We pulled together the above poster after some interesting discussions in social media. Meltdowns continue to be among the most challenging aspects of FASD. It takes conscious effort to avoid them – for those with FASD and those who support them. The very first post on this blog, nearly a year ago, was about meltdowns. Since then we have learned a bit more about about how the brain influences behaviors, and we have become better, but not perfect, in our efforts to support our son before things truly blast off.
Savanna Pietrantonio is an adult with FASD. It was reading her 8 Reasons for FASD Meltdowns that first helped us to see these from a different perspective, to better understand that our son’s behaviors were not deliberate disobedience. She wrote:
“I have to learn to respect the meltdown as a symptom of brain damage. I am not being willful, rebellious, purposely destructive or hateful. My brain is telling me that something is wrong and I need to stop everything and ask for help to both get through daily life and to regulate my emotions.”
Diane Malbin is a leading expert on these issues, the video below offers a different lens to see the behaviors of people with FASD, and describes how the brain structures influence behaviors, as does her book – Trying Differently, Not Harder (also available via Amazon).
There’s much more to say about this topic, but we wanted to just quickly offer this poster as a visual support for those who struggle to avoid FASD meltdowns.
We are well aware we don’t have all the answers. We welcome suggestions and advice from adults with FASD and others on how to avoid meltdowns.
Available to download for home printing: FASD Meltdown Poster (PDF)