Letter to the Criminal Justice System Professional

Dear Andrea,

Placement of this child in a special FAS program may not be possible and 
may not even be advisable.  Often, resources can be found close to home by
using  available, perhaps a close relative or friend who can be a mentor to
the boy, or a special needs group home where he can have close supervision.

Kids with FAS may appear to be much higher functioning than they actually
are.  Be sure to look at this page to see how low his social skills and
living skills probably are (lower than you'd think) in relation to his age
and apparent verbal skills, which are probably high:

Remember, his emotional developmental level is probably about half is age.
My son who is 21 has high verbal skills and appears to be quite capable and
intelligent, but tests show that his functional abilities are somewhere
between a 4 year old and a 9 year old.  This was revealed by using a test
called the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales.  More info here:
http://www.come-over.to/fastext/Vinelandtest.txt  Ask for this as a
necessary part of his psychological evaluation.  This is a must for
offenders with FAS and FAE.

Here is an explanation of the neurological dysfunction of FAS/FAE - Static

I hope you are familiar with this site.  Look for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
under Articles by Subject: http://www.crime-times.org/  There are 15 good
articles here.

Over half of young offenders suffer from FAS.  Here is an article that
shows the seriousness and cost of this social problem:

Understanding the neurodevelopmental disorder of FAS:

Understanding FAS and helping those who are making decisions for this young
man to understand his disability will increase the chances of his getting
the kind of support he needs to stay out of trouble.  As the local expert on
FAS, it is my personal opinion, based on all the research I have read, that
the ONLY successful strategy is CLOSE SUPERVISION 24/7.  Here are my seven
secrets to success for individuals with FAS in the court system:

Here's my John's story in the news  (never been in trouble with the law):
Here's another John's story with a not-so-happy ending (life in prison for

To contact someone knowledgeable in your area, you might call the Family
Empowerment Network (FEN) in Madision, WI, as they offer support information
around the country:

This little brown booklet is a must.  Order a few and place them in the
hands of the decision makers BEFORE they make any decisions for this boy:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects: Strategies for Professionals
by Diane Malbin, from Hazelden, (800)328-9000.  Order it here:

Remember, these kids have trouble learning from the consequences of their
actions.  Even when they KNOW what's right and wrong and can tell you the
rules and what happens when they break the rules.  An explanation of their
faulty moral development is here:

I'm sorry if this seems like a lot to print out and read.  But this make
make all the difference for this boy's future.  Please take what you read
seriously and share it with the judge and probation officers and lawyers.

I am happy to try to help out with this young man.  I hope that if my son is
ever in trouble, there will be someone like you there to research info and
advocate in his best interest.

Teresa Kellerman
FAS Community Resource Center
Tucson, AZ