This was far and away the worst morning we’ve had all year. Lizze apparently couldn’t sleep last night and was already awake, so she got up with the boys and let me stay in bed.
The next thing I know, Elliott’s waking me up in a panic because “Mommy needs your help.”
Apparently, Gavin let it slip this morning that he never did his homework that was due today in art class because he had decided that he would rather read his book instead of do his school work.
When Lizze questioned him on what he was talking about, he began to backpedal and change his story.
I won’t get into the details of this particular assignment but basically, he had to simply draw in his sketchbook. That’s all he had to do.
Instead of doing what he was supposed to, he was going to try and pass off something he had drawn previously and lie to his teacher about why it wasn’t in his sketchbook.
When I arrived on the scene, Lizze explained to me what had happened and what he was trying to do. I wasn’t very happy. I especially was happy about being woken up and forced to deal with more Gavin related bullshit before my eyes were even able to focus.
I want to make something very clear before I proceed with what happened.
I don’t give a flying fuck that he didn’t do his homework. We’ve given up on our involvement in his homework assignments because it was a pointless struggle and we had to let it go.
What pisses me off is the fact that he lied to us. The reason he’s in trouble, is because he lied to us.
I honestly couldn’t care any less than what I do about him not completing his assignment. The only person he’s hurting is himself and he has to live with whatever happens at school as a result of his choices. However, it pisses me off that he was going to lie to his teacher.
While we don’t check his homework for accuracy, we do often inquire as to whether or not he has any. The reason being is that we are trying to simply keep tabs on his education and we sometimes compare what he tells us to what his teachers tell us. It gives us a better feel for what going on.
Anyway, he got this particular assignment last week and every time we asked if he had any homework, he lied to us and told us he didn’t.
We were even trying to once again use positive reinforcement with him by allowing him to earn his tablet back for the weekends by complete in his schoolwork and making good choices during the week. We aren’t looking for perfection but instead looking for him to be honest with us and make reasonable choices thoughout the week.
I got tired of hearing him speak this morning because nothing he was telling us was believable.
I informed him that we would be pulling his tablet for the weekend and he would not be getting it back. What you are about to see in the following video, is his unedited response to not getting his way.
It’s important to understand why I’m so upset over this whole thing. The context surrounding this is very complex.
Basically, every single time he lies to us, I realize that I can’t trust anything he says. When he comes to me and tells me that he’s collapsing on the floor at school because his legs stop working, I instantly panic. I worry about his health a day safety constantly.
When we discover that he’s been lying to us about collapsing at school, I feel utterly betrayed.
Gavin’s health is in fact, very fragile and what’s he telling us is absolutely possible. It’s also very, very, very serious.
In fact, it’s so serious that we’ve been advised by his specialists at the Cleveland Clinic, that they are out of options and we need to seek additional help at the Mayo Clinic.
We have to take this seriously because his life could literally be in danger. However, we know that everything he’s been telling us is most likely a lie. Out of the 4 or 5 times he’s claimed to have collapsed while at school, we know for sure he lied about 2 of them. The other times we’re never witnessed by anyone, so we only have his word to go on.
Quite frankly, his word is worthless.
At the same time though, I can’t bring myself to write this completely off because if we don’t take this seriously and even part of what he’s telling us is true, it could cost him his life.
That being said, addressing these new symptoms will be a massive undertaking and one that will require tremendous sacrifice. We basically have to get him to one of three Mayo Clinic locations, Arizona, Minnesota or Florida. We live in Ohio and these would be major trips.
Gavin can’t fly due to his health and driving is almost as dangerous.
This would be a massive undertaking and one that we quite honestly can’t afford. However, because we will go to the ends of the Earth and back for our kids, we would find a way to make it happen.
That being said, this is all based on lies and manipulation. How do I justify what we would have to put my already fragile and struggling family through to do this for Gavin, when it’s total bullshit? How do I reconcile the fact that my son is a compulsive liar and can’t be trusted? How do I live with myself if I don’t take him seriously a d something happens?
Every time something like this morning happens, it only reinforces that fact that I can’t trust what he tells us.
There’s a war raging inside of me that’s literally tearing me apart. I want to believe Gavin but I know I can’t. At the same time, I can’t not worry about his health and the potential for things to go very, very badly if we don’t take him seriously…
There’s absolutely no way to win.
Anyway, this is the tantrum that ensued after he was caught lying to us again this morning and his assignment. Again, the homework itself isn’t the issue, it’s the lying that is.
This is unedited and very loud. This is all drama and manipulation. This is not an Autism related meltdown, so please don’t waste your energy trying to tell me how he just needs a hug. If this was a true meltdown, he wouldn’t be able to start and stop like he does. This is a tantrum, pure and simple.
I’m basically allowing you to experience my morning and witness how I dealt with this situation. I’m far from perfect and I’m sure I could have handled this better but I’m simply out of patience with Gavin. I’m sick and tired of all the lies and manipulation…
Elliott and Emmett were both terrified and hiding upstairs. Emmett was sobbing and everyone was late for school…
Lizze did call the school and explain what was happening so Gavin was unable to lie to his teachers. His principal heard Gavin over the phone and is going to make sure that this the homework issue is addressed at school today.
Gavin, I’m sorry son but you aren’t getting it of this one. You have to learn and being held accountable is the only way that’s ever going to
happen. This is all because we love you….
Reaction to getting caught lying (RAD Related):
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You handled it like a seasoned rad parenting champ.
The one thing I would suggest that actually will help him understand and acknowledge that you and Lizze are in charge, each time he says it is this: require that each time he is given an instruction (such as ‘go get your shoes on’) or is addressed by his name to get his attention, require him to answer with a “yes, mom,” and a “yes, dad.” It should work wonders.
Thanks Kim Kennedy
Karin Antal to be honest, I’m not sure. What triggered this is tied to Reactive Attachment Disorder and compulsive lying. The thing about Gavin is he can start and stop these on demand. That makes it a tantrum and not a meltdown. This is a willful act.
This scared me, because this reminded me of my 7yo. He is currently undiagnosed with anything, but I’m worried he has adhd and other emotional issues. Can I ask what aspect of Gavin’s diagnosis you think causes him to throw these tantrums? They look and sound exactly like my son’s.
You are an amazing Dad and you have the patience of a Saint. The way you remain so calm with Gavin while he is doing this is incredible.
Mr. Gorski, I just found your blog today. My heart is pounding after watching this video, and I can’t possibly express my admiration for you. The thing that really got to me was knowing that this was not an isolated incident, a “fluke” for you and your family, but just one of many harrowing experiences that you have lived through, relentlessly, for years. Your patience is astounding. I know I wouldn’t have handled that situation as well, and I’ve had some experience with my own 22-year-old son with autism. i just started blogging a few weeks ago, and one of my friends wanted me to write about the “real” experience of autism, and how tiring it is to hear in the media — and have stories foisted upon us by well-meaning friends — about the “happy” autism experiences which rarely reflect our own, which mislead those unaffected by the disorder about the enormity of its ramifications on a daily basis. I do understand the distinction you made in your post about Gavin’s tantrum being a “non-autism” meltdown. My son is non-verbal and so my experience is different; I can still only guess at his motives when he resorts to aggression, toward himself or others. But the feeling of heartache is the same, I think. You will be in my thoughts for a long time. And now, I have to go peruse the rest of your site.
i didnt watch the video cause i just couldnt. i am sure you did a good job. i feel for you. i know he has issues but remember “regular kids” lie too
@carla @MW dobby1986 KimGebhardt megskitchen thanks everyone. I really appreciate it. All the boys made it to school in time for breakfast. Emmett had a very emotional day at school because of what happened this morning, but did very well. He just had tummy aches all day…. 🙁
I don’t know what we will do as he gets bigger and stronger. Definitely a bit worried about that, especially as safety becomes a concern again…
Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate all the love and support…
Yet again Rob I think you handled this just as you should, I think you amaze a lot of people at how WELL you handle the things that you do. You are a great father, and stronger most everyone I have ever known. Keep doing what you are doing Rob. Take a deep breath and keep the faith that you are doing all that you can do.
I feel for you, dude. I’ve been there. You’re lucky he’s not
physical. I’ve been bitten, hit, scratched, spit on, and kicked. When
they have bad days, they have BAD days. We have to replace our glass
pantry door because our son has kicked it in. It’s tough. I really don’t
know what else to say but for you to hang in there.
you said to your son that he was scaring his brothers, I’ve been there.
My youngest suffers from anxiety and behavioral problems because of his
brother’s issues. I’m not trying to use that as an excuse for my
youngest, but it’s true. What we go through is hard. As adults we just
barely have the skills to deal with our Autistic child’s problem,
imagine what it is like for a young child.
Hang in there. Remember you are not the only one out there.
did he get breakfast when he got to school? and I commend you, I would not have been able to remain as calm as you did, I would be yelling back at him, at least at first.
I have been there many times with my 14 year old. Although we just got his Autism/ADHD diagnosis in the Fall, the lying has been a battle for a long time. You get to the point where you want to believe your child when they tell you something happened at school but then there is that doubt in your head saying “Did that really happen?” Had a huge war of words with the principal last year because son came home and told me that the PE teacher had put his hands around his throat. I pretty much demanded the teacher be fired, defended sons honor, etc. After I got off the phone, found out that hadn’t happened at all! I was so embarrassed, ashamed….I felt betrayed by him. A lot of times, his perception is his reality but flat out lying is hard to swallow as a parent. My son would have meltdowns similar to your video when he was younger-lots of screaming, hitting himself, banging his head on things, biting himself, and hitting everyone/everything around him. You’re right, they have to learn to be held accountable.
One of the things I find most concerning is: what’s going to happen as Gavin gets older and stronger and is harder to control physically?