Charlie was child number 3 for us. But he was actually our first in so many things. I have learned so much from Charlie. He came to live with us at 8. All of this was new to us and Charlie had 4 older sisters. He was my first son. We bonded pretty quickly and I learned what they mean when they say the love of a son. Charlie has always thought that I was something special. That I could do everything better than any other woman and he often voiced this to others much to my embarrassment. One Charlie quote was "My Mom could do that with a baby on her hip and a cigarette in her mouth." I said Charlie what are you talking about I have never smoked in my life and he says yeah I know but you could if you wanted too.
Charlie was the child that taught me about children from Trauma and fetal alcohol syndrome. We went through many years of miss diagnosis, grounding due to behaviors that he couldn't help, alternative school, others bullying him, my going to the school to take care of crisis. Many hours of therapy and many changes in medications. I failed Charlie in so many ways from my lack of knowledge and understanding. Charlie was finally accurately diagnosed at the age of 16 with fetal alcohol and Aspergers syndrome. That was a turning point in our lives.
This young man that they said would never be able to live on his own, now live in his own apartment, works a job, and does not need his Mom any more. However he would do anything I asked of him. He is able to make responsible decisions. I can say he is a true success story. He is kind, loving, hard working and a wonderful son. When I go to speak to other parents I always use Charlie as an inspiration to these parents of how these broken children can have a successful life.