Give a Two Minute Talk
Here’s Teresa Kellerman’s for 09.09.09
Teresa’s Two Minute Talk
(I was asked to share my personal story of raising a child with FAS, and I was limited to just two minutes!)
Hello, I am John’s Mom.
That’s how I am known across the US and around the world. You see, John is famous. Not because he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but because he allows his story to be told around the world, in order to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Disorders.
Thirty years ago, a baby was born to an alcoholic mother who did not have the gift of recovery. The baby suffered with birth defects and brain damage. The mother died.The baby came to me as a special needs foster child, one of many I cared for over the years. This baby soon became my own through adoption.
As an infant, John cried all the time, and could not be consoled. He didn’t want to be touched or cuddled, as if he rejected all love. But by the time he was two, he was a happy little guy – hyper, but happy.
Over the years, he has struggled with developmental delays and learning disorders. He had a heart defect that required open-heart surgery. This was traumatic for him and for me. But it was nothing compared to the day-to-day struggle he has with not being able to control his behavior.
John inherited alcoholism from his birth parents. To help him survive addiction, we maintain a drug free home, with no access to alcohol or other dangerous drugs.
John also needs help to survive his Fetal Alcohol disorder. His brain damage causes him to forget rules, to be impulsive, and to have poor judgment. So John requires close supervision at all times. This is has not been easy for me, and it is certainly not easy for John. But with understanding and acceptance, he trusts me to help him stay safe and healthy and happy
I am proud of John, and I am blessed to be his mother. And we are both blessed to be surrounded by loving friends here in Tucson and around the world through the Internet.
We are grateful for the support of the Division of Developmental Disabilities and are happy to share that support with other families through the Fetal Alcohol Resource Center.