Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

Change in Routine

Teens with FASD struggle, just a much as youngsters with FASD, with change in daily routines, tasks, unexpected schedules like medical appointments, outings, bus trips, trips to the hairstylist or clothing stores; anything or anywhere which is not part of their everyday habits. One way to combat their stress and potential behaviour issues during such changes is to explain in advance what their week will look like and what will be involved via a chart.

My teen grandchildren with mental disabilities often ask how long the appointment or errand will last and as they have difficulty understanding time, I try to describe time in events, not hours, such as: “We will be back by lunch/supper/bed time.” For some reason, when they have the return time locked in, they are much more comfortable with the idea of going somewhere, or doing something unexpected which tells me just how much they see their home as a foundation of security and the outside world as an intimidating place. The assurance of the return to their home seems to be the deciding factor to their agreeing to the change in routine, and lessens the anxiety they might otherwise experience during the outside event.

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