Warrior Mother Takes on FASD

Kathy Mitchel, spokesperson for NOFAS and her daughter, Karli.

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Birth Mom, Warrior Mom, Karli’s Mom Kathy Mitchell – Thank you!

Mom’s who drink while pregnant need Hope. Kathy is the sword of truth that cuts through the darkness.

Shared by Jodee Kulp

Kathy Mitchel, spokesperson for NOFAS and her daughter, Karli.
Kathy Mitchell, spokesperson for NOFAS and her daughter, Karli.

I met Kathy Mitchell at the FASD Teen Adult Camp in Michigan in 2004. This incredible camp had been designed and developed by the incredible Wrybrecht family—Barb, Ted and Rob, and a team of Michigan professionals and families. Their son, Rob, was the first infant diagnosed with FAS in the United States. Barb was a nurse and active in the international FASD community. Kathy and I were campers, along with Deb Evensen, Teresa Kellerman, and Ann Yurcek.

I had arrived alone, so it was a relaxing couple of days enjoying time with caregivers and professionals, teens, and young adults. Evening campfires were a calming time. That is, is unless you put Kathy Mitchell with Jodee Kulp to become the party girls in a skit to prevent fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. We were on it with full expression, and we acted our roles well. Claps and laughs and hoots, and an, “Oh, you must have been something as teenagers,” from Dr. Ed Riley followed. Kathy puts her ALL into whatever she does and it shows. So do I.

Kathleen Tavenner Mitchell is currently the Vice President and International Spokesperson for the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and a noted speaker on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and Women and Addictions. She has authored several published papers and chapters about FASD, the NOFAS-FASD Certification curriculum for addictions professionals (F-CAP), Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; a Guidebook for Parents and Caregivers, and co-authored Making a Difference: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Public Awareness Guide. She served as an FASD expert and advised the writers of NBC’s Law and Order; Special Victims Unit to create an episode about FASD: “Choices.”  She provides live media interviews and has been featured on NBC’s Later Today Show, NBC’s Real Life, BBC Radio, The Washington Post, PA Today and Glamour Magazine. She has testified to the United States House of Representatives.


Kathy is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

“Kathy Mitchell’s story of recovery is the most powerful story of recovery I have ever heard,” says Deb Evensen. “She walks her talk.”


Most importantly she is the mother of Karli, and is transparent in being a birth mother with a history of alcoholism. Kathy conceptualized and facilitates an international birth mother mentorship program:

Her truth is the truth of many women and she shares her story below.
I call her brave. 

Kathy Mitchell Tells Her Story

Recovering Hope – Part 1 – Mothers & Children on FASD

Published by jodeekulp

Jodee Kulp, is an award-winning author, producer and advocate who works tirelessly to serve children and families of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Her behavioral work in understanding canine fear and applying it to helping adults gain life skills is momumental and parallels our work with EAGALA Equine Therapy. It will be exciting to watch this progress. - Chris Troutt, Papillion Center Current Projects include: LiveAbilities Red Shoes Rock. Stop FASD PawZup Life Stories

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