What if I had never known?

Posted: March 24, 2013 in 2013, Raising Hearts, What if I had never known?



I mean if we had not adopted two children with FASD, we would never have understood this. We would not know that it existed. We probably would not really even care.  There are tons of medical syndromes that effect lots of people and I haven’t researched those. I am too busy with my own life for one and secondly, I don’t have a need to know. But yet, the parents that have a child that is effected by another medical syndrome, surely want understanding for their child.

It occurs to me tonight that as much as I want this world to know about FASD, and understand it, most are not going to. They have no need to, if it doesn’t touch their life, or they don’t want to listen. It takes energy to listen and learn about something.  So why am I feeling so bursting at the seams with the need to educate our world about FASD?  Most are not even listening.

Ok, so I truly wish that more doctors understood.  They need to. Kids are suffering today and not getting the services that they need. But once again, the doctor isn’t seeing the need. They are not given this education in medical school and they are oblivious to it.

Teachers? OMG!  Teachers need to understand FASD.  They don’t. OR shall I say, most don’t.  How many kids today in school have FASD and are interpreted as problem children whose parents do not discipline etc., OR they don’t want to learn, they are lazy.  They can’t shut up in class. They won’t listen to the teacher, so teacher cuts out some more of their privileges in an effort to gain some control over their behavior.

Teachers are frustrated with these kids. It is a huge struggle to teach them. If they only knew. If they only understood FASD.

Teenagers?  Having sex, partying, living life on the edge. Just barely out of child hood themselves about to get pregnant and have babies.

Wow, how many teens give birth to a child each year with FASD because they had NO CLUE how dangerous it was to party while pregnant?

Estimations right now are really high on how many children each year are effected by alcohol in the womb. We can’t afford to keep ignoring this world!  One day we will all wake up and everyone left will be effected.  Wow that might sound shocking, but this is spreading like wildfire.

Alcohol is a legal drug that so many people use, and even one drink during pregnancy can harm a child. We really cannot afford to keep ignoring this.

Is there an alarm I can sound out somewhere?  Won’t anyone please put a commercial on TV about the dangers of drinking and pregnancy?

Could there possibly be a reality show about it?  How about educating our teachers and doctors in their colleges? I don’t just mean teaching them that there is fetal alcohol syndrome and it can be spotted by wide set eyes, small heads etc. NO!  Only a fraction of our kids show facial features of FASD.  The rest have the invisible disability, the brain injury.

Those of us who have children with FASD KNOW THE IMPORTANCE of education!  There is alot to it. Even understanding it from a learned point of view cannot possibly prepare a person to deal with it in full.  Those of us who have lived it, we know it. We breath it. We sleep it. We so understand what has happened to our children.

We have all had to learn how to parent differently.  Teachers need to know how to educate differently.  Teens need to have more understanding of the danger in drinking while pregnant, then telling them the simple words that it can be dangerous.  Their children are born, cute little babies and everyone thinks all is well.  They might not know for years how their child has been effected and because they are often too immature to think about a child’s future, it is hard for them to have empathy about FASD in their child. Most often they are trying to manage to grow up some, finish school and now they are pregnant.  How easy it is to go out and party some and take their minds off the stress of all that they are going through. We can’t give them FASD kids to take home for a weekend. I can’t imagine how to recreate that.  There are some materials out there that will speak about brain damage but our teens think that they are invincible and it won’t happen to them.

 Also how do we expect them to get enough understanding of this danger when most of the world is ignoring that it exists anyway?

It seems so fruitless and like such a huge mountain to move.

YET, I know that I am not alone. I know that there are many of you out there that are with me. Many of you will speak to anyone who will listen. Many of you are talking to your doctors, teachers, teens and more.

 I am here to encourage you, don’t stop!  Please don’t stop!  If we all stopped, we will eventually be that crisis I stated earlier. The crippled will be trying to help the crippled.

 We cannot let that happen. Something that is so big already, has to get out.  Our jails are over crowded and a large percentage of people in jail are brain injured.  Brain injuries account for a large problem, impulse control, knowing right from wrong, understanding owner ship and managing anger.

  All of these things lead to crimes. People with FASD don’t always have good support systems. Some of them have parents who have it too. It is so easy for us to just write them all off, but God doesn’t. They matter.

So this is why I can’t stop talking about FASD. I will talk about it any chance I can get. If I can ignite just one fire under one person, maybe they will talk to a doctor, teacher, a teen. Maybe that doctor, teacher or teen will talk to one of the same. Maybe people will eventually hear.

 I am your alarm. The fire has started. It is spreading.  You are going to be over come with smoke if you don’t listen.  Drinking in pregnancy is extremely dangerous.  It can take so much from a person’s life. It cripples them. 

  Those that are already crippled with a brain injury? They need someone to understand them. They need parents who can learn how to help them, how to parent differently. They need teachers that can help them learn. They need doctors and services to help them through this life.

 We dare not shut up. We need to keep trying to find an ear that will hear.

Lord open the ears of those that need to hear about this. Those that need to stop what they are doing and put that drink down. Those that need to learn how to parent or teach differently, so that all those who suffer with FASD can have a chance.

Thank you Lord. So glad that YOU are listening.

Terry Quinn


PS.  I am about to start a series on raising kids with FASD, or how to parent differently.  I plan to share what I have learned raising my kids. It may not work for every individual, as we are all different, but so many of the same issues are common with FASD. I would like to address them in many different writings. For example, impulse control, Lying, stealing, memory problems, arguing or ODD. etc. I will be writing on each of these individually. I hope it helps some struggling parents.  If you want to make sure you get these, subscribe to my blog and it will come in your email. 

  1. mrbeansmom says:

    Awesome job, Terry! Thank you for speaking for those of us who are simply not able to, but live the life…

  2. Alva says:

    Thank you for the peptalk Terry I’m going to speak to my daughters gynecologist and all the nurses there when We go for the next appointment. also when I look at all these anti-tobacco anti-smoking ads we have on TV here in Florida it’s just crazy we need some similar TV promotions for about drinking during pregnancy, wouldnt that be great?

  3. An excellent article. Yes, it is almost impossible to get the word out. Some people don’t need to know, others don’t want to know. Gov. Gregoire did a PSA on Fetal Alcohol Syndrom. None of the TV networks would air it for fear of distressing the liquor industry. So we fight with information overload, apathy and an industry that seeks to hide the truth.

  4. Angie Magliozzi says:

    Terry, you said it all, and said it well. Bless you and all the parents of FASD children, and bless those that really want to hear and learn about it.

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