- Impulsivity: Once me and my son were alone at home and we were talking, but there was also a big bowl filled with water and my son had a toy lizard. So i couldn’t resist the urge to let the lizard take a quick swim, I threw the lizard into the water and it splashed onto a yearbook. This is why you don’t drink alcohol during pregnancy, because your child may splash water onto some perfectly good books. There is also the time our family was sneaker shopping, and one of the sneakers was on display, with its toe JUST HANGING OVER the top of the shelf. Of course i had to push down on it so it would fly across the aisle. (I had only just turned 40, with a younger mindset) https://www.facebook.com/rebecca.tillou/videos/10159630471917468/
- Word Retrieval: I have noticed every year this gets worse. I do not know if it is because the demands of life get bigger, or I am just getting older. I mix up words and have the hardest time thinking of words. My kiddos and husband love to tell the story about how I couldn’t think of the words cell tower and I started twirling my index finger above me in a circle. Then there is the time I told my youngest to go wash his hands in the toilet. Or, at a restaurant once I asked my kids if they wanted to look at a machine (instead of a menu). A tip for this is I use circumlocution, where I describe the item the best I can. If I can’t think of the word dresser, I will tell my husband it is the big thing in the bedroom, with drawers.
- I talk to myself, ALL THE TIME. I mean, I have conversations with nobody as if someone is there. My family knows the events of my day just by listening to me talk in the shower. It is constant chatter. I believe it may have something to do with needing that vocal stimulation, that vocal feedback in my brain. My mom tells me I babbled incessantly as a baby, before I learned to talk.
- I talk loudly. I don’t think I have a hearing issue (my children will tell you otherwise). I don’t seem to understand volume. If I am excited about something, I get loud quickly, and talk fast. (It apparently can be annoying).
- Sensory Issues. What neuro-typical people may not hone in on, my brain does: In a department store, the noise a metal hanger makes as it is pushed around the metal circular platform. I can hear it, I can hear many of the hangers scraping along the metal, I feel the sound in my teeth. The feel of a fork tine on porceline…yep, nope, hate it. Sudden noises, I jump, get startled, and sometimes scream. Noises that other people just push along, as if they never happened. Like a fire alarm, a bell signaling the end of school if it goes off before it should. Any sound unplanned and loud makes me squirm.
- Perseveration: This is a positive in my workplace, because I become hyper-focused on finding and fighting fraud, and I get to go down rabbit holes (not literal rabbit holes), but I get to get lost in all the directions I get taken to find the bad guy.
- Abstract Concepts: My understanding has gotten better with age, but I still struggle. I remember when I was 7 or 8, those street signs that mean go straight, but the arrow is straight up in the air? I never understood how our car was supposed to fly.
- Time doesn’t seem to pass for me like it does for neuro-typical people. I will think of an event that happened 5 years ago, and honestly think it happened in the last year. People don’t age in my brain. I always remember people at one certain age. Then they tell me they are 5 years older than I remember.
- I have difficulty getting to the point of what I am trying to say, when speaking to people. Quick and concise is so not me.
- I am very friendly and want everybody I meet to be my bestie in 1 day. I have gotten better at this (although I do have 566 friends on Facebook, and probably only really know 100 of them).
- Cause and Effect Issues: Being the friendly person I am, if someone needs something and I have it, I will gladly give it to them, not thinking of the consequences (eg: A post on Facebook is asking for a kids winter coat). I respond to the post that I have one and proceed to give them the ONE extra coat I have for my kid for the next year. Not thinking that now I don’t have a coat for next year. I gave away my prescription Acne Medication to my cousin (Retin-A) when I was in high school, because she wanted to try it. I didn’t realize my mom paid money in co-pays, or that you shouldn’t share your prescriptions. I also will pay for meals for people, give them money for vending machines, and never think before I do it. I went to a grocery store on my lunch break a few years back at work, and a coworker asked me if I could pick up a couple things. I didn’t know her that well, but I thought all she was asking for wasca soda and a bag of chips. Nope, she gave me a list of items for her FATHER who was coming into town. I am persuaded easily, and of course I fulfilled her list. Don’t think I ever got paid back either.
This is just a glimpse into my life, my brain. I have learned to live with these “Isms.” They make up my soul and who I am, and I am ok with that. Actually, better than ok. FASD DOES NOT DEFINE ME.
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