Battles against terminal illness, anxiety, and life!


Braden is a complex child.  He is sweet, sensitive, and wants to  make everybody happy.  As of late, I’ve become increasingly aware of some pretty heavy stuff.  I watch my little guy go from happy to massive meltdown mode in a blink of an eye.  I’ve seen him throw a huge temper tantrum because his dad handed him his sippy cup instead of me.  He doesn’t like going to homes of people he doesn’t see often, but enjoys traveling.  He becomes overstimulated, especially in large groups or loud situations.  We may ask him to do something simple a hundred times before he complies (pick up the toy you just threw), but when it’s truly important (don’t go in the road) he listens perfectly.  He has angry outbursts. He is just now learning to say he’s mad. He’s complicated to parent.

For so long, we’ve been focused on figuring out what was going on with his motor skills, speech delay, and then A-T diagnosis, that one big huge factor has fallen to the way side.  Braden’s drug exposure is becoming more obvious.  The effects of crack/cocaine, Xa.nax, marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes are showing.  Those behaviors that I had simply attributed to being two then three, being frustrated, etc., are very clearly due to his prenatal drug exposure. Now, I am left just wondering how to help him manage and cope with this.  It’s hard enough for A-T children.  This adds a whole new dimension.

So, I’m seeking out a child psychologist to help us learn parenting techniques.  We need to know how to help Braden not just get by, but to thrive.  I’ve been a very busy googler.  I feel a bit embarrassed that it hasn’t dawned on me sooner, but I am aware now.  I may not always be able to control his environment, but I truly hope to help him control himself within the environment he finds himself in. A kind doctor once told me it was pointless to try to figure out what behaviors are A-T related and what are drug exposure related.  I am about to contradict a very knowledgable man.  You see, it does need to be sorted out.  Learning to manage the behaviors, the root cause of what is going on is very pertinent.  Perhaps you may only understand if you have an A-T child who has also been exposed.  Um, that is a VERY small group.  A-T related frustrations are vastly different from what a prenatally drug exposed child goes through.  There are some similar issues, especially in the physical realm.  However, we need to work on emotions here.  So, there you have it.  I just decided to defy an expert, so that we may untwist our world and make order of it all.


Comments on: "Twisted" (4)

  1. Becky, I hope you can find some really good assistance on this. Do you have a Regional Center or something similar that Braden can receive services from due to his diagnosis? We just started receiving parent training services from a Behavior Analyst in ABA for Alex- may be beneficial for you? After reading all the training materials they’ve provided us, it seems that these techniques would be applicable to *all* parents, not just those with special needs!

  2. I think it’s great you’re doing this! It will help all of you.

  3. There have been so many things thrown at you, one after the other, that you had to deal with because of the A-T. I think you can cut yourself some slack that this didn’t occur to you sooner! And FWIW, I think you’re right. It does need to be sorted out so you can help Braden cope when he is having a hard time and I think it will be good for you, too.

  4. Don’t be embarrassed! You have a lot going on and are a very involved mother! I am glad to learn from you via your blog.

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