FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society
Teen Social Scene
Teen Social Scene
From the FASlink Discussion Forum

For those of you who have/have had teens, especially girls, how have you helped them navigate the treacherous shoals of the "head games" that are played at that age?

What if any, behavior type elements have you had placed in your kids' IEPs? The one time I managed to get a few in hers the school didn't know how to measure them and so it was an exercise in futility.

Our just-turned 16 yo dd is attending our local public school in 9th grade. She's holding it together remarkably well but I'm just waiting for her to blow. She is blunt to the point of rudeness, has an odd sense of humor at times, talks when she shouldn't, bosses others around especially if she thinks they're doing something they shouldn't, and of, course marches to her own FASD drummer. It doesn't help that she's a year behind and so a year older than her classmates, is 5'9" tall, willowy, and pretty to boot. She dresses as androgynously as we will allow (she'd dress punk if she could) and just doesn't fit in. I'm worried that one of these days one of the teen queen bees is going to tell her to shut up once too often and Jo is going to blow. If she does she'll get into trouble - I've already been told that by the Ass't Principal. He knows all about her disability but says that she must learn to control her behaviors nonetheless.



Since the inability to self regulate well is part of having FASD for many of our kids, and is a direct result of having brain damage, tell your assistant principal that you need a plan put in place to address her needs in this area if she is heading for or has a melt down. Ask him if she was in a wheel chair if he would say she has to learn to go and up and down the stairs none the less. Ask him if she were low vision if she would have to read regular text without accommodations none the less. Ask him if she were schizophrenic if she would be expected to stop hallucinating or being paranoid while on campus none the less. Ask him if she were diabetic and did not do an adequate job of controlling her blood sugar and began wandering around campus in a diabetic haze if he would expect her to get it together without help none the less. Ask him if she had been hit in the head with a hammer and had problems regulating her behavior because of the BRIAN INJURY if he would expect her to control herself none the less. It is the same damn thing. She has a brain injury. He is expecting her to check part of her disability at the door when she comes to school - something she cannot always control and something they need TO PLAN FOR , not punish for. Bring in a copy of the typical behaviors of FASD kids off the SAMSHA website or some other reliable source like the CDC and tell him you expect the schools to have an appropriate plan for your daughters needs based on her disability, as is the law according the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sheeeesh.

When my son was heading back to a regular campus from a non public school, I worked with the principal and counselor and psychologist at the school to identify a place or places he could go when he needed to take a break or be calmed down. He was given a pass from the principal that he kept with him and they went through some "practices" of situations where he might need to use it to go decompress if he was escalating or becoming over anxious. He rarely needed to do so, but just knowing he had that help and support if and when he needed it was very reassuring to him. ALL of his teachers knew of this plan and knew where to send him if he needed to cool down. It was written in his IEP as part of is behavior plan. Three individuals were identified as the people he could report to or could come and escort him to a spot where he could calm down if he needed to. Worked like a charm. Good PLAN.