Residential Placement can’t come fast enough :-(

I’m standing outside Gavin’s bedroom door quietly listening to him have an enormous, violent tantrum..

I was outside with the two E’s and Gavin was giving Lizze a hard time. 

I brought everyone back into the house and sent them upstairs with a snack so I could help Lizze.

Gavin was still being uncooperative and I finally had it and told him that he would not be going anywhere tonight. He needs to learn to treat his mother with respect before he gets to go have fun at Grandma’s house.

The second he heard that, it was on. 

He went from zero to tantrum in nothing flat.  He immediately took to stomping his feet and screaming. When I say stomping his feet I mean shaking the entire house

We tried a few things to contain the violence but nothing worked. 

The next thing I had to do was get him into his room so he was isolated from rest of the family.  He refused to go upstairs and after having him begin to scream in my face,  I did something that took him totally by surprise.

I picked him up, through him over my shoulder and carried him to his room, all while he tried to pound me in the back with his fists. 

I deposited him onto his mattress and reminded him of the tantrum rules. 

There was no point in trying to get him to listen because he was too pissed off that he was staying home.

He began punching his wall, which is his go to thing now to show us he’s angry. He kicked his desk so hard he knocked the drawers off their tracks and so I removed them from his room for safety reasons. 

Lizze in the meantime had gotten the E’s downstairs and distracted from the drama.  At one point,  Gavin actually was on his stomach, screaming, kicking his feet and hitting the floor with his fists.  It was the stereotypical temper tantrum that you would expect from a 2 or 3 year old. 

I’m writing this down because I want this accurately documented while it’s fresh in my mind. 

Please don’t confuse this with the more “typical” meltdowns, common with autistic kids.  This is not sensory related and was nothing more than a very violent temper tantrum.

What a friggin fantastic way to start the weekend. 

Residential placement for Gavin can’t happen soon enough.  We have some very real safety concerns not to mention the physical and emotional wellbeing of everyone else to worry about. 


As much as it sucks to say this,  Gavin needs to be away,  at facility that can help him to overcome these violent behaviors.  That can’t happen at home and we can’t have him here much longer. 

I think that having to use physical force to contain these outbursts means we have reached a point that we are no longer capable to handling him at home. I do think want to have to physically carry him to his room and once that line is crossed,  where do things go from there. 
I know some people do that have an issue with responding to a situation like this with nonviolent physical force. 

However,  in my opinion, one you cross that line, it’s easier to lose your cool and the more aggressive the child is likely to become. 

This absolutely blows.  I hate this and wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

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 hate me.

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I'm a few days behind in my reading, but I'm just glad you were able to separate him from the rest of the family before he could hurt anyone.  My biggest concern is that you, Lizze, the E's, and the dogs just aren't safe.  It's really scary and I hope placement comes through soon.  You're doing the best you can, but I just worry about you guys.  Please stay safe!


I have no words to describe how I feel for you and the rest of the family.  I pray that funding comes through quickly for you.  Marc came home from safe bed today.  One hour is all it took for him to start his behaviors again.  No tantrums yet, but I stress yet. 


My best with you and Lizze. I have no idea what this must be like, but it sounds… well, let's be direct, like hell. I think all of us here know you're doing the very best thing for Gavin by placing him somewhere that can deal with his issues – and not just for him, but for the E's, too (sounds like they need a break from their dear brother). The calm that will come will surely be welcomed by all. Good luck.


 @k0nane Thanks a lot k0. I really appreciate it. Wise words as usual. 🙂


 @Batty @CassandraS @DLaubacher @DeeBrake @Grandma K @LorcaDamon @autiesmama @kat13 thank you all so much for all your support. This is quite scary and exhausting. I did the very best I could. 🙂  


Sounds a lot like BiPolar Disorder in Children type of tantrum!  That is what makes thing so difficult.  The same symptom occurs in so many different disorders!  Best of luck to you!  We had good luck taming the tantrums with the medication we used.  I am sure you have tried it all.  I pray the residential placement comes through quickly for your family, and especially Gavin!


Rob, I am so sorry!  I have to say that I completely understand where you are coming from.  Our 9 year old daughter has been in a residential setting since August 9th.  I had my youngest's early childhood intervention teacher at the house on Wednesday and she said she could tell how much less stress there was in the house.  There was no way that we could continue to parent our daughter at home either.  She was just become much too destructive and aggressive for that to happen.  I hope you get the residential situation figured out soon!


Oh Rob, I'm so sorry!  Things will likely escalate very rapidly now and you will need to hold onto your resolve with both hands.  So sorry that it has come to this point.  My own situation had reached the point where we would have to hold my 17yo daughter down (and it took 2-3 people at a time) until she would decide it wasn't worth all the effort she was having to put into demonstrating her temper and attempting to scare us.  She WAS very frightening when she was mid tantrum–threatening to kill herself, us and all the animals and describing how she would do it, but we never gave in to her attempts to manipulate us this way.  Once the situation gets to the point of having to physically restrain a child who is getting bigger and stronger daily, I had hit the slippery slope that would lead either to jail for one of us or residential placement, and I chose (and was advised by her psychiatrist) to move for parental placement.  She has made so much progress in residential because of having a totally predictable schedule and 24 hr surveillance and staff awake to meet her needs.   
This is what will make such a difference for Gavin.  No flexibility, no chance to wear someone down who is short on sleep and patience, no reply to arguments or tantrums.  
For her safety, don't leave Lizzie alone with Gavin.  Please.  I am saying double and triple prayers for the safety of ALL of you. 


Hi Rob,
Just a thought. When looking for placement, perhaps ask if the facility's staff uses Professional Crisis Management. It is a program used for violent individuals which does not injure. I am not trained in this but have read about it and an ABA Therapist I personally know has been certified in this because she treats some children/teens with very violent/agressive behaviors. For more info on the program:
It's quite interesting as it uses some martial arts-like moves and body mechanics which do not hurt but effectively contain the child from injuring you without hurting him/her.
Best of luck and my prayers are with you!


it is obviously a bahvioural issue now, not a sensory overload. he is playing his tantrum card at every opportunity to try to get his way and when he doesnt, he is getting more and more violent to try to push you to the breaking point, he is calling you number on all the threats of punishment and pushing your buttons like children are so great at doing. i have no idea what type of punishment/reward system can work at this point, what is there left that you havent already done. Gavin CAN NOT be the ruler of the house and whatever Gavin says goes. he can not be boss, and it is obvious from his behaviour that he wants to be in charge and tell you what to do. unacceptable. i am sorry for your situation. in our house we are firm about WHO is in charge, but in your case, it is sooooo different than the average home. i hope you find resolution soon.


Rob, you handled it beautifully. You recognized it for what it was, took precautions, and thought carefully before you acted. It probably felt like hell, but I think it was a milestone for you–I would never presume, but it sure sounds like it.
As for your thoughts on the physicality of discipline. You're right. I grew up in a home where the corporal punishment was a notch or four above the norm. I know there's no way I could physically discipline my kids, mostly because there's a chance that I could get used to it.  It's in me, you know? And there is a line, you're right.
I hope that you're feeling more confident about the decisions you've made regarding Gavin. They may never feel good, but that doesn't mean they're not for the best.
Regards, leslie


 @autiesmama  AGREE. i remember once getting angry at my children and i wanted to smack them, my mother was a tough discipline, and i smacked my little girl once. and i knew it was too much. i stepped away. left the room, and later talked a long time with her about why she was disciplined and that i didnt like smacking her, it made me feel terrible in my tummy. i think the CHAT was much more useful to her than the smack.  there is a difference in a smack on the hand for reaching for something dangerous and a pounding for being bad. i remember ducking a slap once as a preteen and getting the back of the hand swinging back… NOT NICE. i knew instantly when i was dealing with my children that day, it was IN ME as well, that ability to lose it, like a circle of violence we all hear about.  ROB did handle it as good as he could under the circumstances. removing the real dangers, removing him from the young ones, even if by carrying and force. there is a difference in force and violence. and i think Rob did great,  i bet his heart was pounding with fear and andrenaline and it took his all to keep from going in there and doing SOMETHING… anything… to stop it.


Can you enlighten us as to what residential treatment will provide Gavin that your family is not able to do so?  Why will he be able to learn coping skills in a facility and not at home?  I hope you are able to get him placed in the near future. 


I( can't speak for Rob, but I can tell you that  he's been painfully honest with regard to the decisions he's had to make.  While I'm certain that he absolutely can enlighten you and help you understand his decisions, I can tell you that he's walked in shoes very few of us–parents of special needs kids included–could begin to fathom.
I'm sure you'd readily find answers to your questions in the archives.
Regards, leslie


@Grace it would be beneficial for you to read some back posts but I can sum it up for you. Gavin has reactive attachment disorder and is in the way, currently to becoming a sociopath.

He has to be placed in residential treatment so that he can learn the things that we can't teach him. He's not safe and needs to get whatever help the facility can offer so he has a chance in life.


My heart goes out to you. I know someone whose son was placed in a residential facility at age nine because of his violent outburts. He was completely non-verbal and would inadvertently use aggression to make his frustration known. Unfortunately, much like your family, there was a family with life-threatening health issues: his younger sister, who spent years on a heart transplant waiting list.
People were so horribly ugly to this family when they placed him in a facility that I am ashamed to even be called human alongside these people.
In this particular instance, the child was so much calmer and happier in an environment that could meet his needs, specifically his need for strict, unwavering routine. Every single day is identically the same for this child, and it was something that he needed and that life in a household with five family members simply cannot provide.
I've only recently come across your blog and did not know you were awaiting placement. I wish your family all the success with treatment that you need and deserve.


Lousy way to start the weekend for sure 🙁  praying for his help and benefit and relief for your family

Grandma K

When the respite comes – I pray the release of tension for all of you is positive. God Bless