Friday, April 13, 2012

Impulse Control

Comic Sans
She's into everything!
One of the biggest concerns we have about Sydney is her lack of impulse control. If she thinks it, she says it. If she sees it, she reaches out to touch it. If she wants it, she grabs it. A person with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome often lacks the “filter” the rest of us have. Because Sydney doesn’t plan ahead, natural consequences and cause-and-effect are not really the teachers that they should be. Sometimes she does learn to control a behavior or an impulse in a certain situation because of repetition. But, if that same situation doesn’t come up again for a while, she will probably forget and have to relearn the consequence. It is frustrating to us all, her included I imagine. 

This evening we did a little shopping. Levi had some birthday money to spend. Sydney emptied her piggy bank a few nights ago and had twenty dollars. Numbers mean nothing to her but I patiently explained at length what twenty dollars could and could not do for her. We went to Target. She saw many things she wanted that were way out of her price range and just could NOT understand why she couldn’t walk out with them but I stood firm. She settled on a small squishy dinosaur that was only a few dollars. She loves those squishy toys. Her sensory needs are extraordinary. Levi didn’t find what he wanted in Target so we went over to Best Buy. Sydney saw a DVD box with a dolphin on it. It was Season One of the old television show, “Flipper” and it was only $9.99, on sale. She was THRILLED when I said she had enough money left to buy it. Sydney has two favorite animals: cows and dolphins. Once, at the end of the school day she did not come out with her class. She had a substitute teacher that day and the sub and I had to hunt Sydney down. She was in the library looking for a book about dolphins. She did not understand why the grownups did not know that was where she would be. It was only logical she thought. UGH!

Sydney with her brothers, Levi and Tate.
She sometimes just called them "the brothers."
  
After Best Buy we went to Walmart to get a few things. Sydney wanted one of everything we saw.  I told her over and over she didn’t have enough money left to buy anything else and she was not going to get anything in Walmart. She whined. She shed a few tears. She kept asking. I asked her to stop. I told her to stop. I demanded she stop. I finally got down and quietly chewed her out for misbehaving. I told her to watch the boys and see how they were acting. They were not getting anything in Walmart but they were not complaining. I lectured her about being thankful for what she had gotten at the other stores. I talked to her about how much she was going to love watching her dolphin show when we got home. I told her NOT to ask me for ONE more thing in Walmart. I asked her if she understood. She said she did. I had her repeat to me that she would not ask for anything else, “not one more thing.” We got about ten feet from where I had stopped to lecture her and she saw a book. Can you guess what I heard? “OH MOM, LOOK! I WANT THAT BOOK! Can I have it?” I said “SYDNEY!  REMEMBER? Not one more thing?” She looked at me like she had no idea what I was talking about.   


Almost every evening, at some point, Sydney and Shawn play a game of cards. It has helped her a lot with number recognition and she loves nothing more than having Shawn’s undivided attention. They usually play “Go Fish” but some nights it is “Slap Jack” or another game. She talks the ENTIRE time they play. She chatters without taking a breath. She CAN NOT keep quiet about what cards she has either. She will tell Shawn what her cards are as soon as they begin, no matter how many times we remind her to keep quiet. Sometimes she tells him by saying “Dad, do NOT ask for 2s or 5s.” Last night, when one of her cards fell on the floor she hollered, "Don't look at that Queen!" She cracks us up every night. Sydney has such a great Daddy. He is so patient. He got a double dose of impulse control so he has enough for both of them. 

If you found this post interesting, here is a similar one: heart attacks and loose teeth.

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