Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Communication challenges

We constantly have communication challenges with Akila. Often, she will ask a question, and we will answer it. Sounds simple enough. But not when she doesn't like the answer. And I don't mean when we say no (although that is never received well). I mean when we don't understand the question so we give the wrong answer.

I will ask for clarification, trying to dig into the story to find out what she is actually asking, and this inflames her. She gets really mad. I stay calm, and keep explaining that I am not sure what she is asking. It does not go well. Probably about half of the time, after prodding, I can figure out what she is asking and give the correct answer. At this point, she is usually upset and I still need to calm her down. The other half of the time, I get called every name in the book and she gets quite upset.

I can't think of a good example, I need to start writing notes down when a situation happens. I do have a small example, not an extreme one.

On Monday, her PCA was sick, had some stomach issues with vomiting. Yesterday, Akila was asking me about this. Her question was, "How did Jen get sick?". I said, she was vomiting. She repeated her question agitated. I said that all I knew was she was vomiting, and maybe she had a headache and fever, but I didn't know. She repeated her question again. I finally realized she was asking me what caused Jen to be vomiting.

I said I did not know, that maybe she had a stomach virus. She then, with a really condescending voice, said, "Mom, only computers get viruses!". Duh. I laughed, and explained how humans had viruses before computers, and that the same name was given to computers when they were infected with something.

The literal mind of an FASD kid can be quite frustrating when trying to communicate. And once in awhile, thankfully, it can be cute. I like those moments and am thankful for them.

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