Many children with FASD may be hyperactive and either have or mimic ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) behaviour (i.e. fidgeting, cannot sit still, excessive talking). Often these impulsive behaviours can be reduced through the use of calming techniques and environmental modifications. Some other suggestions include:
- Allow for active and rest times: Break up activities requiring attention with physical exercise such as running, tumbling, dancing, or jumping.
- Teach and provide positive physical activities such as raking leaves, vacuuming, or shovelling snow.
- Sometimes chewing gum and/or playing with a fidget toy, such as a stress ball, can help a child with FASD stay focussed.
- Children with FASD may have a difficult time controlling impulses in social situations. Try developing “role-playing scripts” for a few common situations. For example, taking turns when talking: act out with your child the process of conversation. When one person is talking, the other person is listening.
- Children with FASD may need more “down time” than others. However, it is important to ensure that down time is structured. For example, after school is snack time, then homework time, then outside playtime.
Remember, it’s about trying differently not harder. If something does not work, try something else!