Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder 101

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How We Handle Outside Activities- Knott's Berry Farm (Part 1)

Posted by fasd101 on August 13, 2013 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)


We choose to do activities with our boys that we know will tweak them out and result in undesired behaviors.


Challenger Basketball 2013


But with those choices, we have found that IF we strive to keep their routine as normal as possible on the days before and the days after, we can make it through some of those "other" activities with less undesired behavours.



We recently took the boys to Knott's Berry Farm.

This was their first "real" amusement park experience.

Each child responded in his own unique way

but the adjustment made for all of them

were pretty much the same.


The following posts in this series

"How We Handle Outside Activities"

will be strategies we have learned over the years

to minimize behavours caused by change of routine.


But for the rest of this post, it is going to be all about our trip to Knott's Berry Farm.

Left to right.  David, Timothy, Daniel, Michael (Dad) and Evan in the front


David tends to be a little more apt to ride some of the more exciting rides, but Michael had to do a lot of convincing to get him to try most of the rides that he rode that day. He spent all his time with Michael.

Because David not only has FASD, he also suffers from a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, his legs and feet were tired. He sat down every chance he could and stretched his tight leg muscles. We made sure that he wore shoes that would help him be the most comfortable for the day. 

Fatigue and being overwhelmed was his biggest issues. He was a little extra scattered in his thinking, his auditory processing issues were in high gear, but an adult stayed with him all day and helped him make appropriate decisions.


Timothy is very fearful of most rides. Michael convinced him to go on ONE roller coaster that went upside down and he liked it. But had reservations about going again. He spent the majority of his day with me. He rode the intermediate and kiddy rides. Tim has FAS, but a lot of his actions present on the autistic spectrum. He often appears to be in his own world and oblivious to his surroundings. He over reacts (hightened startle reflex) and his body becomes rigid when unecpectedly touched and he moves through life at high speed. Because he looks like most other kids, an adult needs to be with him to keep him safe, as he appears rude when he stares at others or runs into them without noticing it himself.

Overstimulation & the fear of not being in control were his biggest issues. We accommodated him by letting him choose the rides to go on and giving him a job to keep his "high alert" mind busy.


Daniel is the most fearful of all. It has only been in the last year that I was able to get him to ride a carousel. So we knew that he would probably spend a lot of his time watching others ride, which he seems to enjoy. He rode the log ride with me and was anxious the whole time. He wanted to ride a couple of things with Evan, but screamed as soon as the ride began and was let off. He expressed to me that he does not like rides that spin. Daniel also startles very easily. I was able to get him to ride a few rides, but by the end of the day, he was so overstimulated that he was only able to sit with me and watch.

Because he was so overstimulated & fatigued, he vomited a few times. 



Evan probably had the best time out of all of them. He is a little dare devil. He was tall enough to ride quite a few rides. He got to ride a big boy roller coaster with Michael and loved it! He rode the scrambler with Timothy and just about every kiddy ride we could find

 Accommodations for him were to keep a close eye on him as he was more confused in his thought process. To remember to think 3 or 4 yrs old, not 6. When he gets overstimulated he either shuts down or gets silly.  Our dinner break helped him to regroup enough to go back and have a little more fun.


The park povides bracelets for kids with the parents information on them  in case they get lost. All the boys wore one.

For an extra measure of caution for the littles, I wrote in permenant marker close to the arm pit, my cell phone number.

Thankfully, nobody got lost!


By the days end, each child was ready to go home and ready for bed.

We did not return home the next day as we were headed to San Diego

At our hotel in San Diego, we made sure to keep stimulation to a minimum.  The whole day was mostly a quiet rest day. 


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Please leave me any questions or comment below,

I would love to know what you think. 


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Ricochet the Surf Dog

Posted by fasd101 on July 30, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Amazing story about Ricochet.

He is aservice dog.


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You might also be interested in Nuzzle: Love Between a Boy and His Service Dog



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Comment below, I would love to know what you think. 


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Breaking Through Autism

Posted by fasd101 on July 19, 2013 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism

I know that this is a blog about FASD,

but if you have been around very many people with FASD you already know that  some tend to have a lot of Autistic traits. Some are even diagnosed with Autism. Take a look at Carly's video, it may help give you some insight to why our kids get so overstimulated. 

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Carly and her father wrote the book

Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism

Book Description (from Amazon)

Release date: September 18, 2012
At the age of two, Carly Fleischmann was diagnosed with severe autism and an oral motor condition that prevented her from speaking. Doctors predicted that she would never intellectually develop beyond the abilities of a small child. Carly remained largely unreachable through the years. Then, at the age of ten, she had a breakthrough.

While working with her devoted therapists, Carly reached over to their laptop and typed “HELP TEETH HURT,” much to everyone’s astonishment. Although Carly still struggles with all the symptoms of autism, she now has regular, witty, and profound conversations on the computer with her family and her many thousands of supporters online.

In Carly’s Voice, her father, A rthur F leischmann, blends Carly’s own words w ith h is story of getting to know his remarkable daughter. One of the first books to explore firsthand the challenges of living with autism, it brings readers inside a once-secret world and in the company of an inspiring young woman who has found her voice and her mission.



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Comment below, I would love to know what you think. 


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