The Birth Mother Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Kathy Mitchell of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – October 2014
The Birth Mother Perspective on FASD: An Interview with Kathy Mitchell of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) – October 2014
Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell, M.H.S., LCADC, is Vice President and International Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and a leading speaker and advocate on FASD and women and addictions. She is also the birth mother of a daughter, Karli, who was diagnosed with FAS in 1986. Karli, now an adult, has also become an active advocate on FASD and for other individuals and families impacted by these disorders. For this month’s Ask the Expert, Ms. Mitchell has been kind enough to provide her perspective on being the birth mother of a child with an FASD, and on her extensive work to increase awareness of FASD and increase and improve services for individuals with an FASD as well as for women who are dealing with addiction issues.
1. Can you give us some background on your daughter Karli: What were some of the difficulties and challenges that caused you to feel that there was a problem? How old was she when these challenges began to arise? And how difficult was the process of getting an accurate diagnosis?