Signing with A Heavy Hand and Heart, Love Mommy
Words from Ms. Torres: “I take my FAS and turn it in to a teaching tool to help others learn what I go through every day of my life.” “If one person listens to what I have to say, then I have done my job. This is what I was born to do. I have won many awards for my work. The awards I’ve won have been great, but my biggest award is knowing that my message is being delivered and knowing that I might be helping so many people and unborn babies. . If I can prevent one more child from this awful syndrome I will be happy. My ultimate goal is to get the word out there that FAS is 100% preventable. I want everyone to know about the effects of alcohol on the fetus. My advice, my plea, is that you PLEASE, PLEASE do not drink while you are pregnant, even if you plan on giving your baby up for adoption. Let your baby fulfil his or her dreams and live a normal life. For all the fathers to be, you play an important role in this too. You must be encouraging and supportive. Staying away from alcohol yourself would be helpful.” What others are saying: Thank you for sending your book to me. I read it all, and I wanted to cry. What a wonderful sacrifice you and your family took on. It is wonderful what you have done and how Chanel has grown and turned out to be a wonderful young lady. You are certainly a very special person blessed by God from the beginning. I love you very much. Aunt Gloria “Ms. Torres is a true light in a world that needs more education on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and its effects on unborn children. She has opened doors that will never be shut. She has just begun to educate the nation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.” Deborah Thornton, SEDNET Project Mangement “Ms. Torres is the epitome of self-advocacy and embodies strength, resilience, and determination. She is courageous and tireless in her quest to educate others regarding FAS; and is compassionate and determined in her mission to empower and advocate for other young adults with disabilities.” Barbara Shannon, School Psychologist Last night, I received a copy of Signing with a heavy hand and heart, Love Mommy: A journey through fetal alcohol syndrome by Mrs Sondra A Torres and Miss Chanel E Torres from Ms. Torres. I opened it and couldn't put it down until I was finished. This story of a young woman living with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome (a birth defect that is 100% preventable-all pregnant women need to do is not drink when pregnant) is moving, sometimes funny and always inspirational. I quickly grew to care about Chanel and her adoptive family. Ms. Torres creates a vivid picture of what it is like to live with and care for children with special needs. In relatively few words, Torres brings her family to life-its struggles and its joys. The feelings of love and joy are powerfully conveyed while not minimizing the challenges presented in raising a child with FAS. As a teacher and parent I laughed and cried and wished I could meet this brave girl and her loving mother. Torres is compassionate towards all, including birth parents, but my heart breaks for the children who struggle with this disability. It is a daily battle for which there are some effective interventions but no cures. I will say that Ms. Torres left me more hopeful for these children than my experience as a teacher had-her powerful home environment is definitely a plus for Chanel."
Chanel Torres is availalbe for speaking engagements
- Sondra Torres, June 2013
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