Security

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I'll never forget my horror at discovering my daughter's repeated attempts to go shopping in the middle of the night by climbing out of her bedroom window.  She would manage somehow to get $10 or $20 and would hide it in the inner sole of her shoe. Then she would wait until 2 in the morning to walk to the 24-hr. supermarket over a mile away to get all the sweets and goodies her money could buy. The weight gain would be serious enough.  But I was truly concerned for her safety, as she was a trim 110-lb. teenager with long blonde hair.  Oh!  I still shudder to think about it.
         Teresa Kellerman, 2006.

Many families with a loved one affected by FASD are concerned with keeping the individual safe and secure; in addition, families also may need to protect other family members or valuable possessions from the impulsive behavior of the FASD-affected person living in the household.

Most children, many teens and some adults with FASD need close supervision at all times. A small percentage do not need to be monitored very closely and only need minimal supports. A majority need closer supervision than they would if they did not have any disabilities. And some need very close supervision that is beyond what parents (or other caregivers) can reasonably provide in a family setting.

Security is an issue especially for two groups of FASD-affected individuals:

  • Those who sneak out of the house to engage in risky behavior at night (sexual behavior, substance abuse, etc.).  They lack control over their impulses, have very poor judgment, and are naively vulnerable to the suggestions of their peers. 
  • Those who, in addition to FASD, have a mental health issue (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Bipolar Disorder, etc.) that prevents them from having control over their behavior. These individuals may engage in behavior that places themselves or others at risk. 
Some FASD-affected individuals need to have objects that can serve as weapons (e.g., knives and scissors) locked up. Some families need to restrict access to food. Some parents need to monitor their child's behavior during the night.

In addition to controlling where the FASD-affected individual goes, what he does and who she spends time with, watching the child's every move (waking and sleeping), keeping valuables in locked drawers or safes, padlocking kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator, locking all exterior doors and all windows, and putting keyed doorknobs on all bedroom doors (and making sure that parents are the only ones with access to the keys), perhaps the easiest way to monitor children's behavior is by getting and using alarms in the home.

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Related / Co-Occurring Conditions
Security Alert... FASD Style