Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Answering a Reader's Question

Suzy asked:

I am curious how you differentiate punishment for those who have FASD and those who don't, when both participate in the crime. And do the ones who don't have brain disorders resent the other's punishment (which I am assuming is less since they won't get it anyway)?

What we have done is to keep the consequences the same for both. We realize that the ones who do not have brain or attachment disorders will feel guilty, pay the consequences, learn and move on. The ones who have FASD probably won't be able to fully pay the consequences but certainly won't learn. We do this because society doesn't give anybody an excuse. When you sit before the judge he isn't going to say, unfortunately, "Oh, you have FASD. I guess you won't be going to jail."

An example is that we make our kids pay back what they have stolen. The conversations between those who get it and those who don't are much different.

Our attached kids with healthy brains will be solemn. They will look down, feel guilt, feel sorry for disappointing us and hurry up and pay back the money. They do not argue or defend themselves. They apologize. We will eventually recover the money.

The kids with RAD and FASD argue about the exact amount of the theivery. They try to make us feel guilty for the way we are handling the situation. They promise to pay it back but do nothing to head in that direction. They will cuss and cry and scream about how mean we are to punish them. We probably won't recover the money.

To make a long story short, we do not modify consequences based no disability, but we do modify our expectations. We might modify the way it is to be done or the time frame they have. But the consequences are the same.

How do other people handle situations like this?


Suzy said...

Thanks for answering my question and explaining even further - of course it never occurred to me that when they are adults, the legal system won't treat them differently.

Pj said...

I was glad to come across your posting today. It's been a trying time lately with my 8 1/2 yo DD that has attachment "issues" and brain processing challenges.
I do the same thing; give her the consequences, even though it doesn't seem to effect her. I hope that some day it will click! (maybe on the millionth time?)

CureForCrazy said...

I agree with your solution.
At the elementary school where I work we have a child who frequently runs out of class and loiters in the halls. His behavior has been excused by the administration because he is an EC child in a mainstream classroom. Since there are never any consequences for his behavior, now other students are copycatting his actions, and doing whatever they feel like doing as well.
Children need consequences, even if it seems as though they have no effect.