Elizabeth [Anne] Russell is the biological mother of two adult children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
In this book, Anne talks about the experiences she drank to forget: her young life in a dysfunctional and abusive family environment and her experiences as a teenager while travelling the world.
She takes readers through the experience of being a functional alcoholic and the travails of new sobriety. She describes her first encounter with Don, her partner of almost 45 years, and the challenging birth and childhood of her boys, Mick and Seth.
When medical practitioners in Australia would not discuss FASD as a possibility for their behaviour and illnesses, even with confirmed prenatal alcohol exposure, she took matters into her own hands. If there were no experts on FASD in Australia at the time, she would find them in other locations. Eventually, at a conference, she met one of the world’s experts in FASD who delivered the transformative diagnoses that gave rise to the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association.
Anne is currently Australia’s leading parent advocate, having worked for almost 20 years supporting caregivers, and raising awareness of this condition and the impact it has on family. As Australians became more aware of FASD as an issue to be understood and dealt with, she became a sought-after presenter nationally and internationally.
If you have a child with behavioural or learning difficulties, please read this book before seeking a diagnosis.
Dr James Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBBS, FRACP, B.Sc.
Paediatrician and Director, PATCHES Paediatrics
Head of FASD Research, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, WA