Safety is priority, not comfort

      28 Comments on Safety is priority, not comfort

I wanted to update you all as to what is going to happen this week with Gavin.  At this point, honestly, I think he’s coming home. I don’t like the idea because I know that nothing has changed with Gavin and it will only be a matter of time before this happens again.

I don’t mean to sound cold but it’s not safe to have Gavin in the house right now. 

At this point in time,  barring some miracle,  when Gavin is released this week,  he will return home. Lizze and I both,  have mixed feelings about this. 

One one hand,  we miss our son.  However,  on the other hand, we can’t absorb much more of his behavior.  The stress in the house when he’s home is unbearable and I can’t allow it to continue.



Right now we are making plans for him to return.  Those plans include major safety precautions. 

We are going to move Elliott’s bed into our room.  At night,  we are going to lock ourselves in our room.  That means that Elliott,  Emmett,  Maggie, Bella,  Cleo, Lizze and myself will all sleep behind a locked door.

I’m reinstalling an alarm on Gavin‘s door.  I say reinstalling because he broke the one currently in place.

We are going to put a padlock on the closet in the bathroom as well as the cabinets in the kitchen.  All silverware and knives will be moved into those locked cabinets.  Anything that can be used as a weapon will have to be secured or removed from the house,  not that we have weapons but you get the point.

I don’t mean this to sound dramatic but I think it’s pretty much a common sense move.

We’ve done the lock ourselves in our room thing before when things got bad. It’s not fun and I can’t imagine it sends a good message to Gavin but the reality is that safety is the priority here and Gavin has proven to be very dangerous.  We can’t afford to take any chances. 

Our options are extremely limited at this point because of his complexity.  Aside from the Cleveland Clinic,  Rainbow Babies and perhaps something in Columbus,  there is nowhere that is equipped to handle his needs.
I’m really trying to find a silver lining here but I just do the see one.  I’m really nervous about Gavin coming home.  I love him tremendously but he’s a threat to himself and those around him, when he gets upset.  I have to keep everyone safe and until we figure something else out,  we’ll have to run the Lost and Tired household like a prison.

I know this may seem like I’m making a big deal out of nothing hut those of you out there that have personal experience with things like this,  know exactly what I’m talking about.

Perhaps Akron Children’s Hospital will be able to figure something out. Maybe they can get him into Cleveland,  I think that would be ideal for right now. 

Fingers crossed…

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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About Rob Gorski

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

  


  • Mike says:

    No, I don't think anyone would think you are making something out of nothing. At least this is something I can maybe help with as security is sort of an obsession of mine. I'll certainly be giving it some thought tonight and maybe I can at least throw some ideas at you that you might not have considered.

    I realize that you feel a tremendous amount of guilt, and someone saying you shouldn't, especially some guy on the internet you've never met saying it, means nothing. But as an outsider looking in, as a man with no dog in the hunt, I am telling you that logically you have no reason to feel guilt. Your actions are being made with the safety of ALL your family members at the forefront. That some of them might not possess the capability to fathom your reasoning in no way lessens your motives.

    My thoughts are with you, Rob. Being an Autism Dad is hard. We didn't sign up for this, but it is what the Fates dealt us. You're playing your hand the best you can and I respect the hell out of you for it. Keep hanging in there man… Mike M.

  • autiesmama says:

    Sometimes, there are no silver linings, I suppose. I've felt that way, and sometimes I've even been right. It sucks. But you do what you have to do–what other options do you have? This is real and you are in it.
    I am, as always, so very sorry you have so much in front of you and so little to fall back on, but at least you have a working (albeit unwanted) understanding of what you can do to keep your family safe. That's more than you had when you started, I would imagine. Cold comfort, if any at all, but there may be nothing else–for today. Tomorrow, there may be something else. And if not, well, then at least it's sadly familiar territory. Sometimes that's all there is, but I hope something moves for you. I am sorry. Regards, Leslie
    My recent post The Momfia: This Time It’s Personal

  • Marlene Barnett says:

    We live like that, too. Actually to this very day.
    We lock our bedroom and keep the knives & scissors out of sight.
    Its a horrible way to live, but this is the lousy system we live in. Everyone needs to be safe. You are doing the right things.
    Something really bad has to happen in order to get the help you need.
    It’s so scary for you and your family.
    I cry for you as I re-live my old nightmare.
    Hopefully, a miracle will happen for your family and mine.
    Good luck.

  • If you want to contact me send me an inbox message. I have been there and done that. My son no longer lives with me. I too slept with knives hidden under my bed, keys under my pillow. I too tried to get my son into residential care that everyone determined he was not ready for (apparently not until they kill you) and had them all asking but how will you pay for it, someone has to pay for it, it is something that goes through a complex process I do not understand but know causes many problems for parents like us. I managed to get an emergency waiver for my son, and SSI. The waiver pays for round the clock staff at a group home, the SSI pays his rent. He attends a special school that did wonders for him, day treatment (not Child and Adolescent which I do not recommend) which does a lot of in the moment counseling and behavior interventions with the kids. He is doing very well. But I was able to get the waiver because of all the bizarre behaviors that threatened my other kids and I. I had a team of people helping with that. Ask Children’s to get you involved with Family Council in Stark County. Also, children’s services may be able to help you in terms of protecting the other two children. You need to pull all the resources you can find and Family Council is where to do that. Children’s can help you with that. The other thing is that you do not have to accept him back home and that also sets into motion a lot of things and could mean getting him placed. It may or may not be the best way to do it though. I told Children’s I was not sure it was safe for my son and asked them what if I say he cannot come home… they knew I was seriously concerned and made referrals. Please please do have that conversation before Gavin comes home.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that. I actually have been through family council a few times over the years and made the call again this morning. Hoping to hear something in the morning. Thank you so much for the awesome advice.

  • Kathy says:

    Man, and I believed this would really work for all of you! Such a system! Yes, it is crazy to lock yourselves and the little guys in a room, but I have also had to do that…no real choice, and sometimes the safety is comforting. Have a written safety plan in place, and if (when) he escalates, call the police to start the process over again, this time the police doing the transport while you stay behind. Oh, yes, there are tears involved, on all sides, but it is a lesson not easily forgotten. Also, if he has medicaid, he should qualify for in home care, and I know you don't like to rely on people, but you NEED the extra manpower to keep control. Doesn't your state have a Dept of Aging and Disability (or county) that is a source of help? Or, doesn't Gavin have a social worker assigned to him? The poor guy needs services!! I am going to say a quick prayer of thanks for the help I can have available here in Wi, andreally hope somebody can find it for you. You really need a break here. Please be safe–and determined!

  • MaryAnn says:

    Rob and Lizze: don’t ever apologize for putting safety first. I feel for you and your family; what you’re going through is the worst horrible nightmare which no parent should ever have to go through. As a. 46 year old woman suffering severe fibromyalgia and arthritis and heart trouble, I cannot begin to imagine how Lizze must be suffering. You and she are my role models of courage and bravery. Elmmetf and Elliot deserve to be if red of abuse, be it violent or sexual. You have given Gavin every chance in the world to change his ways and he’ obviously has problems which require professional help. I hope and pray things work out that Gavin gets the help he needs and that your family can be safe. Love and prayers to you.

  • Brianne says:

    Have you looked into Fairview hospital? I know they have child inpatient.

  • chloe says:

    HUGS! Thinking of you all! Just had an idea, what if you tried the positive token system? To see if maybe the positiveness of it helped? I don't' know just trying to think.
    My recent post Dreams really do come true! Different… Not Less, We Need Acceptance, not just awareness!

  • MaryAnn says:

    Forgive the typos: I meant Elliot and Emmett deserve to live safely free of abuse.

    Also, if and when I receive my disability, may I contribute a small gas card for your family? It won’t be much but I’d like to contribute a small something for your family

  • chloe says:

    Also Rob, are you aware of the new Self-Waiver through the board of DD in OH? They have one for kids who have severe behaviors etc.
    My recent post Dreams really do come true! Different… Not Less, We Need Acceptance, not just awareness!

  • Brianne says:

    After talking with a friend she said that Rainbow also has child inpatient. I know it's quite a drive for you guys, but if they can help him out, it also might be worth a look.

    Hugs and prayers of strength!

  • Jodi p says:

    Security ideas

    Alarms on doors. Bedroom and main house doors

    Locks with keys on doors ( of some sort if you can keep key on you all times)

    If you can make a “safe room” or time out room so to speak with no dangers in the way

    Hockey helmet with cage or kickboxing helmet for SIBS

    Along with mits of some sort to lessen hits to

    Head face. Reduce scratches

    Keep glass plates cups out of reach sight etc

    Too hard to do but my group home has tvs mounted on Walls behind plexi glass

    Install supervision unless he is in room with door closed alarm on

    If you are doing work. Boys are playing. He must sit in your sight and earshot. Give no opportunities to manipulate

    If you need to go to bathroom

    Etc rule is. He goes in room alarm on

    Create a contract so to speak

    These are rules of house

    Must be followed

    Create a token system

    Find something reinforcing he warns for good days. You may need to break it up he earns a few a day. Could be even Lego

    Though I find some token programs create more anxiety

    Function of behaviour seems to be a form of control.

    Find stuff he can be responsible for. To be his job so he has something to feel responsible for

    Find something in his life you can give that control for

    Try to find an sppropriate outlet to channel anger

    One resident “vents” in his room. Yells all kinds of things. Makes threats etc. but us in his room. He is doing it to get out anger. We hope to avoid aggression to others

  • Brianne says:

    After talking with a friend she said that Rainbow also has child inpatient. I know it's quite a drive for you guys, but if they can help him out, it also might be worth a look. I started google-ing places in ohio. I'm not sure if any of them are close, but a few offer transportation to them. http://www.mh.state.oh.us/what-we-do/provide/hosp

  • I wish you all the best. I hope you and the family are safe. I wish you or Liz would call me. Thomas can sometimes be this angry too. And what you have been thru and are going thru now could help me with him. He has stabbed me with a fork coz I wouldn’t let him do something dangerous. He has tried to push my mom down the steps to get her out of his way. and he throws things at us when he is mad. They say he doesn’t have asperger’s just behavioral issues. I wish you all the luck and hope it all turns out okay. I will also add Gavin to my church’s prayer list.

    • Hi Kathy. I\’m sorry to hear that Thomas has similar behaviors. In Gavin\’s case, I don\’t think it has anything to do with Asperger\’s. I certainly doesn\’t help matters but the main problem is the mental health issues he inherited from his biological father.

  • Diane says:

    Hi Rob – I've done the same safety things with knives, etc. My child has been inpatient at Fairview Hospital, Riverside Hospital and St. Cloud Children's home (there for 9 months – brought him in a couple of years ago Christmas Eve – that sucked). I don't live in your state, but maybe some hospitals around have inpatient. I know the guilt of being so relieved that you have peace when your child is not at home, but then feeling like crap because you are relieved that your child is not home and you have peace. It's a round robin. Enjoy the peace, don't feel the guilt, enjoy things you have not been able to enjoy. Remember, I've been there. Take a big, deep breath and relax.

  • Jodi p says:

    I work in a behavioural group home for individuals with behaviors and developmental disabilities
    All on various behaviour programs with behaviour needs.

    Also I work in a school for children
    With autism.
    Most of those strategies I’ve used or seen used before. And they have all been approved by behaviour therapists. Doctors. Paychiatrist etc.

  • Jodi p says:

    Another idea is if you have an ensuite bathroom

    Move him
    Into master. Lock him in there at night.
    That way he has acess to bathroom
    But not rest of house

    Or put some sort of video survelance in his room

  • aimee says:

    What if you simply say ‘No.’ He is an obvious danger to everyone in the household (including himself) so tell them ‘No. YOU do YOUR job and find a place to put him, because we’re not taking him home in this state.’ I mean, is that a legal option? I know in some states there are emergency plans they can put into place ( For Christ’s sake who ever PLANS to lose their effing mind at a certain time & place? So of course they should be accustomed to finding last minute placement. I think I would politely let them know that anything less is unacceptable.

  • I live in Texas and with my son, it got to the point of where he got arrested. Being detained does nothing since they don’t provide any type of counseling/help. Due to his behavior & diagnoses, there aren’t any RTC’s that will take him. I understand what you are going through in having mixed feelings about Gavin going back home & his dangerous/reckless behavior. The justice system will not resolve or help with his behavior. It’s sad that there are no other precautions that can be made or other places that are better suited to help our children. Wish you all the best.