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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.
I had to work really hard in school and graduated from public high school. 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.”
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.
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.
RECOGNITIONince I learned about having FASD, I have worked hard to try and make a difference and let people
“I had more labels than a pickle jar.” This is what Hunter Sargent said when being asked about his disease. Sargent has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. His mother drank while pregnant and then left him to fend for himself unless his grandmother wanted to take care of him. So she did and encouraged him for the rest of her life.