We don’t mean to lie, says someone living with FASD

To the Editor:

The news is spreading that there is no safe amount of alcohol for a woman to consume when pregnant.  With that being said, there are still many prenatally exposed to alcohol.

The effects to those exposed? They are lifelong, and many have negative outcomes.

Many of those who suffer with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [which is a brain-based disability caused by alcohol exposure in utero] don’t learn from their consequences, and they keep repeating the same sequence of events, over and over.

Please understand it is not that those with an FASD want to break rules and get in trouble with law enforcement. It is because many of those affected by FASDs do not understand cause and effect.

They have no idea of the negative outcomes of situations until they are staring them in the face.  Impulsivity is at the top of FASD characteristics. Lying is also a common theme among some with FASDs.

Speaking as someone living with an FASD: We don’t mean to lie. We forget a sequence of events, and just fill up the gaps with whatever others tell us to say.

How many people with FASD over 12 have been charged with a crime? The answer is 60 percent. That percentage is scary.

The trouble is, while our close family and friends, and even our educators may understand us and how to handle our shortcomings, much of society does not. Society is still learning about FASDs and what they are, how one becomes diagnosed. The many implications of those with an FASD are so diverse, yet many have similar lifestyles.

Rebecca Tillou


Editor’s note: See related story.

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