It appears that a new challenge has presented itself

I was approached by the school today because Elliott had gone into the school office on Friday and requested his emergency inhaler.

He was asked the routine questions about what was going on however, when he was asked about whether or not he had been coughing, he said no. 


Coughing is how his asthma presents.  He never wheezes or anything like that.

I’m waiting to get a second rescue inhaler for the school and so it wasn’t available.  They asked if he wanted them to call me and he told them no, that he was fine. 

That’s a very different story than Elliott had told of Friday. 

He said that he had been coughing all day, to the point his chest hurt.  When he asked his teachers for help, they didn’t do anything. 

The person at the school that I spoke with today, I’ve known since Gavin was in first grade. I have absolutely no reason to doubt what she’s telling me. 

Now I have two opposing stories and unfortunately, I have to side with the school on this one.

Dr. Pattie refers to Elliott as an inaccurate historian.  This is sort of a PC way of saying that Elliott doesn’t always represent a situation the way it actually happened. 

This doesn’t make him a liar though because that’s not what’s happening. 

What does happen is that Elliott’s misperception of what is happening around him impacts his ability to perceive the events accurately and respond appropriately.

At the end of the day, it means that I can’t really trust what he’s saying. 

It’s important to understand that he does come by this naturally and if you’re picking up what I’m putting down here, you have gained a bit more insight into one of the reasons this whole divorce thing has been so challenging. 

Dr. Pattie isn’t sure if this is a learned behavior, if it’s biological or some combination of both. 

Either way, it presents a unique challenge that I wasn’t going to talk much about because it didn’t seem to impact his life much outside of the home…

The bottom line is this. This isn’t about a kid who’s trying to be difficult.  This about a traumatized kid with Autism and anxiety issues, that is inaccurately perceiving what’s going on around him. 

There’s a world of difference between that and being a liar. 

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6 Comments on "It appears that a new challenge has presented itself"

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Kim Gebhardt

My first thought when reading this is that Elliott is a middle child, which is tricky in itself. Now add that he has both an older and younger brother with issues that cause more attention to be paid to them, and he might be looking for attention. Gavin is home with you all day, Emmett ends up sleeping with you a lot of nights, and Elliott is just Elliott, and his issues aren’t as severe as other boys’ so maybe he feels likes he’s missing out. Just food for thought.

Rob Gorski

I really try to make sure he gets extra attention.

Did you pickup on the comes by it naturally part? He definitely comes by it naturally but like you said, there’s so much happening, how to pinpoint one cause is just about impossible…

That was a good thought though and I’ll bring that up with Dr. Pattie tomorrow night..


Kim Gebhardt

I did pick up on that and I’m hoping it’s not the case. I’d hate for this to be something that will be an ongoing issue for him because by all accounts he seems like a nice kid. I think why I went in that direction is because he chose something medical, which is where his brothers tend to get more attention than him.

Rob Gorski

That’s an interesting point Kim. Elliott’s a great kids and I’m with you, hoping this will pass in time….


Hi Rob I had a student who started a similar situation and we realized it was because she knew she would be transitioning to high school and she did not want to leave me. We worked with the family and we got threw it lots of notes we had a not book as a communication glider that would go back and forth for correspondence that helped

Rob Gorski

Thanks Beth.. Great way to handle that. smile