Caught in the act

Caught in the act

I talked many times about the impact Reactive Attachment Disorder has on our family.  Gavin was caught messing with Elliott’s head this morning. 

When Gavin is in one of these situations and he’s messing with someone, he’s very careful not to get caught.

This morning was messing with Elliott and causing a great deal of confusion.  It was nothing outwardly evil or anything like that. He was just pretending not to hear Elliott, knowing that Elliott was getting upset. 


I realize that brothers mess with each other however, when one brother is a RAD kid, it’s a safe bet that the innocence of sibling teasing doesn’t apply.

Anyway, Gavin was a bit careless this morning and he was caught in the act.

Elliott is quite upset because he knows that Gavin was being mean to him and doesn’t understand why his big brother would do something like that to him.

I’ve sent Gavin to his room to read for a little while. 
He’s said that he’s sorry but the truth is, he’s sorry that he got caught. This is classic RAD behavior and it’s not much fun.

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lostandtired timtoomey  Gavin gets blamed for everything. Always.


timtoomey lostandtired  you can’t compare these situations.  Are you personally familiar with RAD? Have you lived with a child that targets other people for the sheer pleasure of creating chaos? If you haven’t, you can’t understand. Gavin is not a normal kid and the motives behind what he does are very rarely innocent. This is a situation where we simply know best.  This goes way, way beyond simply being on the spectrum.  Gavin has very, very serious, deep rooted and often times dark, mental health issues. I read your example below and honestly, if Gavin was simply a spectrum child, you would be right and we wouldn’t be handling him this way.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case and we have to do what we have to do to ensure everyone’s wellbeing. This is one of those situations where you can apply a simple fix.


lostandtired timtoomey I’ll add this: as I type this, I’m sitting here watching my son (who is on the spectrum) tease his little sister, whose getting upset.  When I yell at him, he get’s this little smile on his face because he knows exactly what he’s doing.
I bask in these moments.  He’s acting like a normal kid.  He’s interacting with his sister, just like every other kid in the world does every day!  While I pretend to be mad, it’s a little bit of normalcy.


lostandtired timtoomey I know you’ve spoken about treating your kids like everyone else, and the great pains that you go through to prepare them for life.  Don’t you think that by jumping to worst case conclusions with Gavin (in situations like this, when he’s acting like all other normal kids do), you run the risk of sending the wrong message or even stigmatizing him?
You have a sister.  Don’t you remember the normal sibling teasing that was an everyday occurrence between you two?


timtoomey while I respect your opinion, it’s not as simple as you make it out to be.  RAD is very serious and we don’t have the luxury of assuming that behaviors are innocent. I totally get what you’re saying and I wish it was the case but sadly we can’t handle things that way.


All older siblings screw around with the younger ones.  That’s the way it’s been since the beginning of time.
I think it”s kind of unfair to blame it on RAD and punish him when every other kid does it.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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