Teen with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Becomes Advocate
After my infant and toddler years in Mt. Orab, Ohio, I grew up reading the Georgetown (Oh.) News Democrat. This week, I feature a person from Mt. Orab that reads this column in the News Democrat. Life can be one big circle, can't it?
In a telephone interview, Kelly McKinney said, "I had our home qualified both as a foster and adoptive home before picking Kiah up from the hospital when she was a day old. I knew I wanted to adopt a baby and it took a year for us to get her adopted."
Everything went well until Kelly began noticing Kiah falling behind on all her developmental milestones, including crawling, walking, and talking. Doctors figured it out when Kiah was nine. "When I first heard the diagnosis (of fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS), I was pretty devastated," said Kelly. "Learning the diagnosis did give us a reason why (she had fallen behind in her milestones). But the diagnosis was so permanent."
Kelly homeschooled her adopted daughter because "Kiah wouldn't have been able to function" in public school and likely would have been bullied or teased. Now age 14, Kiah can do only second-grade math. She reads very well, but her comprehension rate due to FAS remains at second-grade level, too.
Kelly said, "Kiah is very trusting. It would be easy for a stranger take her money or come into her home. Kiah wouldn't think twice about it. She thinks everyone is her friend. She has no concept of money right now. And as for her being a young woman, I have other concerns for her."
Kelly said Kiah will always need an "external" brain, someone to pay her bills, and she probably won't be able to drive or hold a full-time job.
With mom's endorsement, Kiah has become an advocate for her own cause. Kelly then put Kiah on the telephone with me, and Kiah said, "I just want to get the word out to women not to drink alcohol when pregnant. I've gotten the word out here at the library and Kroger's (a grocery store). I talk to people in the aisles. I say I have FAS and they ask me what that is. I say that's when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol and it (permanently) affects the baby's brain. I say my birth mother drank alcohol while she was pregnant with me."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesBella Vista HS Wins Sacramento County Academic DecathlonSacramento, CA- Bella Vista High School, from the San Juan Unified School District, is the winner of the 2017 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon competition
Topgolf in Roseville to host WJU Fundraiser in AprilRoseville, CA - The Jessup Athletic Association will host the inaugural TopSwing event - a fun gathering, providing golf, games, food, beverages, prizes and awards - on Sunday, April 23
Roseville Bucks for Bikes Application DeadlineRoseville, CA- Apply for an opportunity to receive up to $200 toward a new commuter bike. Bucks for Bikes helps commuters
Mom Turns Caregiving Into CareerSo taken up by their moving story, I'm devoting the next two weeks to Joe and Tish Griffin, 21-year-old son and 60-year-old mother
PCWA affirms opposition to weaken Prop 218AUBURN, Calif. - At its February 16 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors expressed opposition to any legislative effort to weaken Proposition 218
Rocklin Music Artist Quinn Hedges New AlbumLocal Rocklin music artist Quinn Hedges will unveil his latest album in spectacular fashion. He and several collaborators created a dozen captivating videos
Roseville Gas Price Declines Coming to an End?Roseville, CA- Declining gas prices in Roseville may be coming to an end as experts continue to anticipate a rise in fuel prices nationwide heading into the warmer months
Bill would provide independent oversight of Mental Health ServicesROSEVILLE - This week Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Roseville) introduced a bill to assure that the $2 billion allocated each year from Proposition 63
Roseville to host Junior Singles ChampionshipsRoseville, CA - Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville is set to host annual Junior Singles Championships Feb. 18 - 20.
Kidney Transplants: UC Davis Leads NationSACRAMENTO, Calif.) - UC Davis physicians gave lifesaving kidney transplants to more than 400 people in 2016, making it the highest-volume kidney transplant program in the nation.
Kid-O-Rama Festival Returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Olympic Valley, Calif. - The 8th annual Kid-O-Rama extravaganza returns to Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows this President's Day weekend from February 18-25.
Dementia Support Group in Grass ValleyCascades of Grass Valley, a senior living community located at 415 Sierra College Drive in Grass Valley, will be hosting a monthly support group for family and caregivers
NEWS: In Case You Missed It