On a day that seemed to be going so well, I was stopped in my tracks with an email I received from another parent. Let me just say that Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the internet do not mix. I don't think they can ever mix safely. Our 13 year old with FAS had a facebook account for 14 minutes once. In that 14 minutes, he posted inappropriate lyrics to a song and I quickly deactivated his account. And you would think that might stop him. But that would underestimate his desire to be like everyone else. His younger brother has a facebook account and He found a way to chat along side his brother. In this chat, he proceeded to engage in what would certainly be called cyber bullying.
To see your own child be bullied is horrible. But to know that it is your child that has intimidated, harassed and belittled another child is so devastating...so discouraging. To watch the two boys deal with this very serious issue with us tonight, there were such striking differences in the way the neurotypical kid and the one with FAS are able to process all of this. The non-FAS child felt remorse, regret, shame, responsibility for the craziness of this behavior. But, our FAS son could not comprehend what he had done at all. He was stuck on what the other person had done and continued to lie in the face of evidence that he clearly said some very inappropriate things to someone he didn't even know!
The discouragement we felt when it was clear that he was not able to comprehend the seriousness of what he did and the reality that he will probably do these types of things over and over again hit us very hard. It is sad to have to face the reality that this boy who is a very gentle and kind young man could try to be cool by acting like he is tough and scary. The law is not going to listen to me when I tell them my son has a disability...the prisons are filled with our FAS kids. As fatalistic as it may seem, I think my reality will include lots of interaction with the court systems in the future with this child. That is so sad.
The internet and FAS don't mix. If my son gets his hands on a cell phone, there is always trouble. If he gets near the internet, there will be ramifications. He makes impulsive, bad choices. He so wants to have friends and he attempts to act cool the only way he knows how. I am scared for him but I am also sad that there are those who will get hurt by him. Tonight there is a young girl that is scared and upset after a terrible "chat" session with my son. That makes me sad.