and he needs an external subconscious telling him to think about what he is doing.  To reconsider the actions he is undertaking.  This is done with staff support.

Don’t give up on me.

It’s not free.  It’s not cheap.  But for his world, it will be infinitely better than being in jail.  In jail, he will be even more vulnerable to the influences of more “powerful forces and people” who would take advantage of him.  He desperately wants friends, even though he really doesn’t understand the concept.  The people he calls his friends are not good for him, and influence him to do things that are wrong.  Support staff can help with that.

I could see David being a video game tester.  He could be very successful at that, and he would never have to leave his house to do it.  Success for David will look very different from what his peers will experience.  And you know what?

That’s okay.  Nothing wrong with that.

So David.  I say this to you.

We won’t give up on you.  Don’t you give up on you either.

Compliance – Continued Medication Issues

Compliance – Continued Medication Issues We are in week two of David’s not getting his medication as prescribed.  Thus, he is out of compliance, though it appears to be a systems issue.  Today, I contacted the detention unit, asked to speak to the medical person, and was transferred to him. When I asked what the… Continue Reading

He is not a yo-yo

He is not a yo-yo. You know that right? Yesterday he was granted an extension on his stay in the facility.  This was done so that we could apply for therapeutic foster care. Today, I guess that we were denied, though I am not entirely sure.  What I do know is that I was told… Continue Reading

Second Guesses It’s been a long day, and while my body is tired, I can’t turn off my brain.  See, This is the second time in a month we have had David’s time in the facility extended.  While we both knew it was a possibility, I can’t help but feel that he is being let… Continue Reading

Less than 24 hours and a wake up

Less than 24 hours and a wake up from now, barring some intervention, David will be home. He will come home from a supported environment where he has constant supervision, consistent support, and success in school, to home. Home where we can’t recreate the level of support he has now. Where we will live on… Continue Reading

SMI and the Tragedy of Adulthood

SMI – Serious Mental Illness The National Survey on Drug Use and Health  (NSDUH), which defines SMI (Serious Mental Illness) as: A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders); Diagnosable currently or within the past year; Of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the 4th edition of the Diagnostic… Continue Reading

Playing with fire

I feel like we are playing with fire here.  Admittedly, David also likes to play with fire. David admitted to that too.  We had blamed another child for the small fires.  David claims that it was him that did the deed.  We have not had any of the fires during any of the periods when… Continue Reading

Risk Assessment – Hope, Dreams and Fear

What do you do when you need to balance the mental illness of one child against the wellness of a whole family? Do you allow the mentally ill and potentially very violent child to return home? Or do you push for another residential placement? Continue Reading

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Eval

David and I are traveling six hours tomorrow to get him evaluated for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.  This is a second opinion.  At 15, he likely will not be able to get any services for the diagnosis. But like I have said in the past, I don’t want anyone to say we haven’t tried to… Continue Reading

Five days in May

So, insurance has said we have five days.  That means on Friday he could be discharged. How frustrated am I? The safety of my family is of utmost importance.  That includes David. The social worker told me that this is what happens in acute care cases. I’d like them to define acute care. Tweet #fighting4answrs Continue Reading