Challenged Hope

Grandmother raising Grandchildren with FASD in Hamilton Ontario Canada

Following Directions

Teens with FASD often struggle when following multiple directions, often saying and looking as if they understand when in fact they don’t. Although repeating directions can be tiring, success depends on only one or two directions being given at a time.

My experience with raising teen grandchildren with FASD has been that if the requirement needs multiple directions, for example: tidying their room, they were more likely to succeed if they knew where everything “goes”- those books go together on the shelf; your jeans belong in this drawer (I label); the fitted sheet which goes over the mattress is sewn at the ends (show them); etc.

As they struggled to understand, tidying their rooms with them for the first several times and repeating out loud where everything belonged helped. This allowed for the multiple directions to be understood at a slower pace until “locked in” and they understood the requirements. I realize it’s all so time consuming, but in the long term single directions will save time and energy and produce successful results both for child and caregiver.

Of course, nothing is ever perfect, but that’s okay because I don’t expect perfection from anyone. And even now I will offer to help my grandchildren tidy their rooms as they have accumulated lots of “stuff” over time and get confused as to where it all belongs, but that’s okay too, as it’s time spent together and that’s never a bad thing!

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