Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Invisible disability

Bottom line: parenting a child with invisible disabilities is humbling.

Case in point: Today.

Abby has been out of sorts lately, and what I mean by that is she is on a downhill slope of a FASD behavior roller-coaster. Difficulty regulating, difficulty sleeping, difficulty transitioning, low threshold for frustration, lots of oppositional behavior are par for the course in one of these down hill turns. (think 2 year old behavior out of a nearly 5 year old) Sometimes I think it's just about her being tired or getting sick; sometimes I cannot nail down one single solitary trigger that would account for the shift. It just is. Predictably unpredictable. And every time it takes me by surprise. When she's doing well, I come to expect it from her and I set aside some of my best therapeutic parenting techniques - then wham. I'm sitting dazed on my butt mumbling, "Oh, yeah, that's ARND behavior, I should have been prepared..."

The last few days have been rough...I recognized it for what it was...brain quirks and such.

Abby umm.... acted out at Caleb's swimming lessons today. It's not an ideal situation for her, and today she could. not. keep. it. together. I pulled out all of my best tricks to very little avail. The hollering, whining and crying were, shall we say, considerable. And I couldn't leave, and it sort of echoed like we were in the Grand Canyon. She appeared to be exceptionally bratty. And, well, she was....bratty, I mean. I can excuse it (or, at least, understand) when I remember to expect her to act half of her chronological age. I can expect it when I know that life feels like any itchy sweater, sleep deprivation and heavy metal with a hangover for Abby. I'd be cranky too.

But to everyone else? Just simple brattiness .

And it's humbling.

And I am reminded that I am more than the best behaviors, or worst behaviors of my children. Their success, or lack thereof, does not define me. I am my own and His, and what you see may not be the whole of it.

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