Friday, September 7, 2012

T-minus 2 days

My lofty goal of writing a post a day hit the wall of reality: kids, meals, school, laundry, spouse, groceries.   I may have been slowed down, but I’m not done writing yet…there are 2 more days until Sept 9th.

Here’s FACT # 4

FASD causes underlying changes in brain structure and function resulting in primary and secondary behavioral changes. 

Following are a few of the behaviors FASD causes:

  • A person with FASD often acts first and is then able to see the problem after the fact. 
Effect on child:  Doing the action - - throwing, hitting, peeing pants, lying, touch/grab things -- triggers their memory that it was an inappropriate action/behavior.

  • A person with FASD often has memory impairment.
Effect on child: They are forgetful & needs frequent reminders.

  • A person with FASD often has difficulty learning from past experiences - repeats the same mistake over and over again in spite of increased punishment.
Effect on child: They often do not even understand the punishment and rarely makes the connection between the violation and the consequence.

  • A person with FASD often has difficulty with abstract concepts.
Effect on child: They do not visualize anything.

  • A person with FASD often has difficulty understanding safety vs. danger, friend vs. stranger, or distinguishing fantasy from reality.
Effect on child:  They will believe anything & walk away with anyone who is kind to them.

  •  A person with FASD often has difficulty forming links and associations, often unable to apply a learned rule in a new setting.
Effect on child: Understands no throwing on the playground; doesn’t apply it to the classroom.

  • A person with FASD often repeats rules verbatim, then fails to apply the rules.
Effect on child: They can tell you what’s expected, they just can’t apply what’s expected, especially when over-stimulated and excited.

  •  A person with FASD is often prone to confabulation and lying. Lying is to deliver a false statement to another person which the speaking person knows is not the whole truth, intentionally. In psychology, confabulation is the spontaneous narrative report of events that never happened.
Effect on child:  They will blend actual events with imagination and/or stories heard without understanding the ramifications of their confabulation. Other times, they will boldface lie just as a 4-year old child would.

  • A person with FASD may talk excessively, yet is unable to engage in a meaningful exchange.
Effect on child:  They may be unable to express emotions and will most often laugh while being disciplined - - they are not being disrespectful, they are frustrated and unable to express it.

  •  A person with FASD often has the inability to do more than one task at a time.
Effect on child:   Choose reading, playing, coloring, going to the bathroom, or eating.

Did you just read that entire list?  If so, thanks for tracking with me.

Now read it again. Slowly.

Imagine that all of those primary behaviors were going on in your brain. All at once.

Imagine how frustrated and confused and overwhelmed you would feel. All the time.

Imagine there being no medication to slow down any of these affects. None.

Imagine these behaviors lasting your entire life.

Welcome to the devastation caused by FASD. Welcome to the world of my child and thousands like him.  Now do you begin to understand why I am so passionate about educating everyone about the dangers of drinking any alcohol while pregnant?

Help spread the word and prevent another child from ever living with this disability! Please take the time to pass this blog post on to at least 1 of your friends, link it back to your blog, share it on Facebook, or tweet it on Twitter.

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