by Lori Brown
April 16, 2002

Did anyone watch Dateline tonight? They had three court cases-all mothers trying to get their kids back. The first one was a 15 year old chronic runaway with a newborn with FAS. I'll give nine to one odds that she was FAE, herself. The judge gave her another chance to prove herself and she ended up stealing her foster mother's car and took off with the baby. They're now in the process of terminating her parental rights.

Then there was a mother, obviously low IQ and with some pretty obvious FASD features and her 12 year old son-who couldn't have looked more like he had FASD. The kid was constantly in treatment for violent and sexually deviant behavior. Mother wasn't able to deal with it, or get the parenting skills she needed. They're now in the process of terminating her rights, as well.

The last was a crack addict who'd already lost several kids to the system. The judge pretty much told her that this was her last chance. If she didn't get straight and work it out, she'd lose her last baby. Believe it or not, she actually did get sober and stay sober and was able to get her baby back. Of course, time will tell if she can continue to maintain it. Neither mother, nor baby had any FASD features, I noticed.

What irritated the bejeebers out of me was that the only mention of FAS was of the first baby, who was diagnosed right after birth. The rest of the story, no mention was made of why the mothers were unable to learn to parent or why the 12 year old was so out of control. When is this stupid country going to realize that there is a steadily growing minority of brain damaged people out there??!! When are we going to do something about it? When are we going to make it a law that every preteen is taught exactly what FASD is and how it is prevented? When are we going to take notice of a terrible tragedy that makes the AIDS epidemic look small? What the H**L is wrong with us??!! ARGH!!!

Sorry, had to vent a bit...

-- Lori Brown

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