A couple of weeks ago FASD made the cover of PEOPLE magazine. And boy did that create some conversations in our private Facebook Group. There were two camps: those that thought it was amazing that FASD made it to the cover of an international magazine – and those that were disappointed in the “sunshine and rainbows” slant the article seemed to take.
So I went straight to the source. Well, thanks to some help from another caregiver who knew them. Alicia and Josh Dougherty are parents to 10 children – six adopted (with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) and four biological children. Their journey was not, and is not sunshine and rainbows. In fact, their first adopted son started with extreme physical violence towards Alicia when she was pregnant. After receiving a diagnosis, Alicia wondered how she had not known.
When you get hit with that diagnosis you are so overwhelmed and washed over with, What does this look like for the rest of their life? What is going to happen? What do we do? How do we help? And you don’t know the answers at that current moment.
We talk about those early years, how they went from 2 to 12, as well as:
We get told all the time by friends and family that we’re too strict. It is what it is. This is my life and I know I’m doing what’s best for these kids, so you can do what you want to do and I am going to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Stories like these are good in helping awareness but can perpetuate a lot of misconceptions. Get the meds, food, and therapies right and it will work out. Certainly for some that is the story. Alicia and Josh were honest about how hard it is.
But in the end, a couple of hundred words printed out of a thousand spoken came across like if you don’t give up it will be fine. And then the judgement. But I wanted to go behind the story to find out the real story. I thank them for agreeing to let another stranger into their lives.
I think you will agree, you need to dig a little deeper to discover what is really going on. And the Dougherty Dozen is a story like so many of you live.
To read the article visit: People Magazine online
To register for The Caregiver Kickstart Workshop: CKS Workshop
Join our Facebook Group: FASD Caregiver Success Support Group