This story from a victim of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is going viral—and it's a must-read for anyone who wonders about drinking through pregnancy.
Drinking during pregnancy is a controversial subject, to say the least. While we've definitely heard the argument that it's safe to drink in moderation (which isn't such an uncommon opinion; about 1 in 13 moms drink during pregnancy, after all), the evidence points to the notion that drinking while pregnant is just never worth it.
We're more convinced than ever after hearing Kathy and Karli Mitchell's story, which is so eye-opening, it's caused the term "fetal alcohol syndrome disorder" to trend on Facebook.
Kathy Mitchell drank while she was pregnant with her daughter. Now Kathy is a committed mother to Karli, whom she calls an "innocent child." Kathy and Karli live together in a home that also houses Karli's dolls and Hello Kitty paraphernalia. But here's the thing: in terms of age alone, Karli isn't a child. She's 43—but because of fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD), she has the developmental age of a first grader.
A Washington Post story details Karli's life with the disorder: She lacks the basic independence so many of us simply take for granted. According to the Post's story, Karli will forget to brush her teeth, can't predict dangerous behaviors and can only understand one rule at a time. FASD doesn't affect everyone the same way, but its repercussions can include impaired growth, intellectual disabilities, behavioral issues, issues with speech/language and more. According to the CDC, there is no cure.
Kathy has taken it upon herself to spread awareness of FASD by telling her story, which you can read in its entirety here and watch in the video below."I believe I would be a terrible person if I didn't do everything in my power to prevent this from happening to another child," she said.