Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Dysmaturity - Extending The Toddler Years - Living With FASD

Dysmaturity means my children remain cognitive, emotional and social toddlers while their physical bodies continue to grow and mature. Their abstract thinking is still in toddler range while their verbal skills are several years ahead of their peers. 

This means my child is not safe in public because he will not stay with me, but he is too big to sit in the shopping cart while I am shopping like he would if he were a toddler. He is supposed to hold onto the cart but when something distracts him, he forgets and goes to investigate whatever has caught his attention. If he see's something he wants and I say no, he is likely to get grumpy, throw a fit and refuse to co operate and it isn't socially appropriate to physically pull your almost ten year old through the store. I have often wished I could scoop him up and carry him, although at 85 pounds that isn't possible. My daughter on the other hand will throw an all out screaming fit, which doesn't look much better! 

When we go to the library for instance, we review the rules before going inside: use indoor voices, stay with mom, no fighting. They know the rules but when they become upset, which they always seem to do, the rules are quickly forgotten. The answer seems simple, don't take them to the library. But they love books and they love reading, plus I like going to the library.

We still fill their plates at mealtime because judging how much they can eat is too abstract a concept for them. I didn't think about it until I watched a friends child fill her plate with appropriate amounts of food and it struck me that although older, my child hasn't mastered that skill.

We have to monitor our son's interaction with other people because he has no sense of what is acceptable or even what is appropriate. However we have been noticing that some people automatically speak to him on the level of his comprehension versus his verbal ability. Interestingly enough, when people talk to him like they would to a toddler, he can carry a conversation and doesn't become nearly as overstimulated. Lia on the other hand can carry on conversation correctly but she struggles with commands. They have to be given slowly, with few words and she does best if we give her several seconds to comply. 

Joseph would run through the house giggling and bouncing off furniture when excited if we wouldn't keep him by our side. While it looks out of place for a ten year old to do that, it is typical for a toddler. The biggest difference is that he has the height and muscles of a much older child and can cause damage that a toddler couldn't. Lia will do the same thing. She loves jumping on the sofa and doing flips on it. Again, typical for a toddler, not so much for a 6 year old.

Sometimes I get incredibly frustrated because I feel like I am constantly running after my children and cleaning up messes such as tubes of toothpaste squeezed into the sink, piles of thread pulled from clothing, broken toys, shredded papers, shampoo bottles emptied into the toilet and the like. But the reply I received from my last post entitled No Boundaries, put it all in perspective. This is dysmaturity, my children are toddlers only bigger, no wonder I feel like I have toddlers, I do!

I know I have shared this chart on other posts but I find I am forgetful and a reminder is always good.

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