In their own words: Living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Published 2019-01-27 04:00

Ontario sisters share stories about their struggles and successes

EDITOR’S NOTE: Skylar and Cassie More have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, or FASD.

FASD is a brain injury that can happen when an unborn baby is exposed to alcohol.

People with the disorder can have mental, physical and behavioural problems, including learning disabilities.

CBC Kids News asked the More sisters to share their life stories with us, in their own words.

Selfie shows five family members smiling into camera.

The More sisters share the same birth mother. They were adopted by Robert and Shelley More 12 years ago, alongside their brother, Jacob. (Skylar More)

Skylar, age 18:

I'm Sky and I am living with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

You can't see it and I can fool you for a bit, but once you get to know me, you will see it.

I got FASD because my birth mom drank alcohol when I was in her tummy.

I don't blame her, she just didn't know.

She was 16 years old and didn't really know my birth dad.

The Children's Aid Society took me and my younger sister from her when I was four.

I lived in a foster home before my mom and dad adopted me.

Girl smiles against forest backdrop.

Skylar More says it took years before doctors figured out she had FASD. (Shelley More)

School has always been hard.

I was tested in Grade 1 and in Grade 3 because I wasn't learning how to read and do math.

Eventually, my mom, dad and I went to the right doctors and we figured out I had FASD.

I changed schools and got involved with my local 4-H club.

Life is better now.

I graduated from high school last year and I have a part-time job with a boss who appreciates how hard I work.

I got my driver's licence after lots and lots of practice and I’ve gone to the Royal Fair the last three years showing my cows.

I am trying to get into college to learn how to work with animals.

Girl stands next to cow.

Skylar More shows off her prize-winning cow, Wendy, at the 2017 Toronto Royal Fair. (Shelley More)

Cassie, age 17:

Hi, I'm Cassie and like my sister, I am living with FASD.

It doesn't really bother me because I have always lived with it and that is not going to change.

I don't remember much from before I was adopted, other than being scared a lot.

I can read but it is hard.

I don't take the bus because the maps are too hard to figure out.

Girl smiles in forest setting.

Cassie More says she enjoys working at a local bakery in Smiths Falls, Ont. (Shelley More)

I am working in the local bakery and they are selling my creations now.

We are getting a special cash register so I can help [the owner] there as well.

I'm hoping to graduate from high school this year, but I'm not sure what I will do after that.

I might go to college for baking, but that would mean living by myself and that is scary to me.

I know I might be living with my mom and dad for a while, but I hope at some point to have my own family.

Some people tell me "I'm sorry" when they learn I am living with FASD, but I don't understand why they say that.

It does make things hard, but I have a good life.

About the Contributor

Skylar and Cassie More
Skylar and Cassie More
CBC Kids News Contributor
The More sisters, Skylar and Cassie, live in Smiths Falls, Ont., with their brother and adopted parents. They both have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which means school can be a challenge. But Skylar, 18, has graduated from high school, has a driver’s license, a part-time job and she’s a member of her local 4-H club. Cassie, 17, is also a member of her local 4-H club, sells her creations at a local bakery and hopes to graduate from high school this year.

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