Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Lesson from Detamara

Dee has really grown understanding her Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She is now 20 and at 17 the Neuropsychological Assessment finally revealed her profound memory disorder. She forgets, she doesn't plan ahead, she couldn't put together what to do.

When Dee said for the longest time "I forgot", in time I realized that she did forget. It took until she was l7 for others to understand that.  When she told me that she was "bored", meant.... she didn't know what to do next!  When she fought me with doing a chore, was not that she didn't want to do it, she was CONFUSED or OVERWHELMED on the project.  Often the answer was "it will take forever".  Which translated into it was too much, too long, and too confusing.  They only way to do it was to support her and encourage her.

We started talking short and often about translating her responses into her understanding that I understood.
In time we began to see progress in those episodes. I have a more compliant, more easily transitioned daughter.

The other day I noticed that she without prompting had taken on the project of cleaning up the long winter of dog droppings inside of the dog pen.  WHAT?  Dee noticed something that needed to be done, and then DID IT!  I praised her for well done project.

I was talking to a friend and told her what Dee had accomplished.  Dee piped up, "Mom you can't expect it from me all the time now. Some days I can and some days I can't."  That day everything connected right and when will it happen again? I do not know. But what I have learned is that I celebrate and empower her when she can and support the rest of the time.

Since that day, I have seen her step out to try more, notice more, and her confidence is building.  It is multi-prong connections that have to be made.

  • First, she needs to see what needs to be done or know what needs to be done.
  • Second, she has to know the steps to get it done
  • Third, she has to be able to have the confidence and stamina to do those steps and brain connections to make it happen. 
  • Fourth, through doing these steps she is embedding it into her memory, maybe. 
  • Fifth, will she be able to retrieve it when she needs it, or will it imprint?
For her, the simpliest tasks can be so complicated. It took age, maturity and much practicing for us to get to this point. Before now she was not ready. So we just keep practicing, prompting, supporting and encouraging.

She made it through all these steps I am proud..... I am so proud, flabbergasted and shocked.

But also what I learned is that she did it today, but she may not tomorrow.  So today we celebrate,
tomorrow is another day.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your post!!! Build on the past, celebrate the present, and have hope for the future! Visit my blog if you ever get a chance. I talk about my babies too (and other hopefilled ramblings)