Monday, July 2, 2012

When Plans Change

Kids with FASD, RAD, and past trauma do not do well when plans change.

We were going to go to the beach Saturday with the kids and one of Ms. D's friends, but by the time Hubby finished his food route it was after noon and there wasn't enough time to be back in time for church. Sunday we were having the puppy inspection, but didn't know exactly what time the lady was coming, and I had to be back to watch Grandson. So I told the kids we would go today or tomorrow.

This morning started a bit late, but I still thought we could make it. But while we were walking, I found out that Ms. D's friend was on her way home from her grandma's and wanted to come with us, and Mr. I wanted to bring one of his friends. I told him it would be a full car, but we could probably do it. But then on the way back from the dogs, a neighbor found out he had jury duty and needed us to take care of his two year old son. I just didn't have enough room in the car for all those kids. Ms. D thought Mr. I should tell his friend not to go since her friend was asked first, Mr. I thought Ms. D's friend shouldn't go because she wasn't home yet. When I said we should just wait until tomorrow, Mr. I ran off, angry. When I saw him after talking to Mr. I's friend's mom about changing plans, he yelled at me. When I got home, Ms. D started yelling that she would just stay home with the baby, which would not work out either. I was overwhelmed. All that yelling!

So I called Hubby. He talked to Mr. I and he is calm now. Mr. I can at least give me eye contact at this point, which is an improvement. Now the kids are fussing about how there is nothing to do. Well, I'm not about to go anywhere with kids that are so dysregulated.

Kids with FASD need a routine. Summers are filled with changes in routine. Doing something fun, like going to the beach, can be a source of anxiety and really bad behaviors, especially when we have to be flexible about timing. Young children under seven or eight might cry or be upset at having to wait another day to go to the beach. But most middle and high school kids can handle a delay, knowing that sometimes plans have to change because of circumstances out of your control. My kids don't. In their eyes, I am a liar for telling them we were going to go today, but then telling them we had to wait until tomorrow.

But there is hope. Mr. I just gave me a hug after his rage forty five minutes ago. He is recovering from it faster than I am. I'm still a bit shell shocked. But I need to act cheerful and peaceful, or the kids will spiral down.

I've never been a good actor.

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