Monday, May 21, 2018

The Up And Down Mood Cycle Of FASD

Joseph typically has several weeks/months where we can successfully loosen up on boundaries, he doesn't melt down as easily, and rages are few and far between. Then something changes (we have yet to figure out what) and he regresses socially, emotionally, cognitively. We have to keep a close eye on him, always think outside the box because one never knows what he will do, and deal with copious amounts of tears. Nothing is right in his world and everything is everyone else's fault. We hear a lot of, "You just want to make my life hard!"

He just came through his longest good stretch ever. We were seriously beginning to think that maybe home school was the answer to his over stimulation and mood swings. I know, don't laugh. You could say we are hard learner's, but I choose to think we are being optimistic.

This afternoon after his quiet time, I noticed he wasn't moving his shoulders or turning his head. I soon saw why. He had both side's of his neck scratched raw. There were spots with the skin literally scratched off. We have been battling his eczema again. Nothing, not lotion, medication, diet or prescription creams make a difference. His dermatologist, after trying everything, finally agreed that it must be stress induced. What is he stressed about? I have no idea, other than he is on the down side of his mood swings and at those times the neuron's in his brain become tangled and then anything is possible.

I cleaned his neck and put cream on, which made him furious. After he calmed down I told him he may ride bike. He rides in a circle at the top of our drive so I can keep an eye on him. I heard his voice getting higher and more shrill and was beginning to call him in, when he and Lia had a near collision. I finished what I was saying and he exploded, "It wasn't my fault she almost wrecked, I told her to go that way and she came this way instead and now you blame me and make me stay inside while she doesn't have any consequences!!!!" I tried to explain that the near wreck had nothing to do with him having to come inside, but his brain wasn't processing anything I said. I told him to sit on the sofa and read a book, but he came after me demanding to know why he has to come inside when Lia doesn't, cause it was all her fault. I explained that I didn't tell him to come inside as a consequence for the near wreck four more times before my brain kicked in and reminded me that it is pointless to talk. When Big Brother, hearing the insults being thrown my way, offered to intervene, I told him to just let Joseph go, when he is yelling insults it is the best to just let him blow off steam.

Joseph stayed in the family room and yelled at me while I was mixing up meatballs in the kitchen. Everything I suggested was a bad idea, so I ignored him. Eventually he calmed down and decided to read his book, although the huffs and sighs coming from that side of the house told me plenty. I know he still believes that I am being mean to him. This is what is so hard about FASD, their skewed perception and inability to realize that what their way of thinking isn't correct. 

To add insult to injury, this meltdown most likely took a toll on his meager coping ability, so we will have to implement even firmer boundaries for the remainder of the day which will make him even more furious. When he is in this mood, anything and everything is wrong. Nothing is his fault, no one likes him, and he is sure everyone just wants him to have a bad life. Sometimes I shudder when I think of the coming years. He is still smaller than me, I am not afraid of his strength...but for how long?

I am curious, does anyone else find that their child has good weeks/months, then have stretches where they have a much more difficult time coping with life?

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