We Can All Learn From This Mother’s Story of Daughter’s FAS

We Can All Learn From This Mother’s Story of Daughter’s FAS

Angela Markus

Karli Schrider lives at home with her mom and her stepdad. Her bedroom is decorated with dolls and purses, and she loves everything Hello Kitty. She loves all of the other things a little girl love, except Karli isn’t a little girl anymore. She is a 43-year-old woman who has fetal alcohol syndrome.

Karli has the developmental age of a first-grader and will never be able to live independently from her mother. Karli’s mother, Kathy Mitchell, had a tumultuous childhood growing up in Rockville, Maryland. At 16, she was pregnant with her second child and had already developed an addiction to alcohol. Soon, she would be addicted to heroin too, according to a report by the Washington Post.

Kathy did not realize her daughter was suffering from such a mentally debilitating condition until Karlie was a teenager. The mother says in the above clip that Karlie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a teenager. After seeing Karli struggle to keep up in high school and unable to tell the time, or ride a bike, Kathy brought her teenage daughter to Georgetown University Hospital. There, doctors would examine her and determine the cause of her learning impairments was FAS. The mother’s drinking habits caused lifelong brain damage to her daughter.

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Kathy, now 61, is the Vice President of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She is using her story to bring awareness to the effects of FAS and FASD, in an attempt to guide young mothers to make the best decisions for their unborn babies.



Fetal Alcohol Spectrum affects approximately 2 to 5 percent of children in the U.S. In cases like Karli’s, effects can include intellectual disabilities; emotional, behavioral, and neurological issues; vision, speech and language problems; and sometimes it can affect the growth of facial features.



Let her story be educational to all of us!

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