My name is Audrey, and I was born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. It means that I have suffered neurological, cognitive and physical disabilities because of my mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy.
The diagnosis can be difficult since the disabilities I suffer from, such as hyperactivity, problems with speech and language, learning difficulties and physical abnormalities are non-specific and may be caused by other things. Growing up was hard, as I was often left feeling like an outsider in classes, a thing to be laughed at and whispered about.
My childhood struggles were compounded by the fact that I had trouble understanding and following directions, which meant I was often isolated in special needs classes. Bullying was a problem, as I often found myself being the butt of jokes, excluded from activities and constantly feeling less than my peers.
On top of all this, I had to face the reality of growing up with a disability. I was required to go through countless therapies, doctors’ appointments and medications that I had no control over. At times, I felt like I was the only one suffering from my condition, which only further isolated me.
Despite the difficulties I faced, I eventually found ways to manage my disabilities and make my life livable. Through hard work, dedication and the help of supportive people, I have been able to live my life to the fullest and get the most out of it.
Living with FAS has taught me to be resilient, understand my strengths and weaknesses, and always strive for acceptance and understanding. I am proud of who I am and I have found ways to use my experiences to become an advocate for individuals with disabilities.