Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Consequences . . .

We are having a very difficult time with Dusitn. Dustin is our adopted child who has FASD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. Now, is where I could copy every post I have ever written about Dustin and his behavior issues because it is a constant struggle.

I read a post on Claudia's blog today and it made so much sense to me. You cannot parent a child with FASD the same way as you parent "typical" children. They simply don't "get" consequences. Kari, who has been a wonderful resource for me about FASD and what it will entail for us in the future, wrote something I find teribly helpful. Here it is . . .

Consequences rarely work with kids who have FASD. To make a consequence effective it means that :

1) they need to understand the connection between what they did and the consequence

2) they need to be able to generalize their learning (If I get a speeding ticket I learn from it and apply that knowledge every time I drive from that point on- but a person with FASD might only make the connection in the same car and on the same road as the one he was driving on when he got the ticket)

3) they need to be able to remember what they did, remember the consequence, remember how the consequence affected them, apply that knowledge to future behavior, etc...

FASD is permanent brain damage that often affects the frontal lobe of the brain (decision making, impulse control, understanding abstract thought and cause & effect, etc..)and several brain areas involved in memory- especially short term memory. Consequences do not fix brain damage.

This sums it up for me. I wish every teacher Dustin has would read this everyday before school. (I need to read it everyday as well) We are having problems with him not getting social cues from the other children. He hits, sticks his tongue out, scratches, and flips his middle finger at everyone who walks by. He crawls around on the floor acting like a dog. He refuses to follow directions and locks himself in the time out room and refuses to come out.

We need to remember : His brain is broken!

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