Monday, September 11, 2017

When Parenting Your Child With FASD Is Overwhelming - Living With FASD

If you haven't already liked Jeff Noble's FB page; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Forever With Jeff Noble, I urge you to do so. He shares inspiring, educational quotes about FASD. These quotes are often just the thing I need on any given day. 

Here is today's quote:
The intensity of Fetal Alcohol can be so overwhelming, caregivers often have to trick their, "Fight or Flight" response several times just to get through a day. Remember your not the only one who feels like this. "Like" if you agree, "Share" if you care.

How well I can relate! Parenting children with trauma, especially when they have FASD as well, is a daily lesson in patience and squashing ones own reactions to the drama.

On Saturday Dean put driveway sealer on a section of our drive. He put a broom along the bottom side as a visual reminder for the children not to ride their bikes on it. Joseph wanted to get past that spot and had an awesome meltdown because he didn't know how to do so. I told him to go through the grass and he started crying and screamed that he isn't allowed to drive through the grass, so what is he supposed to do?!? I felt my blood pressure rising because this was totally irrational. I forced myself to calm down and speak slowly and distinctly. Eventually I helped Joseph understand that he is allowed to ride his bike through the grass and there is nothing to be so upset about. I have no idea where he got the idea that he isn't allowed to ride through the grass, so I chalked it up to FASD brain.

A few minutes later he started up again. He was bashing his precious bike into the porch and yelling that we should get rid of the stupid old thing because it is just a piece of junk! I went out to investigate. Turns out he wiped out going around a turn to fast which made him cross. He wasn't back on his bike very long before Kobi walked in front of him and made him wreck again. I couldn't get through to him so I took his hand and we went for a walk. He was wailing and my blood pressure was rising again. The walk helped me but he was as angry as ever when we returned to the house. He wanted to get rid of Kobi and put his bike in the trash. 

When Joseph gets overwhelmed, over stimulated or over tired, look out! Everything and anything will go flying, including his words. I get so tired of it happening over and over again. When I hear him start up yet again, it is tempting to go into fight mode.

When your child has meltdown after meltdown over seemingly irrational happenings, (having several children who do this only compounds the problem) it is so tempting to join in their tantrums. Don't ask me how I know!

Sometimes it feels like all I do is defuse rages, go to great lengths to avoid meltdowns and talk little people off the ledge. It is essential to keep your cool because your child WILL regulate off of you. However no matter how essential it is, it is still incredibly hard to do. Jeff's post this morning was just what I needed. Somehow the reminder that I am not in this alone made all the difference.

So if your child is yelling, melting down or raging, I get it, you aren't alone!

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