Monday, February 18, 2013

How's YOUR day?? (FAS)

Yes, I get asked that from time to time.  And today, did not start off the best.  I'll be honest.  Irina went with the lady from vocational rehab today to go job hunting.  She does this every so often.  They assist her in finding a job in the community.  They currently have 80 clients.  Big need.  Not enough jobs.  But, Irina has skills and will hopefully find the right job soon enough.

So, I was without my assistant this morning and could feel the difference.  2 meltdowns before 11 o'clock!  I haven't dealt w/ meltdowns in a long, long time.  And I know these kids go through cycles.  I've lived w/ FAS long enough to know.  But really kids?  2 on the same day?  Geez.  One was because I asked the child to redraw the hawk onto a different sheet of paper.  You'd thought I'd ask him to move a boulder uphill.  The drama, the scene.  You get the picture.  Shortly after that one, I asked another child to get dressed.  Oh yes, get dressed.  That was the end of the world for them.  Sure enough.  This ended up in hold therapy.  Way to kick off the morning kids.  Now, I will say this.... had this happened a few years ago, this would have lasted much longer.  The whole redrawing thing, hardly any time to recover.  The getting dressed theatrics, well, that one took time but in total maybe 30 minutes when all was said and done.  Not bad b/c this one was over the top in drama.  I heard it all and it was even acted that they were unable to breath.  Yes, they were breathing just fine but trying to make themselves not breathe.  I made the child go outside w/ me on the steps.  Those w/ FASers remove them from where they are.  They need to reprocess their environment when they're "over the top."  Whisper to them.  Helps.  Say a sentence and then stop.  As parents, this was the hardest thing for me to try to do.  What saying one thing at a time does is allow them to process what is said as FASers tend to have  much, much slower processing times.  I'm writing all this b/c I know others go through the same things.  I know I rarely identify which child and yes, that is on purpose.

Anyhow, we got through all that and managed to do school work.  Irina came home and the rest of the day wasn't too bad either. 

Alright, I wrote this awhile back but figured I'd print it out anyway.  Others need to know not everyday in our FAS world is rosy.  What counts though is how it is handled and how we move on from there.  I do believe others can learn how to move on.  I would like to know if others may want a post about FAS.  If there is enough interest, what do you want to know?  Keep in mind, not a professional, just a parent to 7 of them w/ the disorder.  All affected a different way.   So, what would you like to know?  How we discipline?  How we raise them?  How we handle meltdowns?  How we travel w/ them?  Tell me.  I think a post on this may be a good idea but want to know if there may be interest first.  Thanks.


  1. Yes, please write on all of the above. Especially how to handle and reduce meltdowns,and how to deal with refusals--especially those having to do with schoolwork.


  2. No FAS here, but we use holding therapy as well in certain melt-down situations, especially when we are dealing with sensory overload. We have learned to speak in a low, calm voice and use very short, precise, literal sentences while the melt-down is in progress. Repeat them over and over periodically as our son works through it. We also use the trick of removing him from the environment where the melt-down started.

    Depending upon what caused the melt-down and what else is going on with our family at that time, we sometimes ignore the tantrum behavior and give no verbal or emotional response and no eye contact, so our little guy can learn that, for example, banging his head into a door to get his way is not going to get him any attention much less bring about the desired response from us. Usually he stops pretty quickly and moves on to something else when he realizes no one is even looking at his actions.

    It's really important to know your child well and be able to read each individual situation to offer the proper intervention.

  3. Have any of your children stimmed? My FASer (also ASD though...) flapps his hands at times of excitement or maybe over stimulation. Lately he is rubbing his head constantly, or more so moving his fingers through the front of his hair. This weekend he cried at the end of the day because his arms hurt. Any experience with that sort of thing? Thanks!

  4. Well, not really a FAS questio but just a question for you in general. I have 5 adopted from 2 different families. My question is, how do you deal with the siblings that don't get along? Do you keep them seperatedd & let them bond with ones they do "like" or do you make them spend time together? If one is really nasty to another, do you have them "praictice" being kind and using kind words or do you let it go and allow them to work it out on their own? Just curious. My 5 are all within 3 yrs of each other so there are a lot of hormones in the house. 15, 15, 16, 17 & 18. Thanks Steph! Can't wait to hear your answers! Ginger