#Autism: The boy who cried wolf

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Gavin had another meltdown this afternoon and this has brought to the surface a problem that I want to share. 

Basically,  Elliott complained that Gavin touched his chest. If you recall,  we have to have very strict rules about Gavin touching anyone. This is because,  he doesn’t understand boundaries and has a long history of inappropriate touching.

After discussing with the specialists,  we decided to allow for hi-fives,  handshakes and things of that nature.  It’s not easy to enforce a zero tolerance policy.

This adjustment,  allowed for the occasional contact but only on the hand and nowhere else.

Gavin claims to have no memory of touching Elliott and honestly,  I wanted to believe him. The problem is that he’s not giving us reason to believe him.  Just this weekend,  he was caught telling his brothers to keep something a secret from both Lizze and I. Things like that make it very difficult to take him at his word.

The other issue is that we have to error on the side of caution when it comes to Gavin touching his brothers.  We have to protect them and their boundaries.

Because of all of this,  we had to hold Gavin accountable for the touching. The consequence was simply taking away his choice for lunch. He had oatmeal instead of peanut butter and jelly.  Along with the oatmeal,  he had some fresh strawberries and blueberries as well.

All we did was remove his ability to choose what he had for lunch and replace it with the default,  which is oatmeal.

Gavin’s meltdown was simply because he wanted peanut butter and jelly for lunch and now he was not getting his way. He wasn’t upset that he broke a full or invaded Elliott’s personal space. He wasn’t even upset that we didn’t believe him. He melted down over a friggin peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I tried to explain to him that I want to be able to trust him when something like this comes up. 

I explained about the boy who cried wolf so many times that when the wolf actually showed up,  no one believed him.  That was the best way I could think to relate this to him.  My efforts,  as usual,  bore no fruit.

I realize this is a developmental issue but it’s still scary that Gavin is developmentally stunted at a place like this.  He’s in a place where he never developed a conscience.  He has never been able to grasp the concept that he should be more upset that he hurt someone,  than the fact that he’s in trouble. 

Does that make sense? 

We’ve tried social stories but they don’t help with him. This is a really bad situation to be in for a number of reasons,  but not the least of which is the fact that it’s very difficult to trust Gavin.  That feels horrible to me..  🙁

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.

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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)


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I still don't have that instinctively, and I'm 20 and married. I can logically reason out priorities, but my brain never developed an easy way to think about them, and they don't come naturally. It's like the average person trying to do high level mathematics. If you sit down and work it out, you can figure out the answer, but you can't do it quickly and naturally. I have meltdowns almost everyday when it's time for dinner. I can't choose, then cook, then eat something. Not with out a meltdown. Do I know that my husband having a dinner is more important… Read more »