My mama says my ears are broken…they really are broken.

The human brain

Image via Wikipedia

It is so hard as a parent to deal with broken ear syndrome.  Really any child can be afflicted by this.  For some reason though it seems to be particularly endemic in children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).  For some reason the hearing just goes at times.  Especially when hearing something that does not go with the plan of the moment.  Baby J has this particular disorder quite often.  He struggles so much with me saying things that he just does not want to hear.  So he spends a lot of time saying “my mama says my ears are broken”.  He has told this to his bus driver and his teacher.  He tries so hard to fix them but he just cannot do it.  He says he has done his best but he just cannot get them unbroken.

See he tries to hear what we say and process it but due to the changes in his brain he can’t at times.  He wants to cooperate and some days yes I do say “oh my your ears are broken aren’t they.”  He is a loving little boy with the world’s greatest smile and one heck of a hug.  So while he is hard to parent some days with his very oppositional defiant (with a smile) personality I have to remember that he does have major brain changes and he really doesn’t totally ignore it all he just isn’t processing it all.  That is the biggest issue is the processing.  The ability to hear it and act on it.  So often the person with FASD can repeat what is expected and so everyone says “ah hah they know it so they just aren’t doing it.”  The fact is that the part of the brain that hears and repeats the information and the part of the brain that acts on it are different.  So the person may be able to hear and repeat but  not do.

FASD is a brain injury with behavioral symptoms.  The biggest issue is that we do not see the brain, we see the behaviors.  This can make it the hardest issue to deal with.  When people only see the behaviors they see it as a behavioral issue.  When it is behaviors we all start trying to “fix” them.  Well, we have to come at it from what can we redirect and help and what do we have to learn to accept?  Okay some behaviors are NOT acceptable.  That is why we work with ways to redirect behaviors so that hopefully we can help rewire the brain to not have these unacceptable behaviors.  I do want to leave you with this thought though…it is still a BRAIN INJURY.  The brain itself is changed and so we need to understand that just as if this was the result of a car accident there are changes that make certain tasks a bit harder (not necessarily impossible).  Depending on the level of damage will determine how much harder some tasks may be.  We do need to stop looking at everything as “bad behavior”.  I hope our ears are not broken too…


About fasmom

The adoptive mom to 12 wonderful children who are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and other issues including Reactive Attachment Disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, CP, epilepsy and oh the list goes on...The thing is these children have taught me things about myself I never knew and would not have missed out on learning. Married to an amazing man and enjoying life on a sheep ranch.
This entry was posted in Adoption, Childhood Mental Health Issues, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Foster Care, legal system, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to My mama says my ears are broken…they really are broken.

  1. Jeana says:

    Great post! Wish I could fix my dad’s ears, too, so he’d be more understanding of my daughter.

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