I am a slow learner. Every training I have attended, and all the books I have been reading on FASD, say the same thing. Do everything you can to avoid the rage situations, because once they have started, it is usually impossible to stop them. Every once in awhile, I can get Akila distracted, but usually it is impossible to stop her anger. I have recently figured out that one of her "triggers" is that she gets frustrated when she can't find something. I guess this happens to me as well. I actually had our Christmas cards done by Halloween (scary, I know- and very unlike me). I cleaned my kitchen in early November and put them somewhere. When I was ready to address them, I could not find them for the life of me. After 2 days of tearing the house apart, I finally discovered them, right in front of my nose. Anyway, back to Akila. She seems to misplace something a minimum of five times a day and comes to me for help. I remember doing the same thing to my mom. "Mom, have you seen my purple corduroys (I had 7 pair of purple pants in junior high)?", "Mom, have you seen my Chuck Taylor peach high tops(yes, the ones I wore to prom)?" My mom's replies would always be something like, "I didn't wear your pants, I didn't use your racket", etc. I have said the same things to my children. I don't say this to Akila.
I usually try to help her walk through in her mind where it could be. "Where did you last use it?" "What rooms were you in with it?", etc. This usually frustrates her as she just wants me to walk around the house and look for it. I usually don't want to do this as I am in the middle of something. I almost always end up having to do this though, and this is after her frustration hits a high level and some name calling and other yucky behaviors have been exhibited. Why don't I just take the 3-5 minutes immediately and walk around with her and help her find it?? It would be so much easier. This is why I think I am a slow learner.
Yesterday, Christmas day, we were at Dan and Tara's house (Michael's brother). Akila couldn't find her teddy bear- I tried suggesting where to look, which set her off!!!!! Basically, from this point on, she was a pill the rest of the day. Quick to anger and full of attitude. Her first instinct lately is to call people names like "dumb head", "big head" or "stupid head". I have been reading Ross Greene's book the Explosive Child the last few days. He says that swearing is what some kids use when they are frustrated and can't find the right words, it is like a dogs bark. When you step on a dog's tail, they either bark, bite or run away as they don't have the language to describe to you why they are mad. The damage to Akila's frontal lobe makes it very difficult for her to verbalize her anger, and this combined with her lack of impulse control, result in her explosions. I only dread the day when I am no longer called a "dumb head", but something much less tasteful.
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