Gavin broke his behavioral contract so we will be leaving for Akron Children’s Hospital as soon as we have someone to watch Emmett. Oh….and speaking of Akron Children’s Hospital, I have a bone to pick with them. Last night I learned (not sure why I was hearing this for the first ti me last night) what actually happened while at Akron Children’s the other day. Apparently, Lizze was questioned by the “social worker” and treated as though she did this to him.. Gavin was pulled into another room and questioned without parental consent. Being that he is clearly a minor I’m not real sure they can do that. Gavin has a VERY long and VERY documented history of violence towards himself and others. The police can’t even question a minor without parental consent and or presence. This “social worker” down played everything and was more worried about telling Lizze and her mother what we were doing wrong then she was about addressing the issue at hand. She also stated that Gavin’s condition is “chronic:” and that they ONLY deal with “acute” cases.
She would be correct in stating Gavin’s condition was “chronic” if we were taking him up there because he is Autistic or has Schizoaffective disorder. Those are both “chronic” (by definition means having long had a disease, habit, weakness) conditions. However, and this is a very BIG “HOWEVER”, he wasn’t up there for those conditions. He was up there due to self-injurious behavior he is developing. We go through periods of self-injurious behavior and then we go through periods where it’s not a problem. The issue we were trying to get help for was “acute” ( by definition means brief and severe) meaning it doesn’t happen all the time and isn’t necessarily a life long condition.
There were two nurse on duty that remembered Gavin on sight because they both worked with him during his previous stays in the psych unit. They remembered and even asked Gavin if “he was having a hard time again”. We’ll even go a step further here. The social worker asked if he wanted to be there. She said that if he stayed “he would miss the last week of school and that’s when all the fun stuff is.” Gavin responded with “does this mean I don’t get to go upstairs, I like it up there….they help me…and I make friends”. She again reminded him of EVERYTHING he would be missing if he went upstairs. Gavin was also asked by the triage nurse when he first arrived if he was hearing voices or had thoughts of hurting himself. He replied YES to both of these questions and that was recorder in his chart. The social worker said that Gavin “denies” ever saying that. After telling Lizze how to be a “better” parent and instructing her on how we should be trying harder, she denied him admission and sent them home. However, and this part just kills me, she had him sign a “behavior contract”. Basically Gavin “promises” not to hurt himself again. If he does we are to bring him right back. The social worker told Lizze and her mom that Gavin was to “out of it” or tired to fill it out himself so she did it for him. So wait a minute here….Gavin was not coherent enough to answer the questions himself and that didn’t register as a problem? Then in complete contradiction to everything she had said and done up to that point, she tells Lizze that we are wonderful parents and she commends us on our efforts. WHAT…now I’m totally confused. First we are the problem and now we are good parents? I know she was “just doing her job” but ignoring the facts is just irresponsible.
This is what happens when someone makes a snap judgement with NO knowledge of the facts. Those facts were presented to her in various ways but her mind was already make up. She blamed us for Gavin’s behavior not Gavin. I question her competency because she also stated that Gavin isn’t “special” in any way. She told Lizze that lot’s of kids have Autism. HELLO….earth to social worker…come in social worker. Gavin being diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder ALONE places him statistically in the 1 in 100,000 range. Meaning out of every 100,000 kids that go through that hospital only ONE of them would be like Gavin. Then you factor in everything else he has going on and that makes him even more unique. Frustrating….just doesn’t quite say it. PISSED OFF…is a much more accurate description of how I feel right now.
So what happened today to lead us back to this same place we were on Sunday morning? That’s pretty simple. Elliott got upset over something and started scratching up his face. As per our behavior plan, Gavin is held accountable for this behavior because he is the one responsible for teaching it. We have tried EVERYTHING else and NOTHING has been enough. This is done out of necessity and with the approval of his specialists. It’s a further attempt to quash this behavior because we WILL NOT allow this to continue spreading to his younger brothers. People can think what they want but we have to think “outside the box” with Gavin and we are very quickly running out of options. It should be noted that Elliott is held accountable for his actions as well but so is Gavin.
Now I will be approaching things differently. I will record EVERY meltdown and instance of self-injury so there can be NO debate as to what happened. This is the first time that we have been treated as though we hurt our kids (well at least since fighting for custody, we were investigated as part of the process). We live our lives in a very transparent manner and we hide NOTHING. To say that it’s unpleasant to be treated as though you have hurt your child would be gross understatement. As this behavior escalates we will have to take the further step of documenting even more throughly in order to protect ourselves and to make sure that there is NO disputing of the facts.
Warning this may not be the easiest thing to watch but it’s a record. It also show what many special needs parents are facing.