Reactive Attachment Disorder: The Tantrum (Viewer Discretion Strongly Advised)



Before you even watch the following video, we must be clear on a few things.

You should read Behavioral Crisis: Here’s what happened first for background.

A few things to keep in mind:

1) This is not an #Autism related meltdown. It’s a RAD related tantrum. Big difference and must be handled differently.



2) Gavin has complete control over this behavior. You don’t have to like it, but it’s a fact.

3) The self-injurious behavior is meant to manipulate us into removing the consequence he’s facing for his previous actions. We cannot intervene.

4) This is not easy or pleasant to watch. Turn your volume down and don’t let young children view, until you have seen the whole video.



5) I’m not without compassion for Gavin, however, this has to be handled in a very specific way.

6) As bad as this sounds, he does not need comfort. Remember, this is a temper tantrum not a sensory related meltdown.

7) I document these for a couple of reasons:

a) proof as to how his injuries occured

b) behavioral documentation for his doctors and specialists

c) educational purposes

 

Having said all of the above. Here is the footage, documenting what happened this morning. Again, please remember that while Gavin does have aspergers, this is a reactive attachment disorder related temper tantrum.

This is handled in a manner that is significantly different from a sensory related meltdown, common to people on the spectrum.

By sharing this, I hope to provide insight into what families like mine are trying to cope with.

Lizze and I both want something positive to come out of this nightmare. Hopefully, by helping to educate the public, people can become more aware of what some special needs families are going through.

Again, this video is unpleasant but important to watch. Please be aware this is very loud and Gavin is very violent towards himself. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Also, the only thing you will really hear me say during this video is basically reminding Gavin to scream into his pillow and keep the tantrum on the mattress.

 

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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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Silachan
Guest

Hopefully you guys get some peace soon, him included. He sounds like he's fighting with himself as well as hating that he got caught and has to face consequences.   Also for anyone who wants to safely watch it without it being too loud, turn your speakers to about 8% through the volume control. That seems to be a decent volume where you can hear Rob speaking but Gavin's screeches aren't ear piercing.   That being said it's no wonder Lizzie is faced with migraines so often. Even one of these tantrums or rages would give any sensitive person a… Read more »

KarimanElgoharyShama
Guest
KarimanElgoharyShama

im trying to watch the video but feels so painful i keep stopping it. hope i will have the courage to watch it later and maybe learn how to deal with my son's tantrums better.

kat13
Guest
kat13

It is so sad to see Galvin like that. I really hope there will be some benefit for him and for you guys with residential placement. It is truly painful to watch.

Rob Gorski
Admin

@kat13 thanks. It's very painful…

Chloe123
Guest
Chloe123

MAJOR hugs!!! Rob: I just noticed around 2:53 in the video, Gavin is saying "I'm too frustrated!!" do you think he is? Or is it just an attempt to manipulate you into getting what he wants? 
 
I have no idea, it just came to mind. 
Thinking of you all! 
HUGS

Chloe123
Guest
Chloe123

WOW Rob, as I continue watching the video, all I can say is HUGS! He stops and starts to calm down, then starts up again… HUGS!

Chloe123
Guest
Chloe123

OH He is upset about the consequence of not going to his grandparents this weekend…. that is why he is frustrated…

autiesmama
Guest

Rob–Personally, I can't think of another parent who would be able to keep the appropriately set and completely necessary rules/boundaries/tone under such circumstances.  I couldn't do it. You do it. Wow, do you do it.It may be that I saw what I *expected* to see in Gavin, but his control over his behavior seemed very clear to me–again, perhaps this is based on what you've said in previous posts, regardless, it was clearly *not* a sensory or uncontrolled spectrum-related tantrum.  His direct eye contact with the camera, the relatively regular rhythm of his escalations and exhaustions, the calculated pauses in… Read more »

Brianne Lynn
Guest

I first want to thank you for posting this.  It is very clear after watching it to see how this tantrum is vs an autism related or sensory related meltdown.  He is very clear with his direct look at the camera that he is doing it for attention.  My son will do self injurious behavior to himself at times but never to that extent.    Secondly, thank you for sharing this with us as it lets us (readers) up close and personal into your everyday.  It breaks my heart to know that is what you are dealing with on a… Read more »

Batty
Guest
Batty

You really have your hands full!  At one point I heard him scream "stop me" and "help me," then "I'm too frustrated..I can't fake it".  He"s crying for help, but the only true help will be in the form of a strictly controlled environment where he has no one he can manipulate.  I hope everyone who watches this understands his SIBs are just an attempt  to manipulate you as well as whoever watches the video.  I will pray for your early relief!
XXOOPP
Karen

Carlyoung
Guest

If more people could understand what parents of kids with Reactive Attachment Disorder go through, every day.  Maybe there would be as much awareness as what there is for Autism, or Downs Syndrome. 
 
The terror that our other kids go through every day when living in these situations, is extraordinary.  Thank you Rob for sharing your pain.  I for one APPLAUD your bravery.  You make me want to be a better dad.

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @Carlyoung You are an inspiration for me as well. Our lives are the same in so many ways. It's nice to know someone that can truly relate. Thanks my friend. 

ambereyes
Guest
ambereyes

That's so hard to watch. I do feel for Gavin, i feel for all of you. How long did this go on for?  I can't believe he can go on for so long without burning himself out.

Rob Gorski
Admin

This actually went on for about 30 minutes. My camera crashed about 10 or 12 minutes in. He has been known to go on for over an hour. 

Carlyoung
Guest

 @lostandtired Marc has been known to do it for upwards of 6 hours. 

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @Carlyoung When Gavin was younger and if better health, he would go for hours but never quiet that long. I don't even what to think about that. Good lord. 

ChrisCrane
Guest
ChrisCrane

As the parent of 4 boys ,2 of which are autistic ,this is clearly not a meltdown,but a tantrum,and clearly for attention,I hope that you documenting this will help the doctors come to understand that residential placement is needed and something got to happen so all of you but especially the boys will stop being tortured by this out of control behavior. I think you and Lizze are trying everything you can ,and I wish the powers that be would move quicker so you can get a break . Thoughts and prayers go with you guys,

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @ChrisCrane Thank you for your amazingly kind words of support. 🙂

Chloe123
Guest
Chloe123

 @ChrisCrane I agree, this definitely looks like a tantrum. At one point he kind of stops and calms a little bit, then he starts back up again. So hard to watch. Rob, I am thinking of you, Lizzie, and the boys. HUGS! Remember, you and Lizzie are great parents.

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @Brianne Lynn Thank you very much. We hate the idea of sending one of our children away but we don't have any options and its the best thing for everyone. 

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @autiesmama Thank you very much for your support. I truly, truly appreciate. 🙂

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @Chloe123 I do think he's frustrated but not for the right reasons, if that makes sense. He doesn't care about why he can't go to Grandmas house, just that he can't go. 
 
I think that most of what he's saying is meant to manipulate and that makes me really sad.

dotdash
Member
dotdash

I have seen tantrums almost exactly like this and I sympathize entirely.  It is a horrible thing to go through, very painful for all involved.     Here is my observation (and you have said as much in your posts):  Gavin is unable to accept punishment.  It's too much psychic pain for him.   The video clearly shows that.     My experience with this type of child is that they learn only from positive reinforcement.   Have you tried dropping all punishments and motivating him only by praise?  It cannot, frankly, get much worse, and you might find he becomes… Read more »

Rob Gorski
Admin

@dotdash we have tried positive reinforcement many times. It doesn't work either.

Carlyoung
Guest

 @lostandtired  @dotdash How do you give a positive reinforcement to a child who just doesn't care? 

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @Carlyoung  @dotdash That's our problem as well. The other issue is that the reward system will eventually be exploited. At least in our experience.

MaryAnn47
Guest
MaryAnn47

 @dotdash Forgive me; I see what you're saying and respect it.  I can't speak for the Lost and Tired family but from following the blog for several months and witnessing horrifying and heartbreaking videos, they have went far and beyond to the point of sacrificing their lives to help Gavin. 

dotdash
Member
dotdash

 @MaryAnn47 OMG, I am not saying they have not gone above and beyond for Gavin — I know they have being amazing and strong and courageous — I'm all in their corner.  I'm just saying that if punishing Gavin is going to destroy the household's peace and cause suffering, and it doesn't correct his behavior anyway, why not just stop doing it?  
 
Positive reinforcement may not work with Gavin either (Rob's note above) but avoiding open conflict and destructive scenes may be an end in itself.  

MaryAnn47
Guest
MaryAnn47

 @dotdash Thank you– you do hit the nail on the head and I see it clearer now.   No matter how they try to correct Gavin, they have no peace whatsoever-not to mention being held hostage by that behavior which no one deserves.   I look forward to reading more of your great posts on Lost and Tired and feel free to reply to me anytime.  Thanks again!

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @dotdash  @MaryAnn47 Dot, 
 
no worries my friend. I appreciat ethe suggestions. However, the only thing that will stop Gavin from doing this is to no longer hold him accountable for his actions. While not having to deal with these tantrums sounds amazing, allowing Gavin to rule the house is downright scary. 
 
We sorta take each situation at a time and decide how best to handle it considerning the general stability of everyone in the house at that moment.
 
That said, this is no way to live. I agree. 

dotdash
Member
dotdash

 @lostandtired  @MaryAnn47  It sounds so hard.  My heart goes out to you all (and you, too, Carl Young, having read some of your blog).  I admire you all immensely for the endurance you demonstrate every day and all the strength you have to face the tough days ahead.  

lynkcheck
Guest
lynkcheck

@Lost_and_Tired ~ I'm heartbroken for the torment that is in Gavin's head no chid should have to endure what he does ~ my prayers r with u

MikeNYvetteKennedy
Guest
MikeNYvetteKennedy

WOW watching this video, first of all, brings back memories of how I was when I was a child. I used to do the same things believe it or not and was never diagnosed as anything but an "hyperactive"  child. At seven years old I put my own head through a window. That being said, have you ever showed Gavin these videos of himself after he has had time to calm down?  When I was in therapy b/c they said I simply had " anger control problems"  my therapist suggested to them they show this to me once I was… Read more »

dotdash
Member
dotdash

Your post is so interesting since you are genetically related to Gavin.  Wow.  

Rob Gorski
Admin

 @dotdash Actually, there is no genetic relation. Vett is my wife's very close friend fro high school. They are like sisters and she is like part of our family. 
 
No offense Vett. I just wanted to clarify the genetic link part…. Family is thicker than blood. 🙂

MikeNYvetteKennedy
Guest
MikeNYvetteKennedy

 @lostandtired  @dotdash None taken at all! I was just actually going to get on here and leave a comment straightening out the whole thing. 🙂

daretofly11
Guest

I used to do this….I feel terrified watching him shreak because I know what that feels like….
out of control
scared alone panicking terror in my chest cant sit still anger rage
uncertainty
a hole in my heart
its tough
be patient with him….I took alot of beatings by my parents out of their frustration…impatience…and negligence..empathy sympathy and compassion are needed. Not having your mom you biological tie is something you life with till you die.
http://www.amazon.com/Primal-Wound-Understanding-Adopted-Child/dp/0963648004

lostandtired
Guest

@daretofly11 thank you so much for your honesty. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through as well. 🙂

Hurt One
Guest
Hurt One

Silachan Why don’t you hold him?!!? I am an adult with rad and have wanted for years to have someone hold me while I let all my rage and pain out! What we feel is freaking painful and since I could not get help when I was willing to try,talk therapy didn’t work,family,husband abandoned me.Now I am “stuck”inside with all this pain leading me to thoughts of suicide and murder. Idiots! Just dump him in an institution,right??Why don’t you contact Martha Welch who I met and was going to work with me till my family decided I was”too much”too deal… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

@Hurt One Silachan I appreciate your feedback and honesty however, the therapist involved in Child of Rage went to prison for murder. Something else important is that everyone is different. What works for you may not work for my son. Again, I really appreciate your insight..

Carlyoung
Guest

Silachan @Hurt One lostandtired
My son has RAD.  what works for him one day might not work the next.  When he starts a swing through one of his “episodes” there is nothing to do but keep him from hurting either himself or anyone else.  It is very scary to see and feel the level of rage that he is capable of expressing.  No two people with RAD are alike.

SueHimebaughCrissman
Guest
SueHimebaughCrissman

Your love for this child could be a path to his healing.  Have read “Dandelion on My Pillow, Butcher Knife Beneath” several times in my research on RAD and have seen a world totally unknown to me before.  Gavin and your whole family will be in my prayers.

lostandtired
Guest

SueHimebaughCrissman thank you

momfromcanada
Guest
momfromcanada

@lostandtired @lostandtired  People like Gavin who suffer from severe mental illnesses such as Schizophrenia are not held accountable in court even for most heinous of acts because they simply do not know right from wrong. How can a child like Gavin who suffers from autism , bipolar disorder and schizophrenia plot to take control over your house?! Do you know how crazy that sounds? Is Dr. Patti aware that Gavin is trying to control your life? Maybe she should add paranoid to your list of symptoms! If you truly love Gavin as your son, why don’t you try to imagine… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

momfromcanada we can agree to disagree.  I appreciate your well wishes.  Thank you much.  I wish you and yours the very same.

Silachan
Guest

momfromcanadaYou’re wrong, actually. Sorry, but it’s true. Having a mental illness or two or three is not a free pass to do whatever the hell you want. It’s not a free pass to commit crimes. It’s not a free pass to be excused of all your actions. A defendant claiming insanity is pleading “not guilty by reason of insanity” (NGRI) or “guilty but insane/mentally ill” in some jurisdictions which, if successful, may result in the defendant being committed to a psychiatric facility for an indeterminate period. That said, Gavin’s schizophrenia is not the cause of his tantrums. Schizophrenia results in… Read more »

MeaghanGood
Guest
MeaghanGood

momfromcanada Uh, since when are people with schizophrenia not held criminally responsible for their acts? Have you HEARD about the way the courts system treats the mentally ill? The largest psychiatric unit in California is located in the Los Angeles County Jail.