The boy who cried wolf

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Lizze and I have noticed something about Gavin today that we hadn’t noticed prior.  He seems to start complaining about his health problems, of which there are many, whenever he has to do something he doesn’t want to be doing.

Gavin does have several, very serious health problems.  He has an autonomic disorder, immunodeficiency, mitochondrial disease (most likely) and some type of degenerative neurological disease as well. 

The autonomic disorder is the most frequent problem for him as his heart rate and blood pressure become unstable and he has to be hospitalized. 

He experiences various symptoms,  from chest pain, numbness, nausea to blurry vision. 

These are all very real symptoms and can mean an impending autonomic crisis and very likely several days in the hospital. 


Having said that, there seems to be a pattern forming that leads us to wonder if he’s always experiencing these things when he says he is.

He can’t really fake the heart rate and blood pressure as I can confirm those symptoms easily. However,  things like chest pain, blurry vision and nausea can’t be verified and we have to take him at his word,  which isn’t worth much. I hate to say that but it’s the truth.  Unfortunately, we can’t trust most of what comes out of Gavin’s mouth.

What are we supposed to do when he says he’s not feeling well?

This has been a get out of anything pass because these are very real problems and could indicate a serious threat to his health/life. He’s potentially got us over a barrel because we have to take his claims seriously.  Many times we have no way to verify anything that he’s complaining about. 

Does that make sense?

This is literally like playing with fire because if we don’t take him seriously,  his life could be in danger.  However,  at the same time, all he has to do is say somethings wrong and we’re going to have to take him at his word. This is so easily exploitable by a child like Gavin.

I have spoken with him many times about being honest with us about his health and extremely important it is. 

For example, tonight he was supposed to be reading.  He began complaining about chest pain and so we had to tell him to go lay down.  Shortly after being told to lay down,  he wants to come down and play. 


He could actually be feeling better but it seems awfully convenient and honestly, a bit suspicious. 

I absolutely hate everything about this situation.  There is no way to know for sure what he’s feeling and because of the seriousness of some of his health issues,  we can’t afford to make assumptions.  We have to take him seriously when it comes to this particular situation and that tips the balance of power in his favor and that’s not good for 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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Kathleen Mary Parker

Concentration on a favorite activity is a well-known method to distract from chronic pain …

Last edited 3 years ago by Kathleen Mary Parker

@handmchallenge I relate to that! I also find over stimulation/busy environments increase anxiety which cause sickness/illness in my child

Kathleen Mary Parker

So does pressure and name-calling from angry parents ….

Last edited 3 years ago by Kathleen Mary Parker

I think ChrisCrane's suggestions are really good.  I hope that what I want to say does not offend you in any way because I mean it in a positive way, and by no means in a judgemental way.  I just want to contribute to the conversation. I want to say that "suddenly ill" behaviour is very much a neuro-typical behaviour for kids his age.  I deal with it a lot.  However, it is a way bigger problem for parents of special needs kids, and it is way more complicated to deal with them.  I may be wrong because I don't live your exact situation, but I know that with my kids I am constantly trying to figure out is this "typical behaviour" or is this "a HFA based behaviour".  It is so hard to figure out when you don't have a child the same age to compare them to, but I think it is important to try as it helps me to know when to push hard and when to just accept.  I accept all HFA behaviour, but I do not tolerate typical kid manipulation.  Perhaps with his RAD all of my logic goes out the window.


@disillusioned not offense taken


@disillusioned no offense taken. However, when it comes to RAD kids, logic is thrown out the window.


@BruceSallan thank you very much


You can't tell if he is faking it but if he complains then the my answer would be go lay down in a very boring room and you can't do anything else for at least an hour or more . If you feel so bad you can't do do what is requested ,then you can't do anything at all . And since he ignores Lizze ,she is the only one who can let him get up. Matter of fact,Lizze is the only one that can bestow good things to Gavin . Food choices,privileges,time on computer ,lego's etc  Maybe he will change his attitude towards her? Just an idea.   Gloria


 @ChrisCrane We already do ythe first suggestion. Great minds right. 🙂
As for the second suggestion, that is a friggin awesome idea. I don't know why we haven't thought of that. I think in a way we are doing a form of that because I send him to ask Lizze on many things.. However, I really, really like your idea. That could also help Lizze to feel back in control. 
Brilliant. 🙂
Thank you so much…. 

Kathleen Mary Parker

Lack of distraction can actually increase pain …