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."
LittleGiantFudge.com and Palmer Bus Service make this column possible.
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 HeadlinesWJU Gala to Honor Four Esteemed AlumniROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University will honor four esteemed alumni who are excelling in their respective fields of endeavor at its annual Jessup Gala
California Fire Update Summary (8-28-15)California Fire Updates 2015: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Saturday from the Lake Tahoe region south through Mono County for high winds, increasing fire danger
Hacker Lab Jumpstarts Pursuit of Virtual RealityROCKLIN, CA--When three Sierra College students attended the July 24 Virtual Reality meet-up at Hacker Lab in Rocklin, they had no idea it would put them on the fast track
Sierra College Patrons to Meet September 8thRocklin, CA - The Patrons, a volunteer support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invite the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization
Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (8.28.15)Roseville, CA - Weekly crime report update digest summary for Roseville, August 28, 2015.
California Water Use Drops over 31 Percent in JulyDrought Watch: Despite continued hot conditions, Californians surpassed June's conservation rate and reduced water use by 31.3 percent during July, exceeding Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s 25 percent
California Fire Update Summary (8-27-15)California Fire Updates 2015:Over 9,000 firefighters are battling 16 active wildfires across California. Warmer weather over the past couple of days has hampered containment efforts
Roseville Optometry Business BurglarizedRoseville Police asking for the public's help identifying the two people in these surveillance pictures.
Teacher Arrested for Child Pornography DistributionA Nevada County teacher was arrested for distribution of child pornography. Ethan Lewis, 32, was booked into the Nevada County Jail after turning himself in.
Lake Tahoe: Labor Day Weekend Events and BeyondTahoe South's late-summer of festivals, music, homegrown food and fireworks will ride the hot August wave of indoor and outdoor adventures now through Labor Day
Roseville Ranked #51 for Female Entrepreneurs to Launch BusinessThe city of Roseville, CA was ranked #51 in a new report by data-science group GoodCall as one of the best cities in the U.S. for women entrepreneurs to launch their business.
Mentoring Success Story: Child Advocates of Placer CountyTwo years ago, 17-year-old Nicole had no drive in her life."I was really depressed, but my mom was good at finding resources for me," Nicole says
NEWS: In Case You Missed It