I’ve never experienced school refusal before – that was for other people’s children, that was for parents who had no discipline or control over their kids – where their children dictate the rules, where there is a lack of boundaries…

But, no. School refusal is very different. I watched as our youngest son, who has always loved going to school, became a crumpled heap on the floor, crying and begging me not to make him go. A child who clung to his bedclothes like a toddler, trying to hide within the sheets. I told him he could stay at home that day. And TJ did the unthinkable – he simply sighed and went to sleep. TJ never sleeps – never – especially not when the sun is up. As I’ve learned, sleep is a big issue for children with FAS, their brains simply find it very difficult to shut down.

Read on | Four Relative Strangers