Alcohol exposure in utero causes permanent changes in the structure and function in the brain, down to the cellular level. Often, the only symptoms of these brain differences are seen in behavior. Even though these brain differences aren’t easily seen on the outside, FASD is considered a physical disability. The brain, after all, is part of our bodies!
To emphasize that everybody’s brain is different, we draw our brains! Drawing the brain, either as parent or caregiver, support person, person with an FASD, or as anyone else, helps us be more aware of our brains and how they work. It brings brain function into the forefront. Also, brains are like snowflakes: none are the same! Everybody’s brain is different. Everybody’s brain is “normal” for themselves. Everybody has strengths and weaknesses.
Jamie, age 12, but 10 when he drew this picture, from Pittsboro, NC. Has pFAS and is the inspiration for FAFASD!
Jamie is great at skateboarding, doing impressions of people, being thoughtful towards our neighbors, and rock climbing. He has tons of energy and loves the water. He’s an excellent swimmer and he loves to mow the lawn. He is great at Lego and he really likes to watch TV and go to the movies.
Jamie lives with his mom and dad and brother, 2 dogs and a bunch of chickens. He loves to spend time with his grandfather and his close friends. His biggest struggle is feeling frustrated when things are hard for him or other people get in his way.
If there’s one thing he’d like the world to know about living with FASD, it’s this:
It’s hard because I get in trouble a lot for things my brain tells me to do. Parts of my brain don’t work the way other people’s do. Part of my brain says yes and the other part says no.
#365brains, #everybrainisdifferent, #neurodiversity