Autism, Aspergers, Rob Gorski,Special Needs Parenting, Reactive Attachment Disorder, Fibromyalgia,



May 07 2013

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Holy crap, did that just happen?


This morning was a complete disaster.  Elliott had a massive meltdown this morning and came up with every reason imaginable, not to go to school.

He was freaking out on Lizze pretty hard core. 

I was barely able to get him out the door.  By the time I did manage to get on our way this morning, we were well past being late. 

On the way to school, I may have uncovered the reason for Elliott’s recent reluctance to attend school. 

Apparently, there is a new little boy in his class that struggles.  He gets very frustrated and has meltdowns, very loud meltdowns. I don’t know exactly how aggressive these get but I will be talking to his teacher.

Whatever is going on, is scaring Elliott to the point that he doesn’t want to go to school. 

My suspicion is that this kid may be triggering a PTSD type of response in Elliott.  It sounds like the loud noise and outbursts are similar to what Gavin did at home for so long.  Hence the PTSD type response. 

If this is indeed the case, I’m not sure what we can do about this. 

I will speak with the school and get more details as to what is actually happening.

In truth, it wouldn’t take much to trigger a PTSD type response from someone struggling with PTSD type symptoms.  I may also be totally wrong and this has nothing to do with anything. 

We see Dr. Patti tonight and I will bring this up with her.

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@lostandtired  @ConfusedConcerned  Rob - instead of thinking of censoring, you should listen to the opinions of some of the less conventional supportive posters here.  Not everyone may post cheerleader-style messages, but you can still draw information or perspective from them.

While confused concerned could have been a bit more tactful, you should be able to see that your family has more medical diagnoses and doctors than ANYONE.  Everyone is constantly going to doctors, emergency rooms, specialists, and even geneticists.  Why?  Granted, you are dealing with some complex medical issues.  But if you look in from the outside, your family seems desperate to put a diagnosis on EVERYTHING.  Now, you have a young child that's afraid of something at school.  Could that be typical child behavior in response to something ANYONE would find uncomfortable? Do ALL children occasionally freak out about school? your house, it must be PTSD.

What I think you are failing to realize is that you may be needlessly stigmitizing Elliot.  When you continually insist that he has a mental disorder, that's going to be documented in medical records (and maybe even school records)...whether its real or not.  If your little guy decides when he's older to join the military, become a police officer,  or get some other type of civil service job (or say he wants to follow in your footsteps and become a paramedic or fireman), he's going to have TREMENDOUS problems.  Just let him be a kid, with some normal kid-type issues that he will learn to work through.

@meaghangood Sorry for your past, and I'm glad to see you've grown stronger from the experience.  But you cannot compare what you went through (25+ years of personal abuse throughout your formative years) to some meltdowns that a small child may have witnessed as a bystander.  That's not even remotely in the same ballpark.

lostandtired moderator

@BillyElliot @lostandtired first of all, the commentor in question has a lengthy history of negative comments here.  Never anything positive to say and not productive. There's nothing to learn from them over than patience. 

As far as you opinion  of the medical diagnoses, your untitled to your opinion, but you are far from an expert.  

There are tons of families out there that deal with similar things as we do.  

My family has a unusually high number of challenges but we don't force diagnoses on anyone.  We do what is recommended by those who know more than  we do. 

If you are a parent, imagine your child is sick from something and until you figure out what that something is, you can't help them.  So yes, if there's something wrong, we want it identified so we can help them.  

As far as your opinion  of what the boys have gone through as a result of Gavin's behaviors, you have no idea what you are talking about.  You have not been in the house when Gavin in is raging and I mean raging.  He can be heard 4 houses down.  

He's ripped his face open on many occasions and been admitted for this behavior is almost a dozen times.  

You are the only one comparing things and in the process, you are belittling what they have been through.  When you are a small child, it doesn't take as much to be traumatized because you don't have the coping skills that you do when you are older.  

Gavin has also been physically and sexually abusive to his brothers as well. 

It's always a bad idea to make assumptions about anyone, let alone someone on the spectrum. 

I respect your opinion  by you simply can't understand what's going on from your computer monitor. 

AMDuser 1 Like

I agree with SarahChierico on having the teacher giving him a safe place and to were he knows he has a safe place to go. Also I agree with the wearing ear protection. I know if I was in that position I would probably have a meltdown to.  

SarahChierico 1 Like

while i wouldn't completely rule out PTSD i would first look at SPD and how it may be playing a role in his anxiety about the other child at school. Is he allowed to wear ear defenders in school, could you ask the teacher to give him a safe place to go to when the other child is having difficulties

BillyElliot 4 Like

I know you keep saying Eliot suffer from PTSD as a result of Gavin's meltdowns, but I don't think you truly appreciate what type of life-changing event it takes to generate PTSD in a person.

The cause for PTSD is commonly defined as: "an event that may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or violent assault on one's own or someone else's physical or sexual integrity, overwhelming the ability of that individual to cope".  While I'm sure Gavin's meltdowns were severe (as evidenced by your numerous videos) I don't recall you ever mentioning that your other children were physically assaulted or hurt by him during them, I'm also certain that you and your wife also took whatever steps you could to insulate your other children from the spectacle, thus limiting the damage.  You've said in the past that you were able to confine gavin, so I would bet that while hearing your older brother scream, yell and bang around in another part of the house was scary, it's hardly the stuff PTSD is made of.

I think your little guy may be having a normal child reaction to what he feels is a scary or uncomfortable situation in his class.  It's not unusual for children to avoid difficult situation specific events, but that doesn't mean it needs to be explained with a diagnosis.  Let the kid be a kid and he'll work through it, just like all the other children in this world that freak out because of an upcoming test, the school yard bully, separation anxiety, or the millions of other life events that affect children.  

My daughter didn't want to go to preshool for a month...tears and panic every morning and night for weeks.  Wanna know the reason (we got it out of her after a few weeks)?  She saw one of her classmates use the bathroom, not wash her hands, and then engaged in "snack time".  This is a normal, average 3 year old, who broke our ball$ for weeks over not wanting to go to school.  I doubt she has PTSD as a result of poor toilet habits.

ConfusedConcerned 1 Like

@BillyElliot Well said! Everything is a diagnosis or medical crisis for this family! PTSD is NOT subjective - that really is so messed up to compare what assault/rape victims, soliders, etc have to elliot having to deal with his disabled brothers tantrums. he's a kid - a sensitive one, but just a kid. Honestly, I think you have Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Or some sort of Hero/God complex. 


@ConfusedConcerned  I'm with Rob here. Go piss up a rope or something.

lostandtired moderator

@ConfusedConcerned  once again you feel the need to post your nonsense.  No one is comparing personal tragedies accept you.  The fact is that everyone experiences things differently. 

No one said that Elliott had true, Vietnam flashback type PTSD.   However, he has many of the same symptoms and experiences triggers that elicit responses based on what he experienced in the past.  

Everyone responds differently to bad experiences because everyone has a different threshold for what they can can cope with.  

You can I could experience the exact same thing and one of us could be traumatized and develop something like PTSD and the other could be fine.  There is no cookie cutter experience that dictates whether a person with develop PTSD. It has much to do with the person themselves.  

Kids are more easily traumatized by things that you might not see as a big deal.  

I will say this, you are a reason I would consider censoring comments.  Your ignorance and nonsensical opinions contribute nothing to this conversation.  

Please do everyone a favor and just stop reading if you don't like what you read here.  

Making accusations like you just did, shows a complete lack of understanding. 

lostandtired moderator

@BillyElliot The traumatic events needed to trigger PTSD is relative to the person experiencing the event. If you watched any of the videos of Gavin raging, you would better understand why this was so traumatizing. Gavins rages were very scary and extremely violent and dangerous. 

You would be better served to not make assumptions about how someone experiences an event or how it affects them. 

"You've said in the past that you were able to confine gavin, so I would bet that while hearing your older brother scream, yell and bang around in another part of the house was scary, it's hardly the stuff PTSD is made of."

I wonder if you have any experience with a child so violent that they can no longer live in the same house as the rest of their family. How about a child that inflicts injury to themselves that they have blood streaming down their face? 

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MeaghanGood 1 Like

@lostandtired My brother Colin abused me horrifically for the first quarter-century of my life. He is one of the worst things I've ever had to deal with. Let me emphasize that he was never physically violent, nor did he threaten me outright: it was just verbal abuse. I was stupid, ugly, no one loved me or would ever love me. Oh, and he hacked into my email account when I was 18 and read all the emails and printed out the most personal and compromising ones (like about sex and stuff) and showed them to everybody, which was beyond horrible. I was RAPED once and it was less traumatizing than the email thing was. Colin hated me so much that I'm pretty sure that if he could have pressed a button to make me disappear forever, he would have done it.

The abuse has stopped, but I can't stand to be around him. I will make any excuse not to be around him. A few years ago I got hurt and needed medical attention and couldn't drive myself to the hospital and he offered to drive me, and I refused, because that would have meant being in the car with him for ten minutes and I would rather just sit home and continue to bleed. Even being in the same room with him, even if he's not looking at me or talking to me, is enough to put me on edge. My boyfriend can always tell if I've had to be around Colin because I act jumpy and nervous afterward. At Christmas I saw him using my computer without asking and totally freaked. It turned out he just wanted to show our nephew something online but after I got my laptop back from him I had to go into the bathroom and have a panic attack.

My therapists, etc., have suggested I've got a PTSD thing going there regarding my brother. Certainly the symptoms are there. And there wasn't any life-threatening thing going on there, just two and a half decades of verbal abuse. There is such a thing as PTSD stemming from a "chronic" horrible situation like long-term abuse, versus a one-time thing like a car accident or being assaulted.


@lostandtired @MeaghanGood Thanks Rob. 🙂

I think my brother got the worst of it in the end. He's obviously mentally sick and he's never gotten any treatment. He's really smart but he just about failed out of high school and never got any further education. To the best of my knowledge he's never had a long-term relationship with a woman -- and he's 32. And he's on his third DUI. He drifts from one menial job to another. He lost one job after he threw a wrench at a coworker during an argument.

lostandtired moderator 1 Like

@MeaghanGood @lostandtired exactly.  That was a very personal thing you shared and I applaud you for that.  🙂 

You're absolutely right.  Everyone's experiences are relative what traumatizing for one may not be for another.  

It's been suspected I have PTSD from my time as a medic.  The things I experienced or saw, impact me today.  

I'm glad you're such a fighter.  The world needs you in it:-) 

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