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Image  of human embryoBetter Safe Than Sorry: Preventing a Tragedy
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Message From Somone With FAS

My name is John Kellerman and I have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. My mom is writing this for me, because I have a hard time writing letters. Even though my IQ is high enough to make me ineligible for state services (IQ 70 = one point too high to qualify), I can hardly sign my name, and I have been practicing for many years to do that. I also have a hard time with math and money, so I can't even go to the store. I am 21 years old and I cannot drive, because I could not pass the driver's test.

I just graduated from high school, and now I am starting my life in the adult world. But because of my disability, I cannot function as an adult. Even though I have the expressive language skills of an adult, and the body of an adult, I have the emotional development of a child, the conscience of a child, the social skills of a child. If you look at the research, you will realize this is all part of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and that I cannot progress in those areas in spite of my Mom and teachers working with me for many years.

Because I have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, I need constant supervision. This is because the brain damage causes me to have trouble controlling my impulses and inhibitions. I also have short memory problems. With lack of impulse control and poor judgment, I get into trouble easily and often, unless my Mom is nearby. This makes me frustrated and angry. I am afraid that I might get arrested some day, because of my poor impulse control. I'm afraid of what is going to happen to me when my Mom is not around to watch out for me.

Please help raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, so that we can prevent other kids from going through what I go through, and to get more services for people like me.

Image of John Kellerman who has FAS.

Signature of John Kellerman

This project has been funded in part with Federal funds from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, under Contract No. N01AA02009 and with a grant from the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc.