Ramona's Speech - FASDay 2003
I stand here today to speak on behalf of those of us who live with FASD.
You probably cannot tell that I suffer from a permanent disability…...by all appearances I look, what most people would consider to be, normal …….. I’ve even graduated from college.
Because of these things, it is hard for people to recognize that I have a disability from being exposed to alcohol before I was born.
I live with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
I am one of the lucky ones though, because the difficulties I live with are not as severe as they are for most individuals living with this disability.
For most of us, life is a daily struggle to understand a world that is complicated and often ignorant of the problems we face.
We often speak well……..hiding the fact that our comprehension is low.
Though we often use many words, we usually have difficulty understanding concepts…….linking information…….
and knowing when and how to use what we do know.
Difficulty solving problems…….remembering information……making good judgments……..as well as recognizing who is safe to be with and who isn’t, leave many of us vulnerable to being exploited and used.
Frequently many don’t even know themselves that they are living with FASD, so they spend their lives knowing that they ‘don’t fit in’ and yet never knowing why they have so much trouble.
Will we be able to manage living on our own? Most can’t without help……
Many have trouble understanding and following a budget.
They may not remember when, where, and how to pay a bill ….. or have enough money to pay it…
They may not recognize a dangerous situation and be able to avoid it, or know what to do to get out of it…
And even more basic….many of us don’t remember to eat….we don’t feel hunger …..
Will we recognize when we need to clean the house….do the laundry…..wash the dishes?
Did you know that many living with FASD even have difficulty recognizing when it is hot or cold outside?…… or in their home?
So you see, there is much more to living safely than just being able to speak well.......and those things affect our lives every single day.
But we can stop this from happening to more children. Please help us do that.
It hurts me and makes me angry that there is so much ignorance about FASD at all levels of society.
Help our community become more aware of the danger of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
Tell others about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder………and please, support a woman in her decision not to drink when she is pregnant. Thank you.
FAS Community Resource Center