A Mother of Teens With FASD Speaks Out

This is one of many letters that I receive from parents of teens with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. This mother gave permission to publish her letter. Names have been changed to protect the identify of the children. Remember, I get many, many letters like this. --Teresa

March 18, 2002

Hi Teresa,

It’s taken me a while to answer. This is ongoing, and has been difficult to even think about let alone write. You are one of the people I think will understand, so here goes.

I’ve had lots of trouble with Maggie and Jimmy. Maggie has taught Jimmy some of her old tricks. She should receive an award for her ability to sneak without being caught. She’s probably the only person on earth who could find Osama.

I found my 20 year old Jimmy with a 15 year old girl in his room about 3 weeks ago. Goth, blue hair, suicidal, into self mutilation, drugs, and I guess Jimmy thought he could “help” her. I would have let her come over for videos or music for a visit, but he didn’t ever ask, even though I told him it was OK. He met her online in a forum. Far as I know, nothing happened. Then there’s Maggie.....

A 30 year old drug dealer (Frank), came up to her while she was on her jobsite, (she ALWAYS has an aide while on the jobsite to provide one on one supervision), but the aide (who has since been fired, and Maggie has been pulled from her jobsite), was in back on personal phone calls. Frank gave Maggie his number and she called him. He’s has been sneaking into my house at least 4 nights a week from the middle of January, until I found out a week ago. Maggie gave him my credit cards and he withdrew over $2,200.00. He shared his drugs – cocaine – oxycontin – and pot, with her, while having sex with her. Frank offered the drugs to Jimmy, who said no, thank God for his bit of autism! Frank knew Maggie was disabled. He even told her he was wanted by the troopers for parole violation. He gave the blue haired girl rides over here several times...

All of the above happened at night, while I was upstairs working or with my son who has Cerebral Palsy who was in his wheelchair getting fed by his IV pump feeding tube. We have a large multi-level house, and you cannot see or hear the front door or the bedrooms which are on the lower levels. Maggie had not done this since 1998 and I honestly thought she was getting better. After all, the “professionals” had told me I had to give her more freedom. So I did, and this is what happened, happens every time I give her more freedom because I am told to by the “professionals”. Know what? She can move in with the “professionals”, and then if they are still alive after she does this to them, I wonder how they’ll feel about “giving her more freedoms”.

This time, this was a really bad man. He had an “all points bulletin” out for his arrest on a felony parole violation, and the troopers had been looking for him for a long time. The troopers arrested him 3 nights ago. He’ll be in jail for a very long time I’m told. I don’t know if they’ll be able to charge him for what he did to Maggie or us, because once again, for the FIFTH time, she was “consensual”. I am SOOO tired of feeling violated in my own home. Several times he was in her room across the hall while I was in bed or getting ready for bed. He was here when my baby granddaughter and grandson were staying with me. I just thank God it wasn’t any worse than it was.

Maggie will NEVER learn that her impulsive choices bring disastrous consequences. There can be no “freedoms” like the professionals say she must have, or this entire family will wind up murdered. So now I have put even more money into our security system and the phone system, and I got my dad’s old M1 carbine he gave me before he died, and I have it by my bed. If course can’t keep it loaded, or one of them could get it and use it on us. So keep the clip hidden.

I’ve got 2 choices, I can either keep my children here with me and love them and keep them safe from themselves at great expense to me and my other kids, or I can turn them out to state run homes where they WILL NOT be watched and will wind up dead or in jail. Great choices – huh? I’m on the Board of directors of the agency which provides services for my kids and I know that FAS/E kids wind up that way with the care and understanding the system provides. Jimmy and Maggie are wonderful kids, good hearted, fun, sweet, innocent. Why can’t this state realize that they CANNOT handle the freedoms most other people of their ages can? They cannot and will never be able to make informed behavioral choices. I am so tired of being persecuted because I want my children to lead happy lives and stay out of jail or dead in a gutter. They are happy, until given these opportunities caused by the professionals. They aren’t happy now, because now, they feel guilty because they know they did “something” wrong. Of course they will not be able to access this information the next time they have this same type of choice thrown at them, and they WILL do it again, as long as they have the opportunity.

Nancy, Maggie’s older sister, wanted to take Maggie to Disneyland with her and her son Devon for spring break. We had decided to let her go up until we found out about the money Maggie stole. Nancy decided not to take her because the chance was very real that Maggie would have made arrangements through email, to sneak out in the middle of the night with her money, or worse. Nancy and Devon left 2 days ago and Maggie is very non-reactive to it, which makes me nervous.



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