Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneers –
Dr. Ann Streissguth – Thank you!
Ann’s work has blossomed,
her seeds have scattered around the globe to
help persons grow while living with FASD.
The FASD worldwide community is eternally grateful to
Ann Streissguth: mother, research scientist, monarch,
gentle spirit, honored woman.
Ann Streissguth’s gardening began when she married Dan, her beloved in 1968. Together, along with their son, Ben, they have cleared jungles of horsetail, wild blackberry, boggy muck and overgrown trees. They have carefully designed, planted, weeded and irrigated to create the Streissguth Gardens.
Ann and Dan’s Garden is also a reflection of Dr. Ann Streissguth’s professional life as a tenacious scientist and researcher into the lives of individuals with FASD. As a researcher, Dr. Streissguth cleared jungles of misunderstanding, created paths of new knowledge, and walked through dark murky water in thunderstorms of adversity to connect the dots of the realities of FASD.
Jodee Kulp states, “I met Ann, just before she retired. I was accompanied by my teen daughter and was impressed with how easily she related to the young people. There was no pretense of superiority or intellect, she met them on equal ground as a peer. I said to myself that day, that is the key.”
It’s been over 45 years since Ann Streissguth evaluated eight children born to alcoholic mothers at the request of her colleagues in the Department of Pediatrics, David Smith and Kenneth Jones.
“I still remember being just absolutely stunned by the damage these kids showed.” Ann said, “I’d been evaluating kids for years–kids who had been born into poverty, kids with physical disabilities, normal kids–but this kind of damage was more organic. I went back and said: ‘Do you really think this damage is from alcohol? Surely there must be something in the literature.’ And then I conducted a painstaking literature search, in the days before computers were used, and came up with nothing.”
— Ann Streissguth
In 1973, pediatricians Jones, Smith and Christy Ulleland, along with Streissguth, published the first widely circulated paper identifying fetal alcohol syndrome and linking it to alcohol abuse by women during pregnancy. It was, then a medical resident, Christy Ulleland who had noticed and questioned her colleagues if this was an undiscovered syndrome.
For the rest of her career, Streissguth pursued understanding the problem: conducting research, trying to find effective means of prevention, and campaigning for better understanding and services for people affected by the condition.
Dr. Streissguth’s work was significant in the healthy growth in the garden in understanding and developing strategies for persons with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
Ann’s books are available at Amazon
Dan has created an extensive Web site about Streissguth Gardens:
It includes the history of the garden, photographs and a searchable database of plants it contains.
TOMORROW YOU WILL SEE HOW
LANDSCAPE OF FASD
WITH JOCIE DEVRIES