Since my FASD diagnosis, I have learned about:

  1. TOUGH SHIT: As an infant, I was constipated. My parents thought it was the antibiotics I was constantly on. Nope. It was FASD. FASD is a whole body disorder. I also thought it was normal until a year ago to poop every 3-4 days. Apparently not. And hard poops aren’t normal either. (I know this is probably TMI, but if this gives any parents an aha moment, it was worth it.
  2. ZZZZZZs: I am always tired. Exhausted. Our brains work so hard to take in the world around us, to make sense of it. It is exhausting. I was always the last person awake at sleepovers, and as an adult, on weekends I sleep until 10 or 11 am. After going to bed by 11. I always thought it was ABNORMAL NOT TO SLEEP LATE. I didn’t like sleeping over my friend’s house and her mom waking us at 8 am on Saturday for Pancakes. Most kids would be excited. I wanted to be left alone. My Fitbit says I average 3-6 hours of sleep a night, and REM sleep is very limited, if any at all. I also have night terrors, which when I went to a sleep doctor, he couldn’t figure out what my brain did at night. He said it was strange. I asked him about it being FASD related, and he quickly dismissed that theory, not because it couldn’t be, but because he knew NOTHING ABOUT IT
  3. Pumpkin Carving Never My Thing: I hate touching the guts inside, the slimy texture, the smell of pumpkins…but I do love me some seeds! I remember when my mom came home with Pumpkin Painting Kits. I was excited for that activity. Never could pinpoint why i didn’t like carving. Now I know, I am such a sensory person, because of my brain. I think my brain processes sensory needs differently than others.
  4. Bright Light, Bright Light! -Gizmo, and me. Department stores and Big Box Stores like Target and Walmart overwhelm my senses. My mom and I just thought I hated shopping, but never had a reason why. My brain couldn’t handle it. I will go into a store feeling energized, and within 10 minutes can feel drained, like I haven’t slept in days (well, maybe I haven’t). The bright, flourescent lights make me dizzy. The colors, and the chatter and the different textures and smells, I need a small room or a weighted blanket afterward.
  5. IT IS ALL ABOUT ME: I consider myself, at 42 years old, Egocentric. I have a husband and 2 kiddos, but if there is something I want to do, such as go on a girls trip, I plan it, without thinking about my family’s needs. I don’t mean to be this way. It is hard to put myself in others shoes. I want what I want, when I want it. This is also the impulsivity piece that plays a role in almost all of those with an FASD. Understanding cause and effect plays a role here as well.
  6. I have weak OT skills. I remember one Thanksgiving I joined the women in peeling potatoes. I peeled one to my Granny’s four. No joke. She fired me after that Thanksgiving. I was given the job of setting the table with paper plates. I am the same with scissors, drawing straight lines, and drawing letters.
  7. PICK, PICK, PICK: My impulsive behavior lends way to my picking my acne. I know many people pick their pimples, but i really pick. I thought it was normal. After learning how FASD affects the brain and impulsivity, I better understand my constant picking. Fidget toys are helpful.
  8. I HAVE SHOWN YOU SO MANY TIMES! I need visuals as to how to do certain things. And not just one time. I can remember a task one day, but not the next. A big one is tying my son’s footwear for Tae Kwon Do. The Velcro strap goes the same way, Every…Single..Time. Some days I am on it! Other days, I get angry and frustrated with myself for not remembering, and he has to do it himself. I take my frustration out on him, which isn’t cool. Our brains are so silly the way we can’t always remember things. Oh, and making grilled cheese. I always struggle with how to get the butter on both pieces of bread at once, before grilling them. Some days, a grilled cheese becomes just a cold cheese sandwich.
  9. JIBBER JABBER: I babbled as an infant. To my hands mostly. Constantly. Now I talk…alot…to people, to anyone that will listen. Someone once mentioned that I was craving auditory feedback. I can roll with that explanation. (Sorry for those poor souls that tune me out).
  10. If I do A, then B Will Happen: Cause and Effect. A struggle with so many of us with an FASD. An Executive Functioning task that is so tough for us. I think of the immediate outcome of things, not the aftershocks. So, for example, my son had a bowl of water for something. I had his rubber lizard. He had a book next to the bowl of water. Impulsivity got the best of me, and I threw the lizard into the water. Didn’t think about the splashes onto the book. (This is one of my kids favorite stories to tell about my brain).

I am constantly connecting the dots to my life and my brain. I am so happy to have my diagnosis. I now have whys to things that used to be just question marks. Knowledge is truly power.

I Hope Everyone Has a HAPPY and Safe Halloween!

2 responses to “I HAVE LEARNED…”

  1. Very interesting insights, Rebecca! I definitely can understand the sleeping thing. It is so important to get the rest after a day of trying to live in a world not made for neurodiverse individuals.

    I can also understand the impulsivity thing leading to egocentricities. I see if so much in my little one too.

    It’s always nice to read your posts and to step into someone else shoes who gets it!


  2. Thank you! I like to discover things lol. I am so tired of being so tired. I keep going tho because I have to.


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