Friday, March 12, 2010

Spit it Out

If you have a solution to stopping my boy from spitting when he gets furious, PLEASE share it.

I know there is a solution, but I don't know what it is. I have ideas, but some could backfire. I wish there were an immediate answer; when is there ever?

Ideas I've considered:
social stories (take forever, and don't have one for this)
carrots (if you don't spit, you can earn... but he can't delay gratification)
threats (bad idea! i know! i know! i know! but OY!)
crying a lot (nope, not enough energy on reserve)

Spitting is not okay; I'm perseverating on that thought right now, in a tailspin.

All behavior is communication, and I know he's frustrated. He spit because he didn't earn a reward in class, he spit because someone had a toy he wanted, he spit for several reasons, but he needs a different behavior to show he's frustrated. His inclusion teacher offered several...

Do you have one that would work? You are wise parents... gimme the magic trick for this one, please?

I will owe you Big.


Niksmom said...

No answers but why not put it out there on the link and I can retweet it. (Do you follow Jordan (@wondermama)? She's probably good for some ideas.

jess said...

I'll do some thinking. I have found that the key to success in these situations is providing a replacement behavior - something that allows for the same expression in an acceptable way. Sometimes words are enough ("Im angry!") but sometimes there's a need for more. I'd spend some time brainstorming physical responses that you would feel ok about. Maybe stomping a foot, making a tight fist, pressing his hands together (as if in prayer, but HARD) - something to replace the spitting that still allows for a physical expression of the anger if that's what he needs.

One of the tools we use is the 'hero' version of social stories - meaning using your child's 'heroes' or familiar characters to illustrate appropriate behavior. Like - Dora the Explorer gets angry sometimes. When Dora gets angry, she knows she can --- (fill in the blank). I'd be happy to elaborate if you want more info. Just email me. I think of it as upside to those -ahem- narrowly focused interests. ;)

I hope this made sense - I'm typing on my phone and can't proofread it!!

Suzymom said...

I could use a magic trick myself. Our daughter always runs out of the room when she's angry, slamming the glass door shut behind her. She's laready mad eand she's almost gone, so there's no more communication possible. But every time it happens I watch the door to see if it's gonna shatter this time.
So' I'm all ears here myself...

redheadmomma said...

hm. pulling from the UW autism center book of tricks and knowing this is a really serious issue...I think if it were Noah, I'd figure out what he cannot live without (mario on the wii) and make a social story (they do not have to be big productions, btw) that clearly spells out the expectations. The book would explain in simple terms that when he spits, his friends don't like it, so you guys are going to help him. Then talk about from now own, whenever he spits, it will result in an automatic loss of what he loves most, for the rest of the day. Yes, it is SO harsh. Yes, he will absolutely be beside himself. Yes, usually I'm all for positive behavior modification. But we did this very thing with Noah and it actually worked beautifully. Just about killed me, but it worked. Spitting is really high up there in unwanted behaviors, so you're doing the right thing in taking care of it as soon as possible. Hope this helps...
p.s. Jess has a great thought on the super hero (or idol) doing the right thing.