Back to school after the Christmas Break. I hate changes in schedule. They are so very hard for the child who has Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). Breaks in routine are what can always set off so many behaviors. I know it takes about the whole Christmas break to convince doodlebug that he is not missing school and I am not making him stay home sick. Then when it is back to school it is the whole fuss of getting him back into the swing of getting up and getting ready. He is not the only one who struggles with this but he is sometimes the most vocal. With 10 still at home trying to get everyone on the same page about vacation can feel a bit stressful at times but I do so enjoy the times at home with them. This Christmas was hard with the youngest in the hospital but the kids did enjoy their Christmas day and Grandpa bringing us a chinese food feast. I hope that everyone else got to have as wonderful of a day with their families as I did.
Transitioning is truly the key to helping the person who has FASD to deal with changes. I know that we make lots of calendars that help to show the kids visually what to expect. We do stories about it ahead of time and we make sure to reinforce daily what is going to be happening. I know that even with all of this change is hard. However, the more prepared the child is the better they are able to deal with this. THe hardest things is when the change is unexpected…let’s face it we cannot plan for everything. There is no way to preplan it all. So what to do when something crops up? Talk about it. Help the child talk through some of their anxiety and realize that they are having it. Don’t flip over the fact that there are going to be behaviors. Try to help reason through some of them. We often react to the behaviors but don’t always try to look at what could be done to help to work through them. The last thing is we are all human…we will all have times where we don’t react well. So then we need to be able to just say so. I am honest enough with my kids to say “Mommy didn’t handle that well.” Then we talk about it. How we all struggle at times and we all make mistakes. These are all teachable moments for us all. I know I learn EVERY day from my kids. They have taught me more about life than I ever dreamed of learning or knowing.