Behavioral Crisis: Here’s what happened

Before I go any further,  I want to provide a little bit of background.  It’s necessary to fully understand what led up to today’s events. 

Emmett is extremely,  how shall I put this….picky,  about everything.  There is a specific chair at the dinner table that Emmett has claimed as his own.  It’s the only one he will use and we don’t take issue with that because, well, it’s a bigger picture type thing.

Anyway,  every night before we sit down to dinner there is drama because Elliott has Emmett’s chair.

Some of the time Elliott will give the chair back and other times it becomes a blow out.

Basically, this has been creating resentment between the to E’s and makes for an unpleasant evening for everyone……..or so we thought.

We discovered this morning that Gavin has secretly been switching the chairs at some point during the day.  How do we know this?  We caught him red handed today.

Of course,  Gavin claims that this was an accident.  However, bardon my French,  but that’s bullshit. There is no way this was an accident.  Switching the chairs is far to complicated for it to be an oversight on his part.

When pressed,  he says he doesn’t know why he’s doing that.  Um…..again I call bullshit.

This is a perfect example of what a child with reactive attachment disorder (RAD) does to cause turmoil within the family.

Sometimes it’s very subtle, like with the chairs and other times it’s more obvious,  as with the tantrums.  Either way, it’s pretty messed up and cannot be tolerated.

Honestly, if we hadn’t caught him this morning, this would have gone on indefinitely. 

Once Elliott and Emmett start fighting over the chair,  Gavin just sits back and watches them go after each other.  Elliott ends up paying the higher price because he ends up getting hit by Emmett during the squabble.

Sure,  Emmett is responsible for his actions but is it really his fault?  Yes and no. 

By switching the chairs,  Gavin is knownly pushing Emmett’s buttons.  He knows how Emmett is going to react and he does this anyway.

What really scares me and yes it scares me,  is what is he doing that we don’t know about?

I mean,  something this subtle is hard to notice but causes a great deal of turmoil.  What do they we know about?

I almost don’t want to know. 

This has to end. 

The Lost and Tired family needs help.  Gavin needs help.  The boys needs relief.

For those of you unfamiliar with RAD kids,  this is really hard to wrap your brain around.  Honestly,  I’m living it and I have a hard time wrapping my brain around this. 

We are going to have you increase our vigilance and scrutinize everything he does.  That sucks but I don’t know any other way to filter these situations out,  at least until he is placed in residential care.

I’m lost, tired, angry, frustrated, overwhelmed and heartbroken.  🙁

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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You and your family are in my prayers (I just started the proses) I will be getting my first foster child in by Monday September 9, 2013 and I asked for children like your son. Those children that “no one wants” But that is so not true I want them and GOD wants them and I have a great church that understands (the best they can with out having ever seen a blow out) and they are supportive. I was wondering if you had any information that may be helpful in this new adventure I’ll be walking. I have worked with children like this before but only a couple of hours at a time never as a full time parent. Also have you heard of the “Son Rise” program or “Brain Balance” I have seen these help other children on the Autism Spectrum?
Thanks for your time


Anyone who has worked with children diagnosed with RAD will not find this very surprising.  The thing that I have found is that internally they are going through a lot of stress and chaos, so they rationalize that by controlling their environment by creating the same chaos they will feel more comfortable.  I would imagine that whenever there is a chaotic episode involving everyone else, Gavin sits there comfortably and does not appear stressed.  This can cause a lot of problems because they only interact with others in terms of manipulation and what can be done to make them happy.  I would also bet that the only times he is truly scared or worried when there is chaos or stress is when he is not the cause of it..  Unfortunately it becomes a matter of creating a behavior plan based on immediate rewards and immediate/significant consequences for every action.  It can become overwhelming for a family, which is why residential placement would be a better option. 


 @anansison @Whynotfathers Thank you, Thank you. That was very, very well said. I've never heard it explained like that but it makes a great deal of sense. That's exactly what happens. He creates the chaos and then sits back and watches.
You get it. Thank you so much. 


I was wondering if he was this manipulative yet and you have answered the question for me without needing to even ask.  I have a friend who adopted a child at the age of 18 months who had been emotionally butchered by his mother.  He was a normal-ish child until he hit 12 and then by manipulating the mom, he managed to dive a wedge between the parents.  He would injure himself and then provoke a conflict with the father.  When dad touched him in any way he would scream for mom and then show her the injury, saying dad had done it to him. Mom believed him every time!  The parents eventually separated for a year and almost divorced until mom caught on to what he was doing.  He had been bad mouthing dad to the other kids to the point they were terrified of dad. The he started harming the other children (who were all younger than he was) and trying to physically abuse mom (he was 15 at the time).  The family was totally taken in by him and stayed in a state of turmoil until he was removed from the home for striking his mother with a chair.  The parents reunited and the family went on to become healthy through counseling, but the fallout from this one child still colors their lives even now 8 years later.  I hope you can take advantage of this hospital visit and get him to a place where he can have constant  surveillance and care.  Prayers from Virginia~


 @Batty It's unbelievable, how skilled these kids are at doing these things.