Have you heard the phrase, nothing about us without us? Many self-advocates use the phrase to remind us that we need to keep people with experience in the conversations. We’ve had quite a few individuals with FASD on the Show, and I thought a great way to wrap up FASD Month was to hear from someone who openly shares her experience with many caregivers to help them understand their kids.
Heather Vickers received her diagnosis seven years ago, at age 44. She has been married since 2005, has a stepson with Autism, and is a cat mom and self-advocate.
I move in the world as a 15-year-old for a lot of things. I am 51 chronologically but 15 on the inside. My husband really guides me. Even though I can drive and make my own appointments, I rely on him for a lot of stuff.
In this episode, Heather candidly shares the difficulties she experienced before a diagnosis as a child and young adult trying to find her way, as well as what life is like now and her support system. We also discuss:
You have to understand and learn. If we could do it any other way, we would. Don’t get mad. You’ve no idea what we are going through on the inside. I want people to like me. To love me.
We end the interview with Heather providing some great insight and her thoughts on strategies to help your loved ones. She also lets us in on her biggest fears and what she hopes caregivers can learn from her experience.
It isn’t easy to talk about deficits, but Heather works hard to overcome hers and help others. She shows us that despite everything, it is possible to repair relationships, and once you know your strengths, you can lean on those to create a successful life for yourself.
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