Hyperactivity in the FAS\FAE Child
By Sherry Lewandowski FAS\FAE Coordinator
Sharing our experiences with one another allows us to be part of a group – which leaves behind us the feeling of aloneness.
As the summer approaches, I am reminded of a day last summer — Our first dinner out on the porch in the sunshine. We were all excited. The grill was cooking a delicious assortment of kabobs, the birds were chirping and flying about, the cars were whizzing down the road. The cool wind was blowing through the trees and everyone around the table was talkative and having fun. Our son, Gregory, was receiving a grand assortment of sensory stimuli. Gregory’s head was going around and around absorbing all of the input. The results equaled an over stimulated child. Gregory could not take part in conversation. He was listening but not hearing anything that one person was saying. He was unable to complete the task of feeding himself. It was too many steps to complete with so much outside stimuli. I ended up feeding him and allowed him to get down from the table, run through the yard, giving him an outlet for all of his input.
Does this sound familiar?????
Now think about a day at school. Public school. Imagine twenty, maybe thirty children all in a classroom passing out papers. There is a hyperactive child three desks over. A seat next to the window (this is endless stimuli), the lunch room, sing time, story time, or maybe storytelling outside under a tree, a combination of all of these and I am sure you could imagine the results!
When I am feeling discouraged and I am questioning whether my choice to home school is in the best interest of my FAS\FAE child, I think of our picnic on the porch. Then I think of a typical day in public school. Boy is that therapeutic!!!
My results equal a mom with self satisfaction, self worth and a new commitment to that little hyperactive child of mine that I love so much.
- Ways to decrease stimuli - equaling a decrease in hyperactivity.
1. Have class in the least busy room in the house.
2. Draw the curtains, but provide enough light.
3. Group activities in subjects (e.g. reading on Monday, math on Tuesday) This decreases jumping gears from one thing to the next.
4. Give step-by-step directions - one or two at a time.
5. Allow an outlet for your child’s energy.
6. Re-evaluate your actions. Are you giving him too much, too fast?
7. Reward his efforts.
8. After his lessons are over allow him to cleanse his mind of his thoughts (save all of the mommy this and mommy thats..... for this time.) This gives him something to look forward to.
All in all, keep patience, keep faith in yourself, and as each night comes pray for wisdom. Know you are doing the best you can and stand up for your beliefs.
God bless you all.