LOCAL NEWS

Family Finds Support From Others Impacted By Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Jul 8, 2019, 7:03 PM
Julie and Brad Winterton live with their adopted son, Chase, in North Ogden. They started a support...
Julie and Brad Winterton live with their adopted son, Chase, in North Ogden. They started a support group parents of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

NORTH OGDEN, Utah – A North Ogden family has created a community for their son and other children with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Chase Winterton, age 11, has fetal alcohol syndrome. The condition is irreversible and can cause life-long challenges. When his parents moved to North Ogden and couldn’t find a community of support, they made one.

When he swims, it appears effortless. For much of his life, Chase Winterton has been swimming upstream. His mom, Julie Winterton, keeps a tall stack of his medical records. They are extensive.

She and her husband, Brad Winterton, first met Chase when he was a toddler, in a NICU.

“We were a year short of becoming an empty nester,” Winterton says. “He crawled over and sat in my husband’s lap and my husband said, ‘This is my son.’ That was the end of it. He was ours.”

They adopted Chase, knowing he had medical challenges. Months later, on a shopping trip, he had a melt-down.

“(He was) screaming at the top of his lungs, grabbing my hands, digging his nails into them,” she says. “Very out of control.”

They learned he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS. It causes brain damage, and for kids with FAS, affects executive function which controls behavior and judgement.

“Our kids lean toward shame and self-destructive behaviors,” Winterton says. “The pain, self-, and then you see the child just broken, really broken.”

Chase Winterton said that sometimes friendships are hard for him.

“Sometimes, you can get in fights,” he says. “I got hurt bad.”

When Chase and his family moved to Utah three years ago, they had trouble finding resources.

“We hit a wall,” Winterton says. “We just found ourselves very out there, and alone.”

According to the Utah Department of Health, at least 1500 babies are exposed to alcohol during the third trimester each year in the state. In reality, the number is probably much, much higher.

Al Romeo runs the MotherToBaby Utah program, a pregnancy risk line at the Utah Department of Health. He says the FAS support groups for parents in Utah disbanded years ago, leaving a void.

“The parents really do feel alone, (thinking,) ‘I’m the only one going through this. My child is the only one going through this,’” he says

Winterton started a group for parents like them on Facebook. It’s called Parents Driving Change UTFASD Support Group.

They began meeting in person regularly.

“We share days when our kids have been really destructive and we’re distraught and we feel very isolated and alone, and we share our successes,” she says.

It’s become a community for Chase, who says many people don’t know how hard it is living with FAS.

“It’s not easy,” he says.

The group is also a resource for other families like them, to help educate others about the challenges their kids face.

“Families learn a lot from each other and learn how to work the system, the school system and the healthcare system, the social support system,” Romeo says.

The group meets every three months, and communicates daily on social media.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A photo of the U.S. Magnesium refinery in Tooele County on Jan. 27, 2017. The plumes from the plant...
Carter Williams, KSL.com and Adam Small, KSL NewsRadio

What’s behind northern Utah’s ‘brown clouds’? New study pinpoints a major source

A magnesium plant located near the Great Salt Lake is a major producer of chemical elements behind the "dense winter brown clouds" that sometimes hang over Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah's northern half in the winter, a new federal study determines.
10 hours ago
(Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)...
Tamara Vaifanua

Tips to start building an emergency fund

Could you cover the cost of an unexpected emergency today? If not -- you're not alone. More than half of Americans say they'd have to go into debt to pay for an unplanned bill of $1,000 or more.
10 hours ago
(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Two injured after explosion in Lehi house

Firefighters are investigating after an explosion at a home in Lehi left two people with minor injuries.
10 hours ago
Americans are using their credit cards more often as the economy opens....
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: The key to saving money on your credit card bills

More Utahns are carrying debt, but the thing is – many of those folks have no idea how much interest they are paying on their debt.
1 day ago
...
Matt Rascon

Man chases teens after shots fired at Taylorsville High

As parents and neighbors reacted to gunshots heard from the Taylorsville High parking lot, one man ran towards the school.
1 day ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Tragedy to triumph: how a Utah family is honoring their son

The heartwarming way a Utah family is honoring the life of their son while helping others.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Family Finds Support From Others Impacted By Fetal Alcohol Syndrome