#FASD Conference Success – Thank You Dr. Jim and #AnnYurcek

Success means a quiet voice and truthful statements
2014 BROCHURE2
FLYER - FASD CONFERENCE-FINAL

Shouting out a special thank you to Dr. Jim Yurcek and his wife Ann Yurcek who stepped up to the plate to make this conference happen when the funding was removed. It was awesome.

  • Loved how everyone in the audience worked together.
  • Loved what Liz and Sam had to say.

 

Hope we impacted people with new ideas and strategies and visions for helping and understanding persons living with the challenges of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders #FASD.

It was a day well served – the road of seeing FASD now has visibility!

Thank you from the Kulp Clan – Let’s do this one again…

 

 

Are we listening to the truth from our adults with #FASD?

Can we learn to silence our defenses to make a difference.

I had the pleasure of co-hosting a chat with three incredible adults who struggle with the challenges of body, brain and sensory issues due to prenatal exposure to alcohol. As questions were asked they graciously answered, then at one point one by one they shut down—looking at each other and laughing.

What was so funny, I wondered, as they muted themselves while I had to step in to fill the void in the conversation?

After the program, they shared their truth:

  • “You, who live outside of our world often miss out, because you do not hear what we share.”
  • “We were giving them our best ideas and kept getting shot down.”
  • “We kept sharing and we’re not being listened to.”
  • “We know what we are talking about.”
  • “Our viewpoints once again were discounted and after numerous times, we just looked at each other and burst into laughter. We all knew the scoop, the story, we had been there so many times when we shared.”

Can we listen?

16 Places to Replace Lost Important Papers #FASD

Need a helping hand to replace missing papers?

Floods… avalanches… strorms… accidents… or … dog help?

What does it mean to replace one simple social security card for a job interview?

Two weeks ago we were able to find out – a one hour very cold, damp and windy line outside the back door of social security office the line eventually was 150 feet long… a veteran amputee too cold to wait and people at the front of the line too unwilling to trade places… then through TSA clearance including wanding… one restroom with a waiting line… then 80 minute wait on metal seats before we saw a very sympathetic person who apologized for the new centralized processing. We walked out with the paper needed for employment and the card arrived in 10 days.

For those of us who love persons with hidden differences – replacing paperwork may just begin to take us a lot more time and inconvenience. Please DRESS warm, bring your umbrella, and pack a snack for those with blood sugar issues.

A special thank you to FEMA(Release Number: NR-084).

For those of us who work with persons who can easily misplace, have stolen or lose paperwork – including the DOG ATE IT – this list is really helpful and timely.The following is a partial list of ways to get duplicates of destroyed or missing documents:

  1. Birth and Death Certificates – Birth and death certificates can be replaced by visiting your county vital records office or on line http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
  2. Marriage Certificates – The online link for replacement of marriage certificates is http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
  3. Marriage Dissolutions (divorces) – The online link for divorce decree replacements is http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
  4. Adoption Decrees – The State District Courts link for adoption records – if the adoption was finalized in that state – is http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm
  5. Immigration Documents – Contact your county office or the site below for citizenship, immigration, permanent resident card (green card), employment authorization, re-entry permit and more. uscis.gov
  6. Driver Licenses – Visit any state driver license office with acceptable identification and proof of address. Fee required.
  7. Vehicle Registration, License Tab or Title – Contact your county motor vehicle office. You will need proof of insurance and state vehicle emissions. Fees administered by county.  http://tinyurl.com/m2hchyh
  8. Passport – Complete form DS-64 from http://tinyurl.com/ld6z28k
  9. Military Records – Request Standard Form 180 (SF-180) from any office of the Veterans Administration, American Legion, VFW or Red Cross, or download from http://tinyurl.com/lnu2pmt
  10. Mortgage Papers – Contact your lending institution
  11. Property Deeds – Contact the recorder’s office in the county where the property is located
  12. Insurance Policies – Contact the insurance company for replacement papers
  13. Social Security Card – Go to a Social Security Administration office. You also can request a copy of your Social Security statement online www.ssa.gov
  14. Transcript of Your Tax Return – Call nearest Treasury Department office, IRS office or 800-829-3646; request form 4506. To find your local IRS office, go to http://tinyurl.com/mvk5dvu
  15. Savings Bonds/Notes – Complete Form PDF 1048 (Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds); available by calling 304-480-6112 or at www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf
  16. Credit Cards – American Express, 800-528-4800; Discover, 800-347-2683; MasterCard, 800-622-7747; Visa, 800-847-2911

3 Quick Tips to help Persons with #FASD


3 Quick tips from Hunter
 

  1. Something “NEW” used to blow me away. When I am learning a new thing, I feel like a vulnerable little kid who got stomped on by a bully. Change used to make my mind spin out because I do not have any of the next pieces to connect the puzzle. I live in NOW time and sometimes NEXT time, but not later, maybe or other non-concrete times. I will always have to be retaught and learning something new takes repetitive training in many areas without different things happening around me.
  2. Please don’t overwhelm me. My brain walks, it doesn’t do jogging.I can think, I can figure things out and I can do many things people never expected me to do.
  3. Believe me I have years of being the person who was bullied practice.So, before, to protect myself, I used to be verbally aggressive, scream and swear and shred the person apart. The bad part was that even though I had a reason to have that feeling, I felt dirty and my words after they left my mouth stuck on the other person like the dirty words a bully had stuck on me. It was a very bad circle and it didn’t make anyone do better or create positive or kind energy. When I communicate with my eyes and don’t open my mouth with feelings I should not or am not ready to share, without saying anything, I wait, I watch and I show them I have belief in their ability to finally get it and understand me.
http://kunaki.com/Sales.asp?PID=PX00ZBX1AF

CHANGE AGENT – ADVOCATE –
MEDIATOR FOR THE BULLIED

Are you looking for support for a bullying situation in your school or community. Hunter Sargent reaches out to help young people understand the viewpoints of each site and come to a place of caring instead of tearing!

Email Hunter to learn about his classroom presentations nativewarrior94@hotmail.com 

Support Hunter’s work by purchasing his new CD – all proceeds go directly to his Bully Prevention Project. 

Adult with Fetal Alcohol is 1 of 5 Finalists – Go Ken Moore

Live Abilities Change Agent Ken Moore 
Is Stepping Out!Ken wanted me to share his picture and thank everyone for voting and promoting his new book “Makin’ It”“I need your votes!” says Ken – visit http://dream.realeconomicimpact.org/ to vote for him!
Please share this blog and get the word out to your friends and family help me win.”

My dream is to eventually create a gallery/coffee shop in a natural environment for persons with challenges to share the beautiful work they create.

Ken Moore was selected as a finalist in National Disability Institute’s 3nd Annual “My American Dream – Voices of Americans with Disabilities” Video Contest.

If you like Ken’s video and want him to win the Grand Prize of $1,000, a digital tablet of his choice, and sessions with a mentor to help his dream come true, visit http://dream.realeconomicimpact.org/ to vote for him!

Ken’s newly released “Makin it” is available for purchase. Mr. Moore is available for speaking at conferences, community events and schools to promote healthy living and opportunity for persons with life challenges.

Live Abilities creates micro business opportunities for persons facing life challenges due to prenatal alcohol exposure.

How to keep squirrels from eating garden tomatoes!

Squirrel terrorist will not feast this year on my produce!

I love my garden and last year I battled squirrels stealing my produce before I could pick it. There were tomatoes with bites on tree stumps, there was actually a line of tomatoes down my neighbors driveway – all with one bite each and there were tomatoes left on my walking trail. The smaller tomatoes where seen in trees – bright red orbs waiting for later feasting.

One again this year, squirrel terrorists raided my garden sometime when no one was watching. They got my first tomato and they ate my first green pepper – I was tired of battles – 

I was going to win this squirrel war and I DID for less than $20.00 and a trip to the sporting good store, the hardware store and the dollar store!

Here’s the strategy:


38 fluorescent ping pong balls, one can of red plastic spray

paint, a jar of cayenne pepper, tongs and an old bowl

 1. Pour Cayenne pepper in bowl

2. Holding a ball with the tongs spray with paind

  
3. Using a tong roll wet painted
ping pong balls in Cayenne Pepper
DO NOT HANDLE THESE with your hands
USE CAUTION in coating the balls 
4. Using the tongs place the cayenne coated balls 
at the base of your plants
It has been two months and at first the balls moved a bit from
place to place. They seem to now never move and in addition I have loads
of tomatoes and produce without squirrel bites!
PLEASE USE CAUTION when doing this
but it WORKED!

 

Shopping is a Drug? A spending plans demise!

What can we do to give more Live Abilities
to avoid trouble and trauma

Guest Blog by Terri Quinn

Yes! It sure is!
The  brain LOVES new things. 
It can give a person a high to shop.  
Shopping can be like a drug. 

Granted it is safer then Crack, but in some instances it can put a person on the streets, just the same as other drugs. Kids with FASD often have this problem. They don’t understand money. They can’t do the math. They don’t honestly think about responsibilities such as bills etc.  They can spend and spend and love doing it.

Eyes see and fall in love. 
Impulse control is often not there. 
They buy. They are not keeping track of their spending. 

Wow, could this be dangerous?

If your kiddo or young adult  with FASD, cannot manage a budget, on their own, then they often can’t manage their spending on their own.

So last week Desi decided she wanted to have a debit card. She wanted to be like other “Adults”. We went to the bank and got the card, but I was unsure how this was going to work.  It didn’t really. She already over spent what she had to spend. 

I had asked her to keep receipts and add them up in her calculator. I really felt this would be hard for her and it would take organization skills that she doesn’t have. I went into the bank account online tonight.  It happened. I texted her  not to use the card again until next paycheck. She is upset. She wanted to buy food for dinner on her work break. She texted me back. “So what am I going to do about food?”

I texted back. “Pray”.  🙂  I am not trying to punish her, but if I allow her to keep spending, her money for bills is gone! She can eat at home when she gets off work.
If I give her all her money that is above her bills, she will spend it all in one day and have no money to purchase food. No thought is taken about emergencies, or other needs, before the next paycheck. 
So now at least, I take the food money out and hold it for her until we hit the grocery store.
WOW!  Our kids with FASD need an exterior brain for this! 

They can’t remember what they spend their money on, as memory is damaged. They buy on impulse without thinking about the price, budget, or if they need to pay a bill, or buy groceries.
A credit card looks like free money to these kids.  I am not sure if we are going to be able to keep managing with this card, but I won’t give up trying to teach her how to handle it. She hates that she can’t be like other “adults”.
Jon gets disability and he has a part time job. I manage his disability and pay his bills with it. He manages his job money and he has to purchase groceries with it.  
He had some savings because he wanted to purchase a car. I don’t feel comfortable with Jon driving, but I have helped him try and save for a car.  This week alone he has taken 260.00 out of his savings. For what? Oh one night he wanted a new tattoo. Two days later he decided he needed cash because his employment credit card was empty.

Today he called me and asked for 60.00 to lend to a friend who promises to pay him back in 24 hours. Right…….  I gave it to him though, as when it is gone, no car. :)
I asked him if he really thought he would get paid back and he said. “YES mom, this is my DUDE”.

Right………..Bottom line, our kids that are FASD effected have great trouble manage money. They are lacking in memory, organization skills and have little impulse control.
This is brain injury.  I never say never, but if someone wasn’t helping them, both would be living on the streets.
OH and one more, SO important thing!  
Did you know that shopping is an antidepressant? 

Loads of people do RETAIL THERAPY.  It gives you a high, adrenaline rush, to get something new. Our kids are trying to feel good most of the time. Doing Retail therapy on a credit card can be very addicting. Our world is full of people who have huge credit debt from this antidepressant. 

Adrenaline is a pretty potent drug of it’s own. We all know adrenaline junkies. It makes you feel good. Anything that will produce an adrenaline rush can be potentially addicting for our kids.
  
Even acting out can produce an adrenaline rush. Oh my, I touched on a new blog subject. :)
Just sayin’.  Our kids need their exterior brain to keep them from starvation and the streets. Keep in mind that they are about half their age emotionally. So my two are ten year old’s. 

Could a ten year old manage a budget? 

Not! a ten year old wants every thing that they see in the store and on TV. If we gave our ten year old’s a credit card???????  OMG!  Imagine the damage? lol. They don’t understand about the price of things. They just see the item, want it, and buy it.  This is how our kids often think.  

Lord help our kids, to always allow their external brains, to help them.
Help them to find other ways to FEEL GOOD that are healthy!
Also keep them from the temptation to steal, which also can become like an adrenaline drug to their brains.  
Thank you Lord!

Terry Quinn
kidznlildogz@aol.com

Live Abilities with #FASD —Changing the meaning of success

From one of my readers –

Then tell me, how do we get funding for our kids who will need it. It’s all nice and sweet to wish for this, but you of all people should know better. 

Our kids need life long support. That is a disability. What we should be concentrating on is having the diagnosis be a death sentence. Change the meaning of what success looks like.

 

My Response:

Yep, that is exactly what we are doing… changing the meaning of success… finding abilities to build companies that these adults can work in…
            and you are right there IS no money
– this idea began because I went after an 18 month grant to build job opportunities for persons with FASD and I pulled six (semi functional adults in with me as information support) — we did not get the grant, but I could not let them or the project down as we had been working on this in the building of the concept and they trusted me…

            and I listened to them.

They begged me to NOT stop and abandon them as everyone else had – they have all experiences in supported living – losing jobs – chemical issues and they are now sober and faith based adults 26-36 years old. So I said ok I will keep going and I developed and designed the website with them as my art directors and guides…. the site took me four months of my free labor for all the programming so it could work with their smart phones and Ipads if they have them.

So what is success—
it is feeling like your life has a
purpose and you matter.

One tried for college entrance – her scores needed to be 35-35-35 – she studied she did her best and she got 34-34-46 – her dream still exists but how can it be achieved – she is probably capable to work 3 hours a day, maybe 4 as long as the environment is manageable… and that is not college — so we moved on to another do-ABLE opportunity that everyone can participate in…. from the next idea we hope to build something for others to participate. We have to start somewhere…

Another two got jobs over the holidays—that lasted through the holidays and the fall out from having those jobs is incredible and something most people never ever think about until you are behind the scenes

Another moved from assisted living to independent living with his fiancé and is working…. yes a glorious job of dancing as the Liberty Lady and the Little Caesar Sign persons — he does both jobs extremely well — and handles the community hecklers quite well too… Purposeful? yes he is given extra money to get a few things like save for a small freezer so he can buy food cheaper.

Another has spent almost a year untangling from the justice system for an offense he did not do, walking the walk with cognitive translators to make a difference—what he also has accomplished without a job this year is— was Santa, spoke to the governor about his 100% preventable disability, explained Live Abilities to a Senator and what the difference in thinking is when you have hope, is mentoring a young man struggling with chemical use, gave his testimony to the mission for homeless… yes his life is now purposeful and not punitive!

And all those are successes….

Is there money – no – no money.
I am working two jobs at $10.00 an hour to help make a difference – and using every minute I have that I am not working for others to help make a difference for the adults with FASD – is it easy – no this is the hardest most difficult job I have ever tried to accomplish.

The diagnosis is not a death sentence—in state commitment under the care of professionals my daughter almost died – on her own in the streets she needed to be defibrillated two times…. yes it can be a death sentence – without the right supports—but you and I are going to die too and we will die sooner than later if we don’t take care of ourselves… if we don’t figure this out… Warehousing our kids in prisons or hospitals or on the streets is not a solution…

First we have to figure out what success is for them…. and that can’t come from our minds and hearts it must come from their hearts and brains. All three adult couples I am working with are living with supports — and with the right natural supports they are functioning as purposeful adults.

It is not easy. It is not pretty. But they mostly like their lives…

Please consider joining us on this journey. I am interested in your viewpoints.

Jodee

Steps into Live Abilities – We take ”DIS out

Purposeful Living – Striving for the Best

Sam giving MN Govenor Dayton one
of our Live Abilities introduction cards
My father often said, “If you have a problem, shake it out, shake it up, turn it upside down. Problems are opportunities to solve.” And solve my father did – rising to managing the construction of high rise construction and building a round house with scraps of this and that – because he could—the we in family could. 
My father lived a purposeful life filled with Live Abilities without a ‘dis among us. Why? Because he believed it wasn’t where you came from that mattered, what matters is now you do your today. 
– Jodee Kulp, Trail Guide for Live Abilities
Purposeful living is how you live in your NOW!
So how does one achieve purposeful living? 
The first step in our Live Abilities program is discovering your strengths and being truthful about all the challenges you face. 
We get our challenges off our hearts and onto a piece of paper where we can pick them up at anytime we feel the need or leave them there. We put them in a safe place for rediscovery as we grow.
Then we brainstorm our strengths:
  • What are we good at? 
  • Where in life have we found the most enjoyment? 
  • What was happening? When? 
  • What do we really have fun doing? How come?
Then we find two or three sober and faith based people to become our Braided Cords –  Each of these individuals will provide additional strength, support and flexibility to allow change to occur. 
Join Us on our Journey – Liz and Sam

We just relaunched our revised website for adults with hidden differences at www.betterendings.org 

Create Live Abilities – Can’t not won’t, but not impossible! – Money Management

Learning that my kids with FASD actually cannot do some things and are not willfully, or intentionally, NOT doing those things,
was the biggest relief to me!

Money Management Strategy

GUEST POST by Terry Quinn with Ann Yurcek
Originally posted in Parenting FASD Kids on April 3, 2013



While raising up my nine, I had expectations of all of my children, but it seemed that Jon was always falling short. I was frustrated often, along with his teachers. I didn’t realize he had FASD until he was in high school, so we did not understand all that we were dealing with. It was quite painful on a constant basis. There were often upset teachers, principals, friends and classmates, with Jon.
He never stopped talking. I mean NEVER!  He never had alot to say but he found a way to talk all the time anyway. Most of it was silly talk. I found it odd that a kid who would never stop talking, had nothing to say to me when we were alone in the car. This same thing happened if he was at a doctor’s office, psychological doctor etc. So, doctor’s didn’t recognize a problem with ADHD. He was always this quiet little thing with them.
I think I figured that out now that we have learned so much about FASD. When Jon was with his friends, he was very stimulated all the time. Therefore his response was to talk and talk and talk.
When he was with me alone, things were calm. Since his talking was usually nonsense and goofy stuff, I wasn’t going to chat like that with him. So I would always ask him things to draw him into a conversation and he would give me simple answers. Often those simple answers were , I don’t know, I don’t remember, or he might tell me a lie because that is often the way kids with FASD cover for their lack. They make stuff up. If they don’t know, or can’t remember, they find out that they can make stuff up. It seems to satisfy mom and dad until one finds out that it is a lie, and then they are in trouble, but they don’t remember what they lied about, so they lie again.
Parents are often frustrated when their child lies because they want their kid to become an upstanding and honest citizen and they feel like they are a failure if their kid is lying to them.
What I didn’t understand then and I do now, is that my child could not tell the truth all the time because he either didn’t know it, didn’t remember it, or didn’t want to be in trouble because he has had so much pain in his life already that he has to protect himself.
I sure wish someone would have explained that to me when I was raising up my kids with FASD. It would have saved me a whole lot of frustration and pain.
However, here is where I often see today’s parent of kids with FASD missing the mark. They are now getting the message that their kids “Can’t not Won’t” , so they are accepting that their child is brain injured and that is the end.
NO NO NO!!! We cannot do that. If we do, we are going to stunt our children’s growth and possibilities.  Maybe at that point in their life, they truly “can’t not won’t”, in some area, BUT we must still continue to teach and discipline. I do not advocate that we live in frustration and discouragement over what our child cannot do. I never knew that my kids had FASD, so I treated them all the same. YES there were times when we are far more frustrated and upset then we should have, or could have been. BUT I continued to teach and give my kids consequences for their digressions and today I have some pretty awesome young adults who CAN in alot of areas that they use to not be able to. They did learn.  My daughter Desi RARELY lies to me now. She no longer steals from me. She learned. I didn’t just accept that she could not learn these things. I kept working at it. I would say that she and Jon required twice as much work as any of my other kids, but it was so worth it. All things are possible if we believe and work at it.

My kids are young adults now and there are still areas that they “Can’t, not Won’t”, struggle in. I am still educating and learning new ways to help them. I believe that there is a whole lot out there that I am just now getting myself about FASD. 

It is a complex issue.

I am now studying the book that Jodee Kulp wrote “Our FAScinating Journey” available at: http://www.fasdbookstore.com/. It is very educational about the brain. It was a bit deep for me when I first read it, but now it is clicking with me. I am FAScinated by it. lol.  Our brains are so complex. I will be adding some more of my understanding about the brain as I continue my series on parenting kids with FASD and individual issues relating to it.

Every day Desi is an education for me. As she has grown older and her peers passed her in high school with development, I began to see where she was struggling the most. It kind of just showed up when she peaked in certain areas and didn’t seem to be able to get passed them.

The biggest areas that she struggles with today are memory and organization. These two struggles effect every area of her life though.

So in these areas, Desi “Can’t not Won’t”. She cannot do math in her head. She cannot get all that I say to her at one time. Her processing ability is slow and her memory doesn’t save the first words with the next words.

Have you ever listened to an auctioneer? Do you get every word that they say? You mind has to go really fast to pick it all up. One thing that helps is that they are speaking the same thing over and over, so you can get it. But let’s pretend that an auctioneer was trying to explain to you how to fix a washing machine.  They gave you ten tasks in a row that were step by step fixes for the washing machine and they gave it to you really fast in their auctioneer language.

Did you get all those steps? 
Do you remember them all? 
Could you now go and fix the washer? 

I would certainly be lost on the first step, because ONE, I don’t know how to fix a washer, TWO, they spoke it so fast that my mind couldn’t process it all that fast and Three, I have no interest in fixing a washing machine. I am going to hire someone to do it, so forget that.

So in that instant, I “can’t, not Won’t”, but I am also Won’t because

I am going to hire someone.
I refuse to learn all that stuff.

Well now let’s take one of our kids and their slower processing brain and tell them to “Do the dishes” which actually means… (the WHOLE do the dishes” package)
    ….Now you wash the dishes
        …you dry the dishes
            …you clean out the dirty sink
                …then you wash off the counters 
                   …and clean out the dish cloth.
My Desi has heard wash the dishes, but the rest was too fast for her brain to process AND she doesn’t want to do the dishes, so it doesn’t interest her to remember the rest.
Of course her memory struggles anyway, but some of us parents are going to see that our kids will get things that are important to them and wonder how they got that and not the dishes.

Does this make sense?  Ok, this is going to sound like I am taking my adult child back to kindergarten, but our kids are visual learners, not so much audio. Their minds can see pictures better then they can process words.So if I make a chart with a small picture of each step of the dishes and put it in front of Desi, she can easily understand how to do the dishes.
If that same auctioneer made me a chart with pictures of how to fix the washing machine, well I might actually get the idea that I can fix that washer, if it is physically possible for me to do those things.

Is this making sense?  It is to me and I SO WISH that I knew this when my kids were little. 
Ann Yurcek author of Tiny Titan, Journey of Hope, also available at: http://www.fasdbookstore.com/ ,is a close friend of mine. She has raised five adopted children with FASD and now currently has a sixth little one.  We brain storm together often about how to help our kids. She has some pretty awesome ideas and I am learning a lot from her. And, what ever I learn, I am sharing here because we all need this. 

So we have been discussing about our kids with FASD and how we just talk too much to them.  We need to go back to kindergarten and find out what kindergarten teachers use. They work a lot more with visuals. You will see a kindergarten class room is full of wall pictures. The alphabet is on the wall. Numbers are on the wall. They use flash cards.

This is because our younger kids are visual learners, not so good with audio. WHY? Visual is concrete. Audio is not always concrete and often abstract. Our kids very often are stuck in concrete thinking. Their brain’s are not able to visualize abstract understanding.
Often people with Total Brain Injuries (TBI) have  impaired abstract thinking  that is frequently associated with reduced foresight, judgment, insight, reasoning, creativity, problem solving, and mental flexibility.

Ok, for today we are concentrating on abstract thinking.  Math requires abstract thinking, which is why our kids often have great difficulty with math.

Desi cannot add things in her head. She gets very frustrated with very simple numbers if she has to add them in her head.

This week we had a huge issue with her paycheck. I have been trying to help her understand how bills operate since she got her new job in September and is not 18.
So in my educational mind, I am telling her if she has a pay check of 309.00 and her bills add up to 200.00, her food is 50.00 for two weeks, she has 59.00 left. But again in my “educational mind, that thinks this is just so darn freaking easy to figure out, I just simply ask her to do the math. She can get the 200 plus 50, then she struggles to figure out what is left. Not easy for her at all. I plug in “Terry she cannot do this” into my brain and recognize that she “Can’t not Won’t” add numbers.
Then she says, wait Mom, that can’t be right. There has to be more. OH YEAH, I get 50.00 allowance too. WHAT?  Where did she get that?

Well before I started trying to teach her how to budget her money, I simply gave her 50.00 from her two week paycheck and I paid her bills.

Some how she put that together with her money and thought she had both!  I wanted to laugh and freak out at the same time. My poor girl cannot figure this out.  What am I going to do?

That is when Ann came up with a SPENDING PLAN because that is what Desi needed to dospend what money she has wisely… There is no way BUDGETING was going to be the answer – we had to call it what it is in Desi’s mind – she is spending HER money!

  1. Get her some play money. Since her check is direct deposit and we don’t have the money in hand, we needed a visual.
  2. So, I got the play money…. with FREE DOWNLOADs I printed

And I counted out 309.00 and she paid her bills out of it. 

 It worked! She got it! She could see the money. She could not get it from me telling her she had 59.00 and actually thought that she had 50 more because she can’t reason all that in her own mind.

It was confusing to her, but when she had the money
right in front of her to see, she got it.

So Desi honestly “can’t, not won’t”  do math in her head, but when given a visual, she can do the impossible!!!!!!!  She can also use a calculator pretty well.

So yes, knowing and understanding that our kids have areas from brain injury in utero, where they honestly “can’t not won’t”, helps us parents so much with our frustration and pain over their lack and behaviors that are puzzling.  However just because they appear to “can’t not won’t” in a certain area, does not mean that it is impossible to teach them. We need to keep trying and try different if there is a different way. It may seem a lot harder with them. It may take a lot more effort. It may be totally again’st what we believe or think, but we can change too. We can learn what works with our child and put that into action. It is when we are willing to put those things into action that our “can’t not won’t” child, CAN!!!
 

Thank you Lord that with YOU,
ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!


Terry Quinn
kidznlildogz@aol.com