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My Holiday Wish as a Person With Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

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This holiday season, I have one favor to ask: please don’t drink if you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.

I’m 26 years old and I have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, along with autism and other physical and mental health conditions.

My IQ is lower and I struggle in many areas because my mother made a choice long before I could protect myself to drink alcohol and do drugs while I was still in the womb, defenseless. I may never catch up to my peers, and I have heart disease and and early kidney disease because of that choice that was made long before I was born.

During the holidays a lot of people celebrate by drinking an alcoholic beverage or two, and I don’t want to take that choice away from you, but I’m strongly begging you to reconsider. If you are pregnant, it only takes one drink to cause fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Not everyone who drinks during pregnancy gives the fetus a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, but why take the chance?

This holiday, please think before you drink if you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant. Please think about your child. Please remember me and the countless others who were defenseless in the womb.

My life is good. I have excellent resources available to me, and my biological mother is forgiven and loved. But my hope is that education and understanding of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders reduces the amount of cases being diagnosed.

Thank you for your time. Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.

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Getty image by Art Folio Photo.

Originally published: December 21, 2017
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