Extrapolation Nation

(If you are planning on attending the upcoming Trust based Parent Training, take a look at the bottom of this page because the dates and times have changed. No inconvenience intended.) 
For your edification, this is the definition of extrapolation according to my BFF M. Webster: 
Extrapolation is an act or instance of inferring an unknown from something that is known.
One of the most mind-bending features of trauma on the brain is the way it can interfere with the development of extrapolation 
skills–a handy little executive function. 
When I taught my son how to measure a cup of water for making instant oatmeal, he was 6-years-old and I didn’t expect him to remember how to do it the next time. When he was 12-years-old, I really, really, really wanted him to be able to measure a cup of water for instant oatmeal from one day to the next.  Really, really, really, I did.  
Unfortunately, year after year, I have had to tell him how much water to use (and how long to cook it, for that matter.)  Oh yeah, he can read the label on the package.  Oh yeah, there is a cheat sheet on making instant oatmeal in his “How To Do Everything” binder. Oh yeah, he has an average IQ. 
Funny thing though: he knows the fastest footpath to Target; he knows how much “found” change it takes to buy mini donuts at the corner store; he knows how to buy stuff on the internet by “borrowing” my credit card (apparently the security code on the back of a credit card is innate knowledge); and he knows how to take the RT to a friend’s house.  Why in the world can he not remember how much clothing is too much clothing for the washer, how to turn on the dishwasher, or how to cook instant oatmeal?
If this is familiar, then you can know that your traumatized child has what we call spiky access to his executive function. Sometimes she can and sometimes she can’t extrapolate.  It is what it is.  No need to lose your marbles over it or break your tender relationship because of it.  Instead, breathe and direct him to the place where he can find the answer to his 999th question about the same thing. One day, out of the blue, like an epiphany or lightening bolt to the forehead, your child will just be able to do it.
At that point, SNOOPY Dance!
Love Matters,
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
One cup, 90 seconds.  One cup, 90 seconds.  One cup, 90 seconds.  Heaven forbid I change our brand of oatmeal with different amounts of water and cooking times. Change is scary, my son says.  I believe him.
The Attach Place

The Attach Place
Center for Strengthening Relationships

Next Trust-based Parent Course is planned for March 14th and March 15th, 10am to 3pm each day,  in a new back-to-back, two-day format. Save the dates.

Next Hold Me Tight Couples workshop by Robin Blair, LMFT at The Attach Place is planned for April 17th, 18th and 19th.
The Attach Place supports The Wounded Warrior Project by providing free neurofeedback to veterans.  Feel free to send a soldier our way for an assessment.
Feel free to send this link to friends or family members who you would like to sign-up for Daily YOU Time: Wisdom for Adoptive Parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.