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My name is Liz Kulp and I was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) as a young teen. From the beginning of knowing what was making my life hard and that this is was 100% preventable I wanted to do something about it. No person should have to live with this difficult disability. For the past 13 years I have worked hard to know what my challenges are and understand my strengths. I told my mom that we needed to write “The Best I Can Be Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” when I was 13 and we did.
Because I was having such a hard time in school, Mom pulled me out of school when I was ten to homeschool me. Mom was not an easy teacher, but she was FUN! I had to work really hard in homeschool and my parents designed a brain training program to help me learn more easily. Then in high school I went back, passed all my basic standard testing and graduated from public high school.
Mom kept notes and charts all through my homeschool time and what we learned is published in Our FAScinating Journey: Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury and some is included on the web to help families and teachers.
My adoptive family has helped me since I was a baby. I am not angry at my birth mother, from everything I understand about her she probably had FASD too and it was not well known in 1986 when I was born. I am sad to say it is STILL NOT WELL KNOWN! I love speaking to professional groups, parents, schools, churches and at conferences. I am passionate about getting the 049 – Zero Alcohol for Nine Month message out. My speaking is honest, from the heart and hopeful to change our next generation.
When I transitioned into my adult life I fell into alcoholism very very quickly- total addiction took one whole week! That struggle out took me on a journey I share in my second award winning book we have at FASD Book Store. Braided Cord – Tough Times In and Out is more than just a memory of my years of transition, it is also a guide to help teens and parents talk about the ‘real truth’! “I’ve used my tragedies to give ideas and hope to young adults, adults and families who love people with FASD.”
I am really excited about my newest project - Paws Up for Fun. It will be a series of 1 minute - fun with your dog videos that not only helps out your fur friend and lets you have fun, it also build brain connections. Life - Laugh - Learn with Liz!
For a person who faces the challenges I have everyday, getting and keeping a job can be really difficult. A job gives us purposeful living and that is cool, but there are other ways to find purpose when no one seems to want you. I find it in faith and helping others. Right now I am working on PAWS UP FOR FUN and brain training summer program for kids and their dogs, of course adults can have fun with us too!
Oh, and I just launched Braided Cord Website for adults to share OUR BEST IDEAS This is where all our CHANGE AGENTS can go public to make a difference for the next generation!
Liz is also a member of the new MOFAS Young Adult Panel, a group affected by FASD who are sharing their experiences and ideas with families and professionals at presentations throughout the year.Liz co-hosts a Chat each First Thursday at www.MOFAS.org to help teens and their parents navigate through tough times.
This is from my latest book The Braided Cord, Tough Times In and Out. I was excited to win a 2011 Gold Mom’s Choice for Life Challenges and 2012 USA Best Books for Health Addictions and Recovery.
If I can quit drinking—THERE IS HOPE for many more people.
I was born an addict and ever since I was tiny I have overdone, overlooked or overwhelmed myself. I was born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, otherwise known as FASD. That means my mom drank while I was trying to grow in her stomach and because of her drinking some of my parts got mixed up and didn't grow too well. My differences are hidden and that's a real pain, because it is easy to judge a person by what you see.
Yes, that is what it is often for me.
My mom's drinking ripped away who I was to be and helped create who I am today and what I am able to be. If she had known how it would change my life I bet she would have made a different choice.
I am just one of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are affected each year by alcohol consumption before breathing your first breath of air. For those of you who were not pickled before birth, who believe you are wiser than I am, I ask you to take my thoughts and use your brains to make a difference.
LITTLE BOOK REVIEW - Thanks Jane!This book is fantastic! It explains Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and gives the reader understanding and tools to use to work with people who have FASD and also how to love and accept them and appreciate them as they are. I have an adopted son with FASD and when I first realized he had this I was very discouraged because all I had heard about FASD was so negative. I didn't know if I would be successful being the mom he needed me to be. This book gave me such insight. It also showed me that some of what I have dealt with with my son is normal and it is okay. It is a book that celebrates life in all its forms -- even the challenging form FASD creates. Thank you to Liz and Jodee Kulp for sharing their life with us. - Jane Henrichs, Blunt, South Dakota.
RECOGNITIONSince I learned about having FASD, I have worked hard to try and make a difference and let people know that THIS IS REAL STUFF. If you are interested in some of the things I have been recognized for go to my recognition page.