Today is the worst day in Lost and Tired family history. Gavin was caught lying after repeatedly being told not to do something.
Upon questioning, he completely lost it.
He had the worst meltdown I have personally ever seen. This meltdown included coming after me, taking a swing at the dog and putting a hole in the wall. There was self-injury and violence like we have never seen.
It was so bad that I came extremely close to actually calling the police and having them remove him from the house.
That has never happened before and I feel sick to my stomach for even thinking about it.
Lizze was in the phone with Dr. Pattie who backed us up in the whole police thing. We decided that he needs to go somewhere but that it isn’t safe for us to take him ourselves. She also pointed out that this could be related to the removal of the depakote this week.
Depakote is a mood stabilizer and an anti-convulsant. It may been helping to smooth out his moods and once removed, all hell breaks loose.
It’s possible but he was headed down this road anyway, even on the depakote.
Not that I ever know what to do but at this point, I’m completely lost. I have no idea what to do anymore. I don‘t know where to take him or how to get him there.
I told him that I love him but that violent people have no place in this house.
After close to an hour, Lizze finally gave him to the count of 3 to get under control or she was going to call the police herself and have them take him to the hospital (this is something that brought tears streaming down her face).
How did Gavin react? He simply shut it off, like nothing had happened, before she reached the count of 3.
I truly don‘t know what to do. We have begun gutting his room of anything that could be used as a weapon. He will be left with his mattress, blanket and pillow, at least for now. He will also not be leaving his room today, with the exception of using the bathroom….
This of course pissed him off even more. As far as I’m concerned, he has lost all freedom and privileges. These will have to be earned back over time.
Right now that’s all we know. We are trying to help the other boys relax and feel safe.
You should understand that sending your child away, regardless of the reason, is much easier said than done. There is a huge emotional hurdle to overcome first. Then there is the guilt and feelings of failure or giving up that will haunt you decision.
Then there are the logistics. You have to find a place, then that place has to have an open bed and be willing to take him.
Majority of the time, you have to go through the ER and follow the proper channels. This can take a very long time. In fact, one of the last times we sat in the ER at the Cleveland Clinic for over 12 hours.
I don‘t relish the idea of doing that again.
The other thing to think about is the out of pocket expenses involved. While money should never be a deciding factor, the truth is, it can be. If Gavin goes somewhere farther away, we will have a great deal of commuting ahead of us. You don‘t just drop your child off and leave. You are heavily involved, from being to end.
Travel expenses may exceed your resources and then what do by our do?
We have been there and done that more times than I care to remember. That’s one of the reasons that I truly don‘t know what to do. Even if we go through with this, there’s no guarantee that anything will actually help him. Clearly it hasn’t up to this point.
It can turn into to one of those situations where the means aren’t justified by the end result. The problem is that we don‘t know anything until then, accept for the fact that this can’t be allowed to continue.
We are going to spend the rest of the day making calls and trying to figure out what to do…
I could use any and all advice that you can throw my way…. PLEASE.
**Thanks for reading**
-Lost and Tired
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Thinking and praying for you and your family
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I am so sorry! Our daughter was hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital three weeks ago and came home after five days. Things are NO better than before she went in. It's so frustrating. I do know how you feel!!! Praying for you!
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I don't have advice, just empathy. My child is much, much younger. Her meltdowns are far more manageable…for now. But she and her young peers easily could come to this one day too. I salute your bravery and honesty. Thank you for sharing your story.
That being said, while medications certainly are not always the answer and never fully the answer, your instincts seem pretty on the mark. I'd definitely explore that further.
I hope you find the answers you seek – for him, for your family and for all of us.
Rob and Lizzie, Lifting you guys up in prayer and so wishing I could do more. Praying for safety and wisdom and clear direction for each difficult step and for PEACE.
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Not that I am proud of this, but my parents had to call the police on my when I was about Gavin’s age for pretty much the same reason multiple times. It was probably the hardest thing they have ever done in their life, but was needed. In a situation like this what you have to remember is that not only are you, Lizze and the boys in danger, but Gavin is also a danger to himself. Sometimes we have to take extreme actions to protect out children from themselves and also protect us from them. I know it’s easier said than done, but Gavin also needs to learn that this behavior is not only unacceptable, but also very dangerous. The very fact that when Lizze was counting to him and he just flipped the switch to off is a good example that he indeed knows what he is doing and knows that it is wrong. I would hate to see Gavin go anywhere but home, especially under circumstances like police escort, however, I love him and all you guys and want to see him safe. I hope that at some point you can find something to help get past all this stuff. Crazy I know, but stranger things have happened! 🙂 As for the Depakote I can attest to the fact that when you have been taking it for awhile and then just quit your moods do tend to flare way up. My moods were crazy for about a month or so after I stopped taking my Depakote. I was very easily annoyed/aggravated and just as easily set off. There were times that Sayge was scared, Mike was scared and even I myself was scared just b/c nobody knew what was going to set me off next or how far I would go. Still no excuse 🙂 <3
Is he on multiple other medications as well? While know you are saying these meltdowns are controllable to a point for him is it possible that drug interactions could result in these out bursts. He is coming into puberty and the teen years and there have been studies that hormones etc can effect the wat drugs work. I know a family member had this issue with their child, in turn she had to br hospitalized and taken off all meds to see what state she was at with out them and go on from there. She went from self injury and violent behaviors while on 12 different things to somewhat typical with just an anti anxiety and antidepressant at low dose. It could be a clean slate of sorts for his brain and his body. The brain is very comlex……..Your family shouldn't have to deal with this and even thou it is Gavins fault per say he shouldn't have to deal with it either.
Thanks Jeremy. I appreciate it.
Rob, we need to talk sometime, I have already called the police on my son. It is hard but sometimes you are left with no options, safety first for the family always.
Unfortunately we’ve been there. Our daughter was in & out of the psych hospital 6 times. She’d go in because of her anger/lashing out and would end up discharged days later because she wasn’t a problem. She would be fine, polite, calm while there so insurance wouldn’t approve more days. After a couple days home it would start all over again. Thankfully they finally saw the behavior and were able to keep her longer. I think we were going about once a month at its worst. She’s been doing well over the past year and we haven’t had to go back except to put her back on the clozaril.
What I’ve learned during all this is try to get everything taken care of before going to the ER. Insurance companies are slow as hell. Finding beds isn’t always easy and you’ll have a long wait in the ER, then more waiting while the arrange transportation.
My daughter didn’t mind the hospital at first. I went every visitation and she got the attention she wanted. When we realized that my not going was more beneficial her behaviors changed for the better.
Please be careful. I kept her home far longer than I should have. I didn’t think she could do what she did and it was too late. She gave her sister a concussion during one of her episodes. I’m working on forgiving myself on that one.
Having said all that I think you will eventually get out of the tunnel. It took awhile and a lot of work but we did. You’re all in my prayers.
I found your blog at ‘normal is a dryer setting’ by Amy Wink Krebs. They had their very very violent son put in residential care a year ago, And he is doing amazingly well. They see him on weekends, And I don’t know if insurance pays for it or what. You may want to get in contact with her, she has a lot of experience in this area.
Thank you very much. 🙂
Okay, if it is easier to approach this from a medical standpoint, maybe he needs intervention for the removal of depakote. Anytime we took a kid off of depakote, it was a very gradual process, and perhaps he can't handle not having it. Then, I know the very first time my child was taken away by police, it is a most terrible feeling of failure as a parent, but in hindsight, that is nonsense. Maybe the ones being failed right now are the other 2 kids… Please, please, try to approach this not emotionally, but practically, that Gavin needs professional intervention. It is not forever, it is just for now. You are not doing him or yourselves the best possible good by trying to handle this alone. You may have realized the superhuman strength that comes with that type of rage. Someone will get hurt, not on purpose maybe, but as collateral damage of the extreme rage he is feeling. Sometimes the best plan is to temporarily back away just a step or two, and try to look at the situation unemotionally (as possible). Practically, he needs a level of care that even the best of homes is not equipped to provide. Sad as it is, the quickest way to a bed is thru the police intervention. Yes, he will be scared, but maybe that will imprint on him that he does not like that intervention. Please do all you can, for yourselves and th little guys as well as for Gavin. He can't be allowed such power over the rest of his family, even if stuff is out of his control. Sorry you are in this, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy, having lived this life. You do not love Gavin less if you decide to get help a different way. The situation demands change. Please all, be safe, and God bless you all while you are figuring out what to do.
Thank you Kathy, you said it. He was weined of the depakote but that doesn\’t mean that it didn\’t throw things off, especially considering the balance was so fragile.
That\’s the direction we\’re choosing to take. If there is a chance the depakote could be a mitigating factor, it needs to be checked out.
I am so sorry that you are going through all of this. It is never a decision a parent wants to make. Your family is always in my thoughts and prayers. The commitment you and Lizze give to those boys inspires me to parent my children better than I have in the past. You are truly an awesome man and father for working through all of this. Thank you for the window into your world and helping the rest of the world understand parenting special needs kids.
Thank you so much. I truly appreciate it.
Me again, the police will bring him to the hospital. Hopefully (sorry, but true) they will put a 72-hour hold on him. If inpatient is needed (sorry, also, but been there), it will give you time (the social worker at the hospital will help) to find a bed (been there where there were none and had to take my son home). It may seem harsh, but trust me, my son is SUPER strong when violent and scares me (which makes me almost cry again because I know the anguish you and Lizzie are going through). I hope you contact me if you need any more help or encouragement. I love my son more than life itself, but when it comes to violence, you need to go down a different road than you probably would have planned.
Thank you Diane, for everything..
Just my opinion but it seems that if he was able to shut it off, that means he has some kind of control over it and reasoning skills. I agree with the other comments, he needs to be hospitalized and stabilized and possibly have some behavioral cognitive or biofeedback therapy. The poor little guy needs help, and your family does too. I know it is not easy to send your child away. In fact it will be the hardest thing you have ever had to do. But sometimes you have to say "What is best for him? Staying here or going where he can possibly get help?" It's a very scary situation because YOU DON'T KNOW if they will help him, but you must try for his sake and put aside any selfish reasons to keep him there. I say this from experience, trust me, it will be the hardest thing you have ever done, but it will also be the best thing you have ever done.
That is really good advice. Very well said. That is exactly what it feels like. Thank you so much for putting into words what it feels like.
(Cont) He has been on tons of meds – Depakote was horrible for him and coming off was horrible. He is only on Wellbutrin XL right now and is a bit moody, but NOT violent. Please hang in there. Please do not feel bad if you have to call the police – I have shed many tears over the police calls but there was no other option. I want you to know I've been there – I GET IT!
Please don't feel horrible calling the police!! I have had to do it 4-5 or maybe more times, resulting in my, at the time 13 year old, going to the hospital then to in patient, etc. I have been there – it SUCKS – but I was being bitten, tables thrown at me, my daughter being attacked, many pieces of furniture thrown, walls punched, etc. I could talk until the cows come home about this. It is NOT bad to call the police – I hated to, but had to for everyone's safety. They have always been good about understanding his disabilities. I have been there SOOOO many times-we have had many hospitalizations, etc. My son is 16 and home with me. It has been almost two years since he has hit me or hurt anyone else. School is a bit more difficult as it is hard to control the environment even thought it is a special ed school. I NEVER thought his violence would end.
That\’s pretty much where we are right now. We have been here before but he was much younger and easier to manage.
Now he\’s older and stronger. This equates to more danger for everyone.
If Gavin is a danger to himself or others (and clearly he is) he must be hospitalized, I can only imagine how you and your wife feel,but if he would harm himself or one of you at home , it would further traumatize the family.He needs to placed as soon as a bed can be found,then you can start looking into what to do long term and where the best care can be found for him. But now is the time to act ,a bed may be found quicker if they police are involved,thoughts and prayers go with you guys Gloria
Thank you. We are doing that right now. I\’ll have an update shortly that will better explain. Thank you so much for the support.
My son started depakote last Aug. to help with his aggression. He did fine on it for a few months but then it seemed like he was worse than before and he kept telling me that the medicine made him feel bad and he kept getting headaches so we took him off in Mar. He seemed a lot better for a couple months but now he is having more and worse meltdowns again. I think the lack of a schedule during the summer may be causing the problem for him since that is when he is the worst. He hasn't had any meltdowns that made me call the police but he has come close and I wonder what I would do if it came to that. I keep thinking there has to be something that can help without making him feel bad or the side effects making him worse. We have had my dad pick him up just to remove him from the situation so that he could calm down. I hate to do that because it is like rewarding him with a trip to Pawpaw's house for being bad but it does calm him down. I hope you find a solution soon!
Exactly…Exactly.. You are so right. It\’s the very same way with us. Either of our parents would take him for a few days, but it\’s like a reward for him.
It wouldn\’t be long before he would create situations so that he would have to go again.
Thank you so much for saying that. Not many people understand that. It\’s part of what makes this so difficult to manage.