Reactive attachment disorder and losing a family member

While picking Elliott up from school yesterday, I ran into the school counselor, who happens to be on our Wraparound team.

She wanted to pass along her condolences for our family’s loss. She went on to explain that Gavin was in group and was sharing with everyone that someone in his family had died this week.

First of all, I think it’s great that they have group at our school and secondly, I think it’s even better that Gavin seemed to have opened up and shared what had happened with everyone in his group.

I have personally spoken with Gavin about this while he was home this week. He doesn’t seem to have any feelings about this, one way or the other. You could say he was ambivalent to the fact that someone has died.

He did ask me if I felt sorry for Lizze’s Aunt Paula because she died. I told him that I’m personally sad to have lost her but I don’t feel sorry for her. She was suffering tremendously and is not at peace and if anything, while I miss her, I’m happy that she’s in a place where she doesn’t have to hurt anymore.

He just said “okay” and that was that.

It’s so hard to tell where he’s coming from and I have no idea how this loss is affecting him, if at all.

When you think about the Aspie side of him, he may not know how or what to feel. Factoring in the reactive attachment side of him, he may simply lack the capacity to have any emotion about this, period.

As uncomfortable and disconcerting as it is to know that your child doesn’t really care about anything that doesn’t impact him directly, I would imagine that it’s disconcerting for him as well…..or not. Who knows?

I do know that he loves his family to the very best of his ability.


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