2 Big Tips to Tackle The #FASD Anger Monster by R.J. Formanek

FASD SURVIVOR TEACHERS  From Left to James Gideon, Myles Himmelreich. Emily Travis, Tanya and R.J. Formenak
FASD SURVIVAL STRATEGY TEACHERS – Thank you – We look forward to hearing real wisdom from our guest bloggers in 2014!
From Left to James Gideon, Myles Himmelreich. Emily Travis, Tanya Northcott and R.J. Formanek

Special thank you to guest blogger
— From R.J. Formanek –

R.J. is one of our beloved FASD Survival Strategy Teachers

Learning how FASD affects each of us individually can make a huge difference in understanding and managing our anger.

  1. We can learn what our sensory needs are and how to take care of them.
  2. We can learn how to deal with people in public so as not to be embarrassed by our own actions or words…

But, and here’s the BIG BUT!
first we need to accept and understand.

Many ignore the fact they are living with FASD, and this is one case where what you don’t know can hurt you, but once the light is turned on and we begin to understand ourselves… not through someone else’s eyes but through our own hearts and brains we can learn to lose that anger. We can calm down… but understand that we may always have ‘short fuse’ at certain times, and that we may remain a ‘work in progress’ for some time.

Anger can take on many forms and for many reasons.

  • If we are talking reactive anger to a perceived threat or insult that can be one thing, generally emotionally based.
  • If we are talking frustration based that can be addressed short term as many have stated above; long term – sensory needs, past trauma as well as any lingering secondary mental health conditions caused both directly and indirectly by FASD need to be checked as well.

Now RAGES… that is a whole different monster.

And I do mean monster. These are the total meltdowns that get us in trouble, the ones that destroy things and hurt people. These are the ones that give us such a bad name with many.

What ever the immediate cause, RAGES are the result of physical brain damage. Short and simple. Many of the “higher learning” centres in our brains are scrambled at best, destroyed at worst and there is almost no way of knowing which ones will still work, and which won’t. But our brains are amazing things, because underneath those higher learning centres is a base… an “animal” or “reptilian” brain that is largely in charge of the functions we don’t even think of… temperature control, physical needs (hunger, thirst, water etc) and defense.

When we feel threatened our brains which may or may not be able to understand fully what is happening may revert to the base “fight or flight” syndrome and react accordingly.

This can often be the end result of too high stress levels, emotional trauma, or pain of some sort… or actual physical danger. It’s the same thing that makes people scream and jump when they see a spider dropping towards them from the ceiling… we all have it built in… but it just serves our FASD brains a lot more than a neurotypical persons’ might.

Understanding rages is very important so steps can be taken to minimize the number of them, and understanding how to recognize the signals and take steps to head off this oncoming rage can make a huge difference.

Sometimes, a punching bag is a great investment.

And remember – When you know one person with FASD you know ONE PERSON with FASD! – That’s it! Alcohol destroyed different parts and connections in each of us…. Yes, we are a big puzzle!

#11 Days To FASDay – Tie Some Knots

Let’s Knot to be Silent
INSTRUCTIONS TO TIE YOUR OWN FASKnots

By Bonnie Buxton,
author Damaged Angels
co-founder International FASDay
Re-printed from December ICEBERG 2008

In January of 1999, while digging out from a Toronto snowstorm, my husband Brian Philcox and I realized that September 9, 1999 (9-9-99), would present an opportunity to inform the world that during the nine months of pregnancy, alcohol is dangerous to the baby.

Within 24 hours, Teresa Kellerman of Tucson, Arizona, had contributed her creativity and Internet genius by encouraging volunteers in seven countries and 11 time zones to participate in the first International FAS Awareness Day.

Because every ribbon colour had been taken by other causes, Brian and I spent several hours developing the FASKnot symbol in honor of the first book about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Michael Dorris’s “The Broken Cord.”

Ten years later, the events continue and now we challenge FASD advocates to take advantage of 2009 to build awareness all year long, particularly on 09-09-09. This year in Canada, FASDay events included a major conference, some candlelight vigils, “mocktail” competitions, breakfasts, luncheons, a play, and one brave woman with ARND speaking out for the first time to a group of university students. Many of these events brought media attention to FASD, building awareness in the community.

Join the movement to Build Better Baby Brains Let’s Raise the Standard

Jodee