Holding it together at school and exploding at home

I don’t know what’s going on with Emmett.  He’s having a rough time anymore.  I’ve mentioned before that he seems to reverted back to a previous behavior pattern and it’s not a good one.  He’s still a little adorably sweet little boy but he’s also become very violent and aggressive. 

He outgrew this behavior over a year ago or so we thought. 

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen a return to this same behavior. He’s physically violent towards Lizze and Elliott, especially when he’s upset about something. 

When he does get upset and it doesn’t take much to do that, it’s almost like he rages.  He’s kicking and hitting himself and anything he can get a hold of, including his family. There’s also the screaming.  OMG, the screaming is absolutely horrible.  I don’t know how the police haven’t been called to our house because it sounds like we are torturing him. 

For example, today when I picked him up from school, the moment he got into the van he exploded.  His carseat is right behind the drivers seat and he spent the entire ride home, kicking my seat and screaming at the top of his lungs. 

It was horrible.

The screaming continued long after we arrived home. 

This has been a reoccurring pattern as of late.

Lizze and I have spoken with Emmett’s teachers several times now to find out if there are any problems at school. Thankfully, Emmett is doing excellent in school and this behavior was reserved exclusively for us. 

After discussing things with Dr. Pattie and Emmett’s teachers, we’ve come to the concensus that Emmett is spending all he has at school.  He can basically hold it together while in the classroom and the moment he sets foot outside of the school, he just sorta unloads. 

I understand that this is a pretty common phenomenon but it’s still hard to cope with. 

This site is managed almost exclusively from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Please forgive any typos as auto-correct HATES 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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@Jessica Leonard I am so sorry they even mentioned th Munchausen by proxy. I hate it. it is so rare and it is child abuse. I cant believe the school said that as it would be a phyciatric diagnosis and they arent doctors. and as for doctors this is where they are really awful sometimes. just because they dont what is wrong with the child and you want answers so we go to multiple doctors get multiple procedures etc, it is not because I want attention. that is really absurd because if i never have to see another dr for my kid that would be great for me. I was never accused of it but I very well could have been because it turned out my kid after having leukemia and a bone marrow transplant also has an autoimmune diesease that only 300 people in the US have (Behcet’s). The understandably (kinda) didnt make the diagnosis and did put in his chart that he may be having “factious” behaviors, which really means he is faking. Well he wasn’t faking and i went back to every dr (there were so many i might have left some out) to put a new note in the file (which was huge) next to there old note to say he was not being factious or any other word. Yes, I have every single record. Yes, I could and should have let it go, but i didnt because dammit there are people out there that are being “acused” of this stupid munchausen my proxy which they have now givin a new name that are not being abusive, they are trying to find out what is wrong with there kid. this is my soap  box. there are enough kids dhr should be helping in the field and leave the sick ones alone

Lost and Tired

Dwayne Murphy I’m so sorry you went through that.  Thank you for sharing. I always value your insight and advice.  🙂

Dwayne Murphy

I was the same way when I was young. I had more than my fair share of fights and meltdowns at school but, for the most part, I kept it together and had most of my explosions when I got home after school. Nothing for nothing, I should have acted out more towards teachers and classmates when I was in elementary school–it might have kept me from developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as an adult, or at least my symptoms would be less severe. I held back so much as a kid that it eventually ate me up inside like a cancer.

Karen Lewin-Hughes

That’s so my son. Used to be the other way round

Angela Bierbrodt

This is exactly how my son is! He is perfect at school but the second he is with us he just lets it all go. It reminds me of people at funerals who are calm and collected and then go home and sob.


Try meeting him with a snack he can eat on the way home.  It will distract him and give him a little fuel for his depleted system.  He may still melf  down, but maybe it would make the drive a bit better.  Don’t ask him about his day right away.  He probably needs time to unwind,  It is very difficult to hold himself together all day.Running out his excess energy is good, too, but this is not exactly a good time of year for that…Transition times are so hard! Good luck.  I would just say that the less you talk to him at that time, the better.

Jessica Leonard

We were accused by the school despite presenting them with multiple neuropsychological & psychiatric reports of our child’s multiple diagnoses of having Munchausen Biproxy because of his ability to hold it together at school and meltdown at home.

Julie Fuller

This happened every day with my son. It finally landed him in the hospital where we found that school was such a stressor for him he could not stand it. They were failing him BIG TIME, to the point he wanted to end his life At 10 years old. The main problem was that because they weren’t “seeing” anything at school he was “fine” and didn’t need any assistance or any of his outlets. But in reality, they were blind to everyday occurrences that were obvious clues!! Leaving the same class every day at the same time to go to the bathroom. (He stressed about the class that followed!). Or the fact that he was chewing the neckline of all his shirts, etc. he had an IEP, and school was aware of his needs and bottom line is that they failed him every single day! His case worker was in tears when she found out he had to be hospitalized, she then admitted to knowing he needed more help but was being restricted by the head of the special Ed dept because she didn’t think his diagnosis and needs were “valid”! First time I stepped foot in an attorney’s office was that year! I am pleased to say that moving to a new school district was the best thing, and thank God an option for us. But had it not been, you better believe that my presence would be known every day to make sure my sin never got to that point again, and all because a highly educated adult thought she knew it all! We know our kids… PERIOD! Don’t ignore any signs that maybe your son is not “getting what he needs” at school. Maybe he is but his environment isn’t optimal. They can and should accommodate!! Good luck;)

Jamie Pomper

YES!!!!!! My daughter does a great job holding it together at school, the minute she sets foot in the door she falls apart

David and Goliath Publishing

My 9 y/o does this all the time!!!

Shari DeCarlo

Annie is QUEEN of this.


@Donilynn Levine Neidinger Oh my – that perspective gives me so much food for thought (unrelated to Rob and his family, sorry 🙂 ). 
I want you to know how much I appreciate your sharing it and hope you don’t mind if I copy and ponder your paragraph quite a few times.  Honesty and openness can benefit folks you might never expect.  Thank you.

Holly Lynn Turner

Hayden used to have more meltdowns at school… or anywhere that wasn’t with me. I suppose I’m sort of his comfort item. Ive learned what stresses him and have kept his environment as calm as possible…. not saying that he never got overstimulated around me but not often. Now He’s 12 and he pretty much has it under control. It is part of his IEP that he is allowed to leave class as many times a period as he needs…. He’s allowed to go the the principal, nurse , counselor or simply just walk the hall. Fortunately he doesn’t abuse this and only does it when he about to have a meltdown or panic attack.

Stacey Maxwell

Yes indeed- both my daughter and I do this!

Gwen Curriden

This occurs with neurotypical children as well, it is a fairly common occurrence. Occurs less as they get older and develop their coping skills. I had it occur with all my children at one time, it didn’t matter if they had learning disabilities or not.

Shelley Blundell

My son also tries his best to hold it together at school and we cope it at home he usually also sleeps on his way home on the bus

Donilynn Levine Neidinger

I’ve always said I’d rather they hold it together out in public- God only knows what the school would do if any of my 4 showed them their worst!

Rennie On A Roll

I have Tourette’s, my daughter tics, lots of kids on the spectrum feel ackward at school, hold it in, and then it comes out like a tidal wave at home, same crap used to happen to me when I held it in at work, sometimes ticcing and crying in my car for a while before even making it home because I had to perform again for my ex and to be a mom. My girl loses it at school when the stress is too high, but she’s young and hasn’t adopted the outlets I give her yet for stress. Meditation is VERY useful for kids like this, as are structured activities that help those with increased or functional brain issues, within a socially functional spectrum, yet those beyond have worse problems with both scenarios, like FAS, PTSD/RAD, and conduct disordrs, and psychopaths and schizoids. In the realm of semi-normal yet high functioning neural spectral disorders however (TS, ASD, bipolar, ADD, ADHD, OCD, CP) the behavior when performing for society and the behavior in their private lives can differ like night and day. It is good to be able to regulate stress reduction as a practice every day for all people, but especially good for these types.

Lost and Tired

I suppose I’d prefer it this way. School is so important.

Gwen Curriden

He maybe feeling overwhelmed at school and releasing the tension at home. This is a common behavior, it has been known for years that many children have opposite behaviors between school and home. Not much you can do but cope and try to identify the stressors and alleviate them. I wish you good luck. This occurs with neurological children as well.

Donilynn Levine Neidinger

sooooo true- I remember the doctors saying years ago it couldn’t be autism or Asperger’s WITH adhd or oppositional defiance if they could turn it off & on- as time has gone by the docs are now saying they believe the kids try so hard to control it at school that they can’t take the pressure by the time they get home & by then the meds are wearing off & rebound hits & boom! they give it to us! – …ironically I see that with my aspie husband & his job too!~ 🙁 bumer~!

Lost and Tired

Thanks for sharing everyone. 🙂

Kimberly Morales

that’s exactly how my son is

Rennie On A Roll

trait of a neurologic variable at work….

Shari Miller

This happens here also with my daughter as she is excellent at school but can take it out on me if she has had to much.

Clydeine Adamchick