Saturday, February 09, 2008

The Breathtaking Brilliance of The Barf Bowl

I have mentioned before that Bubbles has a barf-button.
By this I mean that he is able to make himself barf. It didn't start out that day, as he was enduring and protesting some horrible parenting injustice (like putting him to bed), he tantrumed enough that he screamed in the back of his throat, and :::whoosh::: = VOMIT!

(I am sure that right now, Anonymous is clucking her tongue at me for not getting the 'obvious' autism Dx of my child...)

That was a memorable night! Bubbles soon learned that if he threw up, we would come running to:

  1. make sure that he had not choked,

  2. get him out of the crib and clean him up,

  3. toss him in the beloved tub,

  4. ultimately, delay the inevitable: Bedtime.

After this incident, Bubbles found that it was not only not at all difficult to throw up, but more often than not, watching the resulting mayhem ensue was even better than being allowed to watch 'The Jungle Book' instead of going to bed.
As you may imagine, this did not make his parents very happy.

But! Then the woman with The Answers; the ABA/Behavioral psych expert (who really, let's face it, is better than Supernanny, because she solves the problem without national coverage or exploitation of my parenting transgressions) came into our lives!!

She said she could help us with the speech, the sleeping, the eating (or lack, thereof), the tantrums! She could and would help us! And not only that, but the vomiting? Oh, she could cure that in just a few minutes. (I admit, it may have been at this point that I questioned her confidence and her credibility...a few minutes? really??)

So one day not so long ago, I took Bubbles to her office for a session. He was not happy at all. He screamed. I talked over him and ignored him. Some other stuff happened. He continued to be very unhappy. He started that throaty cry, he started gagging....he was definitely threatening to be Barf Boy again.... Janice turned around and grabbed something bright off the table behind her, whipped back around and held it in front of Barf Boy.

...who immediately stopped gagging and looked at the bowl in front of him with annoyance, then pushed it away. Again, he ramped it up and started gagging. Without making eye contact, Janice again held the bowl in front of him. I watched as he stopped crying again long enough to do a double take at the bowl, look confused, and push it away.
He stopped gagging.
Seriously, that was it.

He tried to revive Barf Boy at bedtime one night at home, but as soon as he saw me coming towards him with The Bowl, he ran screaming (but not gagging) away.

I have to give full credit to Janice and Ginger, the directors of ABRITE, for this is their technique. Janice seems almost as shocked as I am that it is so incredibly effective (on almost all the kiddos they use it with!). When I told her I was going to have to write about it, I also mentioned that I would not be able to take credit for something quite so brilliant.


Tracey said...

A blue bowl, huh? Who would have thought it?

gwendomama said...

blue, pink, orange...any color will do!

nailgirl said...

Rock on that is amazing!

Mrs. Who said...

You mean held it in front of his face to distract him or held it like she was ready to catch the barf? What's the intention here? I guess it doesn't matter as long as it worked!

gwendomama said...

Hello Mrs Who;
I meant to tell you how much I LOVE you and thank you for your last comment about doing the best I can...I do appreciate the mama boost!
She actually holds it in front of him as if the bowl will catch the barf. She also acts all like she just doesn't care if he throws up or not. So he is thrown OFF completely! The presence of the bowl makes him (and, apparently, almost every other kid they use it on) get so distracted or angry that he doesn't throw up anymore. She said a FEW kids throw up - but only once or twice in the bowl. When they realize there is not going to be any reaction or clean-up flurry, they generally give up the barfing!!

Tricia said...

Fabulous, simply fabulous!

Anonymous said...

ur my bff and I love and miss you dearly.

Boy is brillaint and so iz SG,
saying this because it is REAL

green bowl fave--matchez puke bttr