Please Just Don't Pee on my Pants

The trials, tribulations and successes of a teacher on her own journey towads independence.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FAS - as it is often referred to is a debilitating brain disability caused by the consumption of alcohol by the mother while the child is in the womb. This is a disability that is totally avoidable if the mother has much of any information and prenatal care at all. Unfortunately children with this disability are still being born today and the school systems are poorly prepared to meet the needs of these unique individuals. I don't know anything about a ton of topics, but this is just one topic that I know quite a bit about; via research, teaching, and playing second mommy to an FAS child.

Children with FAS often have uncontrollable impulses that those who are care givers must understand the child or individual has no control over them - thus they are impulses. Even if the child can articulate that something is wrong and what the consequences may be - the child will follow the impulse rather than the logic we try so hard to instill in them. Spankings don't work with these children as most of them feel NO pain; an in NONE AT ALL. Lectures don't work because they know the right answers but can't control the impulse when it arises.

So one of the most effective ways to manage the impulses they exhibit is to remove the stimulus they have in the environment. For instance if you have a FAS kid who is very much draw to fire (as they all are) - you would remove any fire making materials from their environment. That would mean hiding or not having available any matches, lighters, gas stove etc... If you have a child with FAS who is very sexually inquisitive, which they are all, you would make sure that any computers at home have password protection and/or child filters on them - you wouldn't wake up surprised at what your 10 year old was looking at when it was 4 in the morning.

My point with this little piece of writing is that so much of what the child does is not his/her fault - it is brain disability... they need medication, constant care, understanding parents and teachers... and teachers who are willing to step out of the box - so to Jacob's teachers - I say quit being lazy, implement some or many of the suggestions I have made to you and I will guarantee you that you will see a huge change in his behavior for the positive. These kids are worth the extra effort and they matter too.


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