I met with Gavin and Elliott psychologist, Dr. Patti last night. We were discussing Gavin’s recent esculation in the self-injury department and the impact it’s having on everyone in the house. Gavin and Elliott were playing while we were talking. After we spoke Dr. Pattie was playing Candy Land with the boys and just talking to them. Gavin was basically playing the game by himself because he was simply taking everyone else’s turn despite being correct several times. After a few rounds of Candy Land, Dr. Patti said the game was over and came back over to talk to me. Gavin continued to play and was getting annoyed that no one was taking their turn.
I looked at Gavin and asked him “what did Dr. Patti just say to you?”. Gavin immediately begins twisting his body and is gearing up for a meltdown. We get him to sit down and try to explain why he is upset. I asked him again “What did Dr. Patti say?”. By this time he’s getting really upset. Eventually Gavin says that “she told me to stop playing because the game was over”. To which I replied “then why didn’t you stop?”. He gets even more upset and screams that he doesn’t know. Here is a little insight into Gavin. When he reacts like this, it’s because he was caught in a lie and NOT because he can’t control himself. After a few more questions he finally admits that he heard her but just didn’t want to stop listening.
This is becoming more and more of a problem for us. Gavin’s behaviors, be it self-injury or simply not listening is beginning to make bigger and bigger waves. Now we know that he hears us. He simply chooses not to listen or follow the instructions. This new piece of information means we have to be more proactive in our attempts at correcting the behavior. We are going to have to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy of sorts. When he makes the choice to not listen then he will have oatmeal as a substitute for his next meal. Hopefully we can get through to him before the behavior becomes a more permanent problem. All Gavin’s behavioral challenges do is just add to the chaos and set a bad example for his brothers to follow. There has to be accountability.