I have decided to move this conversation into the public forum. I’m doing so because I want to make sure there is a public record for what I have to say. At this point, I don’t want to leave any room for further misunderstanding and I want proof of what is going on.
Over the past few days this person has been harassing Lizze, telling her that I’m abusive and that she needs to take the kids and move to a shelter. These comments were posted to her youtube channel and we’re later deleted by the original author. Later, comments were left to some of my videos as well as right here on my blog.
I think introductions are in order. You already know who I am so now it’s time to shine the spotlight on the person that has choosen to insert herself into our lives.
I would like to introduce you to grandmasbabees or Diane Cxxxxxxxxx. She claims to be a writer,retired psychotherapist and college prof(psychology),former military behavior psychologist, grandma, mom,wife,kittymom, veteran(WAC), at least according to her twitter account.
While I firmly believe that everyone has the right to their own opinion, publicly accusing us of something that is both untrue and unfounded, is crossing the line. Continuing this for days, is a bit excessive.
Basically, I’m being accused of abusing Gavin and Lizze is being accused of allowing this to go on. Her approach to Lizze is encouraging her to basically grow a backbone, grab the boys and move to a shelter. She has chosen to play the advisory role to me.
Here are some of the comments she has left Lizze as well as the links to the YouTube videos they are attached to.
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Stolen van R 1.19.2012 Video Blog:
“get strong and protect gavin from your husbad, it is clear he emotionally abuses gavin, stop whining it is only a van that is what insurance is for, you ned to protect gavin”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Meltdowns aren’t just for Gavin M 6.6.2011 5y:
“this is to you mom, you need to protect gavin from his stepfather clearly he is emotionally abusive and favors the other two. you are gavins mom take responsibility and defend and protect him, stop humiliating gavin all over the internet for “informational purposes” bullsh*t”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Vlog June 24, 2011 12:53 PM:
“be strong for your boys, protect gavin, you can go to a shelter,, stop making excuses”
If you follow the links back to the comments page, you will find the comments have been removed. We never removed anything, I have to assume that it was the original author.
This woman seems very, very upset at the videos of Gavin having a meltdown. In all honesty, I can understand, that without bothering to read the posts attached to these videos, they could be misunderstood. However, if you’re going to be accusing me of abusing Gavin, I would suggest you do your research. If you are indeed a professional you would know that.
Here are some of the comments she has made to the videos on my YouTube channel.
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Autism and Routine:“switch to target brand with no characters and tell him grover diapers all gone”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Gavin Crisis 04 04 2012:“i couldnt watch the whole thing so dont know the end… it looks like a battle of will between you two. i think it is too much on him. i would try to comfort him instead of drill sgt approach… you are not giving in to be kind and comfort”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on #Autism Meltdowns and selfinjury:“you are too hard on him, so what about what others think your son has autism and this approach frustrates. you need to understsnd sensory, he hurts, he isnt being bad”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Autism and Communication Struggles:“seems like you are so much harder on the older one than younger one wondering if older boy is a step? in other videos my heart goes out to him”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Gavin Meltdown 11 13:“please get help i have watched a few of your videos and looked at your website you are cruel to gavin, you need help, it is clear you do not care about him compared to the other boys”
grandmasbabees has made a comment on Another Meltdown:“Have you considered that this child is in pain? Real pain? Sensory issues hurt. Consider comforting him, and never use food as punishment.”
While some of these comments are tactful and appropriate, others are clearly not. I was prepared to let these go and just not pay attention to them. However, she wasn’t done there. This comment was posted on my blog and subsequenlty reported by one of my readers.
This comment was in response to #Autism: Sexually Inappropriate Behavior
I have to be honest here, i have watched your UTube videos too, you are very hard on Gavin. You surely favor your biological boys, and perhaps you are looking for any excuse to get rid of Gavin? Own it, if you can’t stand him that is how you feel, perhaps foster care would be a better alternative for Gavin? When I see you make him sit on his hands for so long and not comfort him when upset, it breaks my heart. I really believe CPS shoud get invoved. And stop whining and asking for money. There are plenty of social service programs, call your County. If your wife can get onine and video blog she is well enough for you to work. Just sayin it like I’m seein it. Yes it is tough having special needs kids, but there is no excuse for how you treat Gavin.
This is when I began to really get frustrated. Now I realize this is just some random person online and I shouldn’t care…
However, Diane claims to be a professional and psychotherapist. If that is indeed the case this is even more concerning to me as she has or had, access to people in real life.
I posted earlier today asking for her to stop and contact me directly if she would like to discuss what’s bothering her. She did so in email form. I would like to respond to her email but I’m concerned that anything I write will be twisted to fit her agenda. So I have decided that it would be best to address this publicly. This way there is never any question as to how I handled this person and responded to her email.
This is the email I received a few hours ago.
I am mandated by law to report what I suspect as child abuse To continue to film your stepstop gavin on you tube, in extreme emotional pain, for the profit of your website is horrible. You please cease and desist publicly humiliating him and using him to promote your website. There are numerous tapes where you have coldly filmed him in “meltdown” and made him sit on his hands until he falls asleep. Be careful what you put out on the web. People watch and will report. I’m doing my research now, what I see I don’t like at all. I am an advocate for austistic children. And by the way, in your header, you mispelled “honesty” just letting you know. You know who I am? I know who you are, we are even.
Now, I would like to reply to this and hopefully put this to rest because I really do have bigger things to worry about.
I really do appreciate your concern for Gavin. However, accusing me of abusing him and trying to convince my wife to take our boys and run to a shelter is beyond irresponsible. You haven’t bothered to actually research why I handle Gavin in the manner I do. I hate having to address him like that. I’ve said that many times before. However, things aren’t always as they seem on the surface. As a psychiatric professional, I’m sure your aware of that. Perhaps you simply forgot. It happens to the best of us.
I’m not going to justify my actions because I have already explained, countless times in the posts attached to the videos you are so concerned about. Read and you shall discover the information you are looking for.
You also expressed concern about me making Gavin sit on his hands. You even went on to say that he does this for so long that he falls asleep. That is simply a fabrication and I challenge you to show me where you have seen that. Having personally, been there when these events occurred, I can tell you that Gavin has never fallen asleep while sitting on his hands. The only reason Gavin sits on his hands is for his own safety. If he didn’t sit on his hands he would be punching himself in the face and slicing his face, arms and legs with his finger nails. He has been admitted for psychiatric care due to self-injurious behavior many times and this is very well documented. We have to ensure not only his safety but the safety of those around him. He only has to sit on his hands until he can keep his hands safe. It puts him in control of when he can get off his hands. This practice was born out of necessity, not a desire to treat him in a cruel fashion.
As far as the whole oatmeal thing goes, that was something we tried out of desperation. Gavin is not even close to your typical child with Aspergers, not that any are, as each are unique in their own right. Gavin is extremely complicated and has layer upon layer of mystery surrounding him. Again, if you were indeed a professional, you would have likely picked up on that already. However, you don’t need to be a professional to pick up on this. All you have to do is read from the literally hundreds and hundreds of posts here on this very blog about that very issue.
Gavin is a master of manipulation and very often uses these meltdowns as a means of trying to get what he wants. These meltdowns occur when he is being held accountable for his actions. I would never do anything to hurt any of my children and I’m honestly beside myself that a professional, such as yourself, would make such a public claim based on zero first hand knowledge and a knee-jerk reaction to something you saw on YouTube and clearly misunderstood.
If you are indeed an Autism advocate, you would likely know that your approach to this entire situation was flawed from the very beginning. Not only was your approach unprofessional but it was reckless as well. Someone in your position, shouldn’t handle themselves in the manner in which you have. What gives you the right to tell my wife to leave and go to a shelter? You have no idea why things are the way they are because you never bothered to investigate further.
My wife will be sharing her own thoughts when she is in a better place to do so. You have upset her greatly and caused her undo stress.
You have worn out your welcome and I will ask you once again to please go away.
Considering that this woman is totally flouting professional protocols for reporting suspected "abuse," I highly doubt she's any sort of professional worth getting worked up over. If she were, alienating your wife by publicly calling her an abused woman and making demands of her is NOT how you handle the situation if that were the case (not saying it is). She's a troll, as evidenced by her behavior and her lack of punctuation. I think you do a very good job of celebrating your family's life and conveying the extreme stress you all are under at all times. A therapist (or even a compassionate human being) would see the struggle and if they had any real concerns, would address it privately rather than inflame an already stressful situation.
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That is just sick. I have been reading your posts for a while now and I think you and your wife and awesome. I don't think I could walk a mile in your shoes and live to tell about it. I think it really pisses me off that this woman could say if Lizzie could blog she could work. My husband could probably blog but I know for certain he can't work. That is just insensitive and cruel and she should be ashamed of herself for even making that suggestion. It proves that she isn't everything she says she is. Take heart in knowing that those who really read your posts believe in you and your family. We may not know you but we obviously are more informed then this lady. She needs to go away.
don't give this person another second of your time! There will always be people that like out there, you don't have the time or the energy for that. So, your readers know better, we can ignore her too…give some love to those boys (and their mamma of course) and "keep calm and carry on" If nothing else you can use this as a teaching example for your boys on how to avoid a bully!
I'd like to see this woman do a better job of raising Gavin, Elliott and Emmett than you and Lizze. It's all very well to be a "professional" (not that her behaviour would indicate she's particularly good at that) and have theoretical knowledge of autism or any of the laundry list of challenges you guys face but unless you're faced with the situation in reality, there's no telling how you would respond and what's going to work. If she'd done her homework she'd realise that all the methods you use to coach Gavin through his meltdowns have been endorsed by his team of professionals, who actually know him!
I'm intrigued that she considers Lizze's video blogs as being an indication that she's well enough for you to work. From my understanding, Lizze video blogs when she's unable to type a blog, and if she'd watched any she'd see they're usually an expression of how overwhelmed Lizze is feeling at that point in time. I don't follow Lizze on YouTube so only sees ones she posts on her blog so I could be wrong.
You're dead on as to when I vlog. I use my vlogs when I'm either too overwhelmed to type it all out because there is just *that much* and my body would never make it through (which incidentally is also the reason I don't blog as often as Rob in the first place, because my hands can't keep up with the demand so I get behind, then overwhelmed). Or my hands either hurt to much to type or my tremors are so bad that I'd spend 3x as long on editing as I did typing the original post.
For the record, if anyone here cares, my pain is also why my speech and cadence is off and halted when I vlog because I am in so much pain that it makes it difficult to think, keep my thoughts straight and talk at the same time. That's just for the record though, as it's been mentioned/complained about on my YouTube Channel before.
Thanks for understanding and defending me, Julia. There are only a few people who actually "get me" enough to do either one of those accurately or adequately. So, yeah, thanks.
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Lizzeann – Because of this flap about "Concerned"'s posts, I watched some of your youtube vlogs. What I saw on those vlogs was alarming and the change between you in Jan and you last year was particularly alarming. If your vlogs are at all representative of your life, you are suffering too much. Way too much. You are suffering through your life, not living it.
If you were my friend in real (not digital) life, I would march you somewhere for treatment, whether that was an inpatient hospital for depression or an ER to get you pain meds. Something is SO not right. I get it that Rob is overwhelmed with caring for the boys and you might be needed there as well. But if you can get better, you will be more help to everyone, and you will really *live* your life.
I know you are under doctors' care, and maybe they think they are doing all they can for you? I am just saying to push harder and don't settle for suffering — no one deserves that and no one can tolerate that for long.
Wow. I just reread this post and I did NOT mean to sound so bossy. It sounded different in my head, more a I'm-really-concerned-for-you and less I-know-what's-best-for-you. Please, if you can, spin it around to the direction I meant it to come from. SORRY!
Your fine. If your referring to the comment to Lizze, I actually agree with you and have been saying the same thing myself for a long time. You expressed concern and I really appreciate it, as does Lizze. 🙂
You know I'm always "here" for you guys. I might not always comment frequently but I read every post both of you write and when someone attacks you like this, I come out swinging 🙂
On a side note, have you considered voice recognition software? It might make it easier for you to express yourself and make more progress with your writing. Sometimes the thoughts in my head feel like they're on a carousel, spinning faster and faster and I have to get them "off" the carousel by writing them down..writing is an important outlet for you so this might be the way to access it, tremors and fibro be damned!
I'm so sorry you guys keep going through this, I was unsure to whether they were a troll, someone not so smart, or someone purposely being rude like this. I recommend just blocking their IP from here on out, block every one of their screenames from being able to even visit your sites, and you and Lizzie comfort one another. You don't need this crap, excuse my language. You all do the best for your children, anyone with any sensibility can see this.
Continue being awesome, guys. You've already taken the higher road by being polite throughout this whole ordeal. Just take it one more final step and block them.
If I were you, I would not engage with this person. You have a lot on the line and nothing to gain. Block her comments, or get a lawyer to write a letter, but do not engage on a personal level.
That's what I'm thinking at this point as well. Even though she has stirred up more issues for me than she knows (although she would if she took 5 mins to read either Rob's blog or mine) I've decided to leave this be. She's already given me one migraine that medication couldn't help; I'm not stupid, I don't need anymore. So she is free to live her life and I'll live mine. I just pray this dies here without our lives upended anymore than they already have been.
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Unbelievable. You don't need or deserve this, brother. Much love and support from here as well!
Thank you Paul
I would invite her to go ahead and call CPS, like she threatened. They know you and what a wonderful haven you provide for your children. Then, I would block her from any communication to you or Lizze. She is not helping, and your job is to protect you and your family from harmful people. If she wants to help somebody, then there are plenty of families out there who need help! Block her from our facebook page, block her from your emails, block her from each and every blog you must read. Again, protect YOU and yours to provide a healthy home. Never let someone that incorrectly judgmental ruin a special day like mother's Day. I think you guys are fabulous.
Thank you very much Kate
Wow, I am so sorry you're dealing with this! Much love and support from our end.