Friday, March 16, 2012

Getting stuck

It is so interesting to look at what Akila gets stuck on, what she perseverates on.  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, she has been stuck on a necklace for two days.  She will not be done with the necklace.

I think she will also be stuck on this scrapbooking junk (no offense to you scrapbookers out there, love what you do, just hate doing it myself) for awhile.  She also gets stuck on medical things, like last year when her endocrinologist mentioned that there might be a slight curvature in her spine and that our Pediatrician should check her for Scoliosis which is something girls with Turner Syndrome are at a high risk for having.  Well, I had to hear about that for months.

But the key, I have figured out, to what she gets stuck on, is if it is something she wants or likes.  This makes sense when you think about it.  When I have a trip pending (which is rare!), I think about it all the time as I am excited about it.  But I also have the filter to not talk about it non-stop and drive those around me nuts (I think at least).  I also have the impulse control to not smack people if I don't get to go on a trip or get what I want.  She does not, most of the time.

I have told her more than once in the past several weeks that she will soon be going to a different place to live, the balls are rolling and it should be happening soon.  We have talked about it, but 10 minutes later, it is out of her mind and she doesn't even seem to remember that it is going to happen.  The next time I bring it up, it is like she never knew, or didn't think it was true.

Now, this is something I would perseverate on, most neuro typical people would.  Being told at age 12, that you are going to have to go live in a group home or residential treatment center, would be enough to put most 12 year olds into a panic, effect their sleep, mood, and daily life.

This is just more proof of how damaged her brain is.  It is like when we were bringing her to the crisis home in September.  She was initially mad, but then asked if she would ride a different bus to school and we said yes, and then she was excited.  When we brought her into the crisis home, it was kind of like she was at camp, and she said goodbye with no drama.

Now, that doesn't mean she wasn't calling us begging to come home within a week, but that is because it was even harder to get her way.  Cupboards are locked, there is less freedom, etc.  It wasn't necessarily that she missed us.  When she would talk longingly about coming home, she would say things like I miss my room.  Not that she missed us.  I know she did, but she could not verbalize this like a neuro typical child would.

I believe strongly that the brain damage from prenatal alcohol exposure effects attachment, as does the feelings of loss that a child who was adopted has.  We got all of our children between 5-10 weeks of age.  Akila was the youngest, at 5 weeks old.  Our other 3 children are very attached to us and healthy.  But having the trauma in the womb of brain damage, has made attachment hard for Akila.  She is attached, yet not.  Hard to explain.

So, pray for us this weekend.  It will be a long one.  I am going to go to the thrift store and see if I can find a scrap book for cheap, and maybe we can work on it this weekend (eewww, makes my skin crawl thinking of doing something so crafty ;-), but I do know that it would be a nice thing for her to have to bring with her.


WendyLou said...

I have a whole closet full of scrapbook stuff that I won't use. Would it be at all helpful to you if I sent a few things for Akila? It wouldn't be there in time for your weekend, but you could pull it out whenever you're needing a new trick.

Carrie said...


Very insightful! And very true. Thank you for taking the time to articulate it. Every little bit of insight helps.

tracy said...

Barb, I agree with you. One of my sons has FASD and RAD, he also is very concerned about "things" and not at all concerned about family members. We are working on these things in therapy (he is in residential for now) but sadly attachment, due to the brain damage, seems insurmountable. It doesn't mean we are not trying, because my husband and I want to be attached to him...of course, that is why we adopted him!

Kelizah said...

I have a multitude of scrapbooking items from the multiple RTC and shelter placements that Lillie has had. she has never used not one thing of them.. If you ever want them, they are yours. Scrapbooks, in the minds of some of the mental health workers, are the miracle cure. Lillie doesn't really have the organizational or planning skills to scrapbook, but nonetheless,every placement she went to gave her a scrapbook. blech.