Ko ngā whakamāramatanga mō te hunga FASD | Information for Individuals with FASD

Te whakahaere pūtea Money Management

How often do you run out of money for kai?  How often do you seem to owe money to people, and not be able to pay them back. Are you unable to pay your bills? If you find managing your money difficult, you are not alone.

It is a relatively common problem for people with FASD, and it is all to do with the way your brain works. However, there are things you can do to manage your money better.

Why it's hard to get your head around money

  • Children and teens with FASD often have trouble with abstract concepts such as money. Although you can touch money and hold it in your hand, the value of it and the worth of items are ideas that can be hard to get a grip on!
  • As an FASD individual it's pretty common to ‘live in the moment’ – you may not always think about past mistakes or future consequences of your actions as these concepts are hard to think about, too.
  • It's also tricky to remember that a certain amount of money must last a certain amount of time. Making an impulsive purchase without thinking about what other, more important things you might need to buy is common – but try to avoid it! 

Strategies to use to use your money wisely

  • Learn about handling money in real places: go shopping with a parent and practice choosing items at the grocery store, calculating the total, and buying the items.
  • Remember to ask a parent or caregiver before selling or buying things to people who might not have your best interests to avoid losing money and/or possessions.
  • Have an allowance each day/week/month that is broken up into smaller payments for certain things.
  • Plan out exactly where the money should go, write it down, and check in with a parent or caregiver.
  • Practise using money at home to match sums of money with the value of clothing, groceries, etc.
  • If you're a bit older, get help on learning to use a budget book and practice planning for monthly bills to help remember about time and money concepts.
  • Get a person you trust to help keep track of your expenses, when you owe money, and when and what you spend your money on.
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Te Tiaki Kare-ā-roto Managing Emotions

If you have FASD, understanding your feelings and emotions is vital to good communication, but they can be hard to get your head around. You may first need some concrete methods to help identify WHAT you're feeling.

In order to be able to react appropriately to any emotion, you must first have some way to recognise exactly what you are feeling. That feeling can then be named and 'rules' for appropriate reaction to that feeling can be made.

  • If you have a meltdown, think about what you're feeling; for example, a fast-beating heart, sweaty hands, hot face. Attach the physical feelings to the meltdown so you can begin to identify what feelings are connected to certain behaviours.
  • Create a 'feelings' dictionary, using line-drawings of complete stick people, rather than just facial expressions for those most common feelings you are likely to experience. A complete body can show more than just a face and is much to associate with what you are feeling. Have one emotion per page.
  • Always name emotions very clearly. Get help from a family member or friend if you need it! With teens and adults, name the emotion first and then follow with the words your friends might use (say 'angry' or 'pissed off').
  • To clarify your emotions, try using an outline drawing of a person, make copies of it and keep them handy. Decide on some simple colour codes e.g. red for anger, blue for sad, yellow for happy, and gray for blank. Colour the outline in with the colour of your feelings – this can give you a quick and immediate idea of the state of your emotional health (e.g., red in the head and the hands is a good indicator of being ready to lose it; gray in the head and on the body is a good indication of being shut down). This might help, especially when you are not able to describe your feelings.

Once the feeling is identified, have some simple plans to express it the right way. For instance:

  • If you feel like you're about to have a meltdown, use 'calm down' techniques – take yourself away and do some breathing, maybe lie down or go for a walk
  • If your parent or caregiver is annoyed – stand still, look at them and listen 
  • Tired – lie down and rest
  • Frustrated – have a list of physical activities you can do and choose one
  • Angry – express it physically in an acceptable and safe manner – punch a cushion or rip up some newspaper!
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Uruwhenua Hauora Health Passport

A Health Passport is a booklet that you can take with you when you visit a health or disability service provider, or anywhere that you may need to communicate information about yourself and your FASD in a quick and easy way.

It contains information that you want these people to know so they can communicate with you in a way you will understand, and tells them how they can best support you.

Having a Health Passport with you when you visit places like your doctor or a hospital can help take some of the pressure off having to remember or explain things about your particular health or neurodiversity needs.

The Health and Disability Commission in Aotearoa New Zealand has developed this resource and you can find out more information about it at their website.  It comes in different sizes and formats – you choose what will suit you best. And you can either fill it in by writing in the booklet, or you can download a copy and type in your information, and then print the booklet. There is also a guide that tells you how to fill in the booklet. Ask for help to do this if you find it confusing or difficult.

To download a copy of the booklet, click here

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Tūhono mai  | Become a member

Tūhono mai | Become a member

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Ko ngā pūrākau a te hunga FASD | Stories from those with FASD

Caregiver and Whānau Support

If you have an individual with FASD in your whānau, you'll find a wealth of information, education, tips, strategies and real life stories here.

 

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Understanding FASD

It's important and empowering to find out as much as possible about how FASD can affect people. Click through to our 'Understanding FASD' page to skill up.

 

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