When I went to a Neuropsychologist in 2014, hoping to obtain an FASD diagnosis, the doctor had me list items in different categories. I remember I sucked. Big time. Part, jwas being put on the spot, and nerves. Most of it though, was due to my FASD Brain. I was asked to list Animals with 4 legs, and I gave maybe three over a minute span. I know so many more than 3! My brain could not execute the function of categorizing which animals have 4 legs. Given more than 1 minute, I could have given him so many more! The result was a deficiency in categorizing, or something to that effect. This neuropsychologist though, he did not diagnose me. He walked into the examination room, and told me this: “I looked up FAS right before I entered this room, and you don’t have any facial features, and I don’t know anything else about FAS.” Right. A NEUROPSYCHOLOGIST, A DOCTOR WHO DEALS WITH THE BRAIN. Who Specializes in the brain. Cool. Thank you for nothing.
I have since been diagnosed by a genetic pediatrician, although I was 34 years old. As the years have passed, especially these past couple years, since Covid, I have become aware of my strengths and difficulties, and why I do certain things I do. Friday night I went to a friend’s house, and she wanted to play Headbanz. It is a game where you put a plastic headdress on your head, and then pick a card and stick it on the headband, so the other person/people can see it. The only thing I knew was whether it was a person, place, or thing. I had to ask yes or no questions and figure out what my card was. I realized during this game asking questions to determine Who or What my card may be was very difficult. I had MOhamed Ali, and I knew it was WHO AM I? Thinking of questions that correlate with WHO AM I, I was not so good at. My friend had to help me with what questions to ask. Needless to say, some of my questions would come out of left field and be extremely specific. Instead of asking a broad question such as, “Does my person play sports?” I asked “Does he box?” Turns out it was a lucky question, and I got the answer.
Another category game I am actually really good at is Scattergories. You throw a letter dice, and then you pick a list and whatever letter you rolled you have to think of items/places/people with that letter on the list. This game gives you broad categories, but you aren’t asking questions. You are looking for objects that start with the letter rolled. A much smaller field of answers.
I think these two games may be excellent in working with those with an FASD to work on improving categorization, and naming people, places and things. Another game is Guess Who, although that can get confusing trying to figure out if someone has a mustache, then do you put down all those with or without a mustache. The answer seems simple, but to those of us with brain damage, it can be oh so confusing.
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