Thursday, April 29, 2010


This bit of alphabet soup FAS/TBI is giving my brain a good workout this morning.

The school came up with a plan for kindergarten for Paul and for the most part I agree with it, but I did not sign it because I wanted to take him to his ophthalmologist appointment first since I had some questions that I felt they could answer for me. The questions were answered. The bottom line is that Paul no longer has a vision issue which he did have due to his TBI. These issues in the past have qualified him for services from a low vision teacher. He no longer needs her which is absolutely wonderful, however many of the things that we have been using in this area work very well in dealing with his other issues.

You might think that he is visually impaired because when he watches TV he stands right there in front of it. This is not because he can not see it from a distance it is because he needs to zone in and keep everything else out of the way in order to pay attention on what he is doing.

You may also think that he has a hearing problem, which he does not, it is just that his brain is not able to tell him how or when to be quiet.

Anyway on the plan they have his primary disability being TBI which causes developmental delays, impulsiveness, poor judgement, sensory issues, etc. He also has FAS which cause all of these same issues, and this is nowhere at all on this plan. The question is do I go along with leaving the plan as it is with TBI as the diagnosis, get it switched to FAS, or insist that both FAS/TBi be listed as the primary diagnosis?

He would be able to get the services he needs by just listing TBI and the school understands this diagnosis and is willing to work with it.

If I try to get it changed to FAS then I am working at trying to get them to work with an issues that certainly is not well understood and there are many school people who just will not deal with it at all, some of them do get it and are very good at dealing with it.

If I use both FAS/TBI then all of the possible issues are being covered. This seems to me to be the best fit and it may be useful in getting services for him down the road. The problem is that school feels that there is one primary diagnosis and everything else is secondary. Well, what did more harm to the kid, the mom who consumed alcohol throughout the pregnancy or the dad who kicked the baby in the head with a steel-toed boot, at three months of age? In my opinion the damage that was done is equal and has life long ramification for the kid so they should both be primary diagnosis. Neither the FAS or the TBI are going to go away.

Have I completely confused anyone yet? My brain is working pretty hard trying to figure out what to do here.

1 comment:

  1. Not confusing at all. I think you are right. While either classification will get him the necessary services now, you will have more options down the road with a dual classification. I don't think anyone knows enough to say which is primary. Way to advocate!