Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Will it Help? or Do you ever get that feeling of Deja Vu?

We are back at the same point with an adult son that we have been at before. He is beginning the spiral downhill that he managed to avoid for two months. He has FASD and RAD and nearly zero relationship with us. But to this point he has been working full time and holding his own. Until he got the car, which was the beginning of the downhill journey.

I am frustrated with him and I am worried about him. And his refusal to get out of bed this morning stresses me out. I am facing a week of dealing with him alone. But the bottom line is this? Will me freaking out, yelling at him, expressing my frustration, lecturing, or any of the many other things I've tried work?

No.

So maybe just trying to kindly find out if there is anything we can do to help (besides throwing cash at him) and not escalating him or making him angry might be the best response at this point. "Kicking a kid out", even if it's an adult, and making him homeless sounds pretty easy from the outside. But for those of us who have done it before, it isn't pleasant.

And then we look at his disabilities that are so clear and ask ourselves if we would do the same thing if it was a child that has another kind of a disability? Can you imagine a family deciding to kick out a child with Down's Syndrome when they became an adult because they couldn't do what their parents asked of them?

So if we minimize the effect he has on everybody else (to this point he's been pretty innocuous for the most part) and try to respond with compassion, it probably won't help to change the outcome, but it will most likely not destroy the relationship.

The real key, and, as the Adoption Counselor reminds us, it is always, always about me, is for me to remain calm and understanding and not just griping at him, and pointing out that he is screwing up his life. I doubt that is going to impact him at all if I do that... because I've done it a thousand times before. I just need to take it one day at a time and try to be as helpful as I can.

At least until Bart gets back home and we can figure out our next steps....

4 comments:

Amy said...

You are dealing with a disability that unfortunately gets little attention from professionals. There SHOULD be group homes for adults with FAS, as they really cannot function in society on their own. But I've never heard of a group home for people with FAS. Perhaps you or your church could start one? Hire staff, etc?

I've got many children with Down Syndrome, most of them young adults. I have one 22 year old son who is rather low functioning, yet still TMH who is a handful and a half. I will eventually put him in a group home to make our lives a bit easier as we grow older. At least there ARE group homes for this child, even if the waiting lists are very long...

GB's Mom said...

It is never pleasant, it is never easy. Prayers and hugs.

acceptancewithjoy said...

There is a part of me that is very glad Bat-Oni ran on her 18th birthday and refuses to come home. Her presence in my home is disruptive. And, Amy is right... the analogy with Down's Syndrome falls flat on its face when one talks about adults with FAS. Too often, they are without assistance.

Derek McClaren said...

Sometimes we just have to accept how things are. We cannot change people. They have to change themselves. Since he seems to add no value to your family at this time, perhaps it is time for him to be on his own. Yes, it may be unpleasant but so is having him be a negative influence on your family. I have done it (kicked kids out with FAS & RAD) several times and each time it has been worth it. No matter the outcome, it is his doing not yours. To compare a functional FAS adult that can hold a full-time job to a downs syndrome disability is just you finding another excuse to enable his unacceptable behavior. Be a loving parent and parent your "children" he is an adult.