Betty, Ted and Adopted Son
Betty and her husband, Ted, are in their 70s and live in Lubbock. Ted is a pastor. They have a 41-year-old son who has been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD). The Dotts adopted their son when he was 13 days old and were unaware of his condition until he was diagnosed at age 31.
Their son has a normal IQ; however, he suffers frontal lobe damage that primarily affects his judgment. He was diagnosed as having a learning disability as a child with symptoms including dyslexia, disgraphia (deficiency in the ability to write but not due to intellectual impairment), and dyscalculia (difficulty in visual processing and severe mathematical problems). These symptoms are typical for persons diagnosed with FAS.
He has been in and out of the judicial system and lacks the ability to understand the consequences of his behavior. He became addicted to drugs and alcohol when he went to college. This further impaired his judgment and ability to follow through with his life’s goals and expectations.
“There are no services (specifically) available for kids and adults who have FASD,” Betty said. “They basically fall through the cracks and often end up in jail. The average lifetime cost of caring for a person with FASD is $3 million each to manage health problems, special education, psychotherapy and counseling, welfare, crime and the justice system.” Betty says the biggest problem was getting him diagnosed. For moms who have children with FAS, there is an enormous stigma to this diagnosis.