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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

An Adoptive Child with Brain Damage

fas12Big brain damage we can spot a mile away, but slight brain damage… it’s a tricky thing. You might think that your adopted child is being difficult. And she is. But it might not be her fault entirely.

Such is life with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Unless a child is severely affected and you’ve made the major life adjustments to deal with that, the less severe cases could be even more infuriating.

What does it look like, and how would I know the signs of FAS if found in a milder form?540076210502952160c166 Hard to say, because any one of the symptoms, if taken by itself, could describe virtually any child. But here are a few:

fact21. Extreme talkativeness. Chatter that never stops almost to the point of being obsessive-compulsive.  Inane chatter.  Insane chatter.   The inability to stay on one conversational path. While this might describe any 9-year-old girl, when it never goes away….

2. Zoning out. Sure it could be ADHD, but this is distractability to the nth c3dc09880b57a8e610859792cf85237ddegree. Lack of focus. Someone walks into the room, there’s a sound outside the room, they become lost in their own daydreams… repeatedly….

3. The inability to respond. Slowness in reading or talking, as though constantly hitting the “pause” button. Makes you think they could never come up with an idea of their own. The usual answer to any question: “I have no idea” or “Dunno”….

4. Forgetfulness. Might be notebooks, schoolwork, chores, brushing the teeth, washing hands before meals, anything. Whether it’s been done 10 or 10,000 times, the repetition does little to reinforce the necessity of the activity. The child simply cannot remember….

SGMTVTM_1095. The failure to link cause and effect. Risky behaviors. Doing the wrong things, and even dangerous things, when they should know better. The lying about such things, whether pulling the cat’s tail, or skipping school, they try to convince you that the exact opposite happened, even when the evidence is staring you straight in the face….

These are just a few of the many possible faces of brain damage. While some might argue that tweens and teens exhibit brain damage on a daily basis, this is an almost non-stop form of the above behaviors.

It never ceases, except for brief intermissions. It never rests. It eats up your time, energy, and emotions. But you can make it through, particularly if you remind yourself that the disappointing behavior is not entirely their fault. It’s brain damage, pure and simple.

Some days, that helps.

Some days, it doesn’t.


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