I am the adoptive mom of a now 15 yr old girl who is ADHD/FAS and we have a problem with her stealing underwear.....help :(

Jeannette - posted on 01/23/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have found to date, including ten minutes ago, 17 pair of stolen underwear in my daughters room ( not all at once).....she first denies it then claims she doesn't remember then eventually gets to the 'whatever' mode......suggestions plz...I m loosing my mind......she steals other things as well

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Sarah - posted on 01/23/2015

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Nope.....often times with FAS kids you can't teach right from wrong as that is the part of the brain that is damaged. Instead you teach habit. Just like many things we do out of habit you do automatically or out of routine. It is a different way of parenting. Most parents will parent using cause and effect. If you do something wrong you get such and such of a consequence. For most kids this works as they learn about what effect their choices have. For a FAS child that part of the brain is damaged, so no matter how many times you give a consequence for an action they will continue to do the action because they don't realize such action causes such consequence. They don't connect the two. So for example a child may keep touching a hot stove because even though it hurt the last time this time it may not hurt. Where as a normal child that can process cause and effect with know that from past experience when they touched the hot stove it hurt so from that experience they don't touch it again.

So for example with your daughter's stealing......you can't teach her to not steal by giving her consequences for the stealing.....I am not saying there should not be consequences to her actions.....I am just saying she does not learn to not steal by those consequences. Instead teaching her to get into a routine of asking someone if she can take whatever she is wanting before taking the item stops the behavior.

Jeannette - posted on 01/23/2015

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yes she is,,,,,,child physcologist teaching her self regulation class and a youth mental health worker

Jeannette - posted on 01/23/2015

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I have all bedroom doors locked.....laundry room door locked and pantry. She is in a self class at school suggested by her teachers. She sees a youth mental health worker and the teacher of the course is a child physcologist.

As for getting her to ask an adult if her 'impulse' choice is good or not would that not mean shealready knows better?

Sarah - posted on 01/23/2015

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A common thing with FAS is lack of impulse control. Disciplining through consequences does not work because the alcohol has damaged their frontal lobe of their brain where cause and effect comes from. Instead you have to teach by habit. You have to set up an environment where she learns habit. So when she has an impulse by habit she first checks with someone (responsible adult) to see if her idea is a good one or not.

For helping with temptation lock bedroom doors, don't leave out things that she steals....money, valuables, special keepsakes, etc.

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