I have borrowed a Facebook post and I have to give my opinion. Here's the post:
In the light of yesterday's horrible events I would like to point out a few observations about this child. Having taught children with emotional disturbance for 13 years, I can see there are several glaring issues that need to be pointed out.
This is an adopted child that has FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (https://www.mofas.org/…/fasd-and-the-criminal-justice-syst…/)
The shape of his head, the placement of his projecting ears, low bridge on his nose, low brow and diminished philtrum or cupids bow are glaring. This means that this child's brain was bathed in alcohol and typically other drugs during development. One common characteristic of these children is they have extreme difficulty controlling their emotions due to abnormal brain development: a deformed or absent corpus collosum.
He was under EXTREME STRESS. This child lost his adopted father a few years ago and recently lost his adopted mother in November 2017.
He was alone in the world at 19. He was living with a friend. This kid was extremely hurting and in need of help.
He needed to be heard and supported and he was further rejected by his school with expulsion the previous day (I am not blaming the school). I'm sure this was his educational history. He is not the devil or a demon even though his behaviors say otherwise.
Teachers, I know you are busy but please listen to your gut. He is in every school and possibly in your classroom. When you see a child like this, give him your time and listen to his story. Weep with him and show him you care even though he has been terrible to you. Call your bosses, scream for help! In spite of his horrible behavior, he needs you. He will go to any extreme to be heard. He wants others to know how bad he hurts so he hurts others. Do you hear him now?"
What I need to express for myself is that I do not like that the emphasis (in my opinion) of this author's post is on FASD and adoption.
Strike One: This is an adopted child that has FASD. So? Just because a child is adopted that doesn't mean they are going to grow up to be someone that will harm others. The child has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (yes it is the same as FAS) that ALSO doesn't mean they are going to grow up to be someone that will harm others.
The adoption of the child has absolutely no bearing on this child's actions.
The FASD may have some bearing as they may not have had enough training while growing up to learn to control their emotions (and yes, it can be done; if not perfectly, but then again no one is perfect when it comes to controlling their emotions.) and how to live in society, happily, and with the laws.
Not all people affected by FASD are carrying guns on their person just waiting to go on a rampage.
Strike Two: Losing his father a few years ago may indeed still be causing stress. Hell, it's been 15 years since my father passed away and there are still days that I am full of grief. But, again, I can't say that losing his father is the cause of what he did. It may have been a factor. It is more likely that losing his mother just a few months ago would play a bigger part in his behaviour.
Strike Three: I'll give the author this one. A child affected by FASD is rarely the same age mentally as they are chronologically. This child was 19 years old, but mentally he may have been several years younger. In my studies, and my living experience, it seems to be mental age is around half. So he may have been only 9 or 10 years old mentally. Definitely not old enough to be on his own in this world. My question is is did his parents provide any assistance for their child if anything should happen to them? I don't know.
Strike Four: The author got this one bang on! I am a living, breathing mother of 3 FASD children and I can tell you that there is definitely not enough support in our schools (I'm in Canada) to assist those who have diagnoses of FASD and other issues. In our personal experience, my family has an amazing school with administrators and teachers that truly love their students and will go above and beyond, but they still can only do so much.
I have a child that is being bullied. She can give it as well as she gets it, but she doesn't...often. She keeps herself together at school and then comes home and lets us have it! I can take it. Our school works with my family to let us know when things are going awry at school so we can be prepared for when she gets home.
The part I have an issue with is that even though my child will go and speak to someone about what is happening to her, other students, not the adults, will say she just didn't understand what was happening. Granted, there are times when I can look at her and say that to her, as she does it at home. But, then there are the times when other students know that she is not misunderstanding, and they still take the bully's side so they don't get in trouble with the bully. My child will stand up for others. Unfortunately, not often enough, and not enough given to her.
We talk to our kids about standing up for others when they see something wrong happening. We get the 'but so and so won't like me; or so and so will try to beat me up; or the other kids will call me a tattle tale; etc.' we do everything we can to explain that being scared of a label or a bully, it's not as bad as someone coming into your school and trying to kill and/or hurt everyone. Dealing with children with mental health issues is difficult, but you can't stop trying to get them to understand and how to act on it when it becomes necessary.
What I'm trying to say is, not every adopted child, not every child with FASD, not every adopted child WITH FASD is not going to turn out to be someone who goes on a rampage to get revenge or satisfy their feelings.
Parents, talk to your children. Teach them to respect every person they meet until it's no longer earned, to stand up for those who can't stand up for themselves, ignore the labels and speak out. Teach your children that if they see something going on to trust their gut and go talk to someone in authority. Do it privately so no one sees what they're doing if they're that scared of being picked on. But find a way to do it. They just could save lives.
I know this post won't go over well with some and possibly lots of people, but I live in a free country and my opinion is just as important as everyone else. Please leave your comments if you wish.
**I have removed the fb post author's name. I wasn't able to reach them.