Families Affected By FASD Hope For Increased Awareness, Treatments

Extract from article by Kate Thayer, Chicago Tribune/TNS | March 6, 2018

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Six-year-old Macy runs throughout her Naperville home, toting her plush Hatchimal toy. In her basement playroom, she dangles from the monkey bar rings her dad affixed to the ceiling and then turns to her art supplies. Minutes later, she’s dressing in costumes — first a parrot, then a veterinarian.

When she was a toddler, Macy’s nickname was “the energizer bunny,” said her mom, Erica Okrzesik, because “she was always on the go.”

Today, Macy, whom the Okrzesiks adopted as an infant, seems like a typical, lively first-grader. But she has what her parents call an “invisible” affliction. Last year, Macy was diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD, which she acquired after her birth mother drank alcohol during pregnancy, Okrzesik said.

“We were just in utter shock and disbelief,” she said. “It’s hellish. It’s really difficult. It’s just an ugly disease.”

The Okrzesiks say there are few services available to them, despite the disability’s potential to severely impair those who have it.

Read the article on Disability Scoop website: https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2018/03/06/families-fasd-hope-awareness/24811/

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