I got a call from the Regional Center this afternoon.
Ms. D has been accepted!
I can't begin to tell you how much of a load has been lifted off me. It is really hard to get a child with FAS accepted in regional centers in California, even with a low IQ. Why? Because people with FAS seem so normal at first glance, with fairly good verbal abilities. Ms. D, even with a low IQ, is able to function fairly well with support. Fortunately, the psychologist at the regional center realized how much I have been supporting Ms. D and let me retake the functionality test with that in mind. I have been doing so much to be Ms. D's external brain for so long, I had to think about how she would function without my help. She needs reminders, she needs people to come alongside of her when she "freezes" and can't think, and she needs concrete, clear directions in a low stress environment to do most things. She is also pretty naive, impulsive, and has a simple, concrete way of relating to people. She is in danger of being victimized. FASD isn't something people grow out of, and she will always need some kind of support, either from her family, or from outside sources. http://www.nofas.org/living-with-fasd/
I fully plan to support her as long as I can, but I need to make preparations in case she goes back to the birth family or something happens to us. It also might be nice to have extra help in job training, housing, and other things like that. I'll find out in a week or so what is available for Ms. D. I want her to be as successful as possible.
In a way, I'm a bit saddened that Ms. D will need support when she is an adult. I think most parents want their kids to become independent and mature. It bothers me that Ms. D has a handicap that most others can't see, so they expect more than she can deliver. I worry about how she'll end up, whether she'll be safe, or if she'll make really stupid decisions. I sometimes get angry when I think that this all could have been avoided, had her birth mother not been an alcoholic. It's hard to see your child suffer.
On the other hand, I'm so happy that Ms. D will be able to get more help. I'm surprised that the psychologist at the regional center changed her mind. Most parents of kids with FASD that I know in California can't get the help they need for their children. Ms. D is not the usual regional center client, so I'm relieved that Ms. D was accepted.
This was a miracle! Happy Dance!