I want to discuss collateral damage as it relates to accidental injuries. I think that this can be pretty common in families with ASD children.
What do I mean by collateral damage? What I mean is when someone is unintentionally injured as a result of another child’s behavioral challenges.
For this post I’m going to refer to something that happened tonight.
Gavin was upstairs playing with Elliott and Emmett. A short while into playing together, I hear Elliott start screaming. Next thing I know Gavin is starting to freak out at the top of the stairs. Apparently, accidentally
headbutted Elliott in the nose.
I believe this was an accident, however, that accident could have been avoided.
Gavin doesn’t self-regulate very well. He’s also not in complete control of his body at times as well. What happens is Gavin gets excited and continues to get out of control and someone will get hurt as a result. Gavin doesn’t mean to hurt anyone but it happens.
I don’t know how to handle these things anymore. My priority has to be the overall safety of my family but at the same time it’s not entirely Gavin’s fault either.
What I choose to do tonight is just have them stop playing together. I’m to exhausted to stay between them and I need Gavin to slowly come back down to a reasonable level of activity. That will never happen if he keeps playing out of control…
So that is what I mean by collateral damage. Tonight, Elliott was collateral damage. He was unintentionally injured as a result of Gavin’s behavior.
What do you find folks do when something like this happens? Please tell me I’m not alone here. I think there needs to be some sort of balance reached between addressing the accidental injury and accountability for accidentally injuring someone.
– Lost and Tired
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