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Spitting
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Spitting

My 5 year old with Down's spits at people to get attention.  We use time out. But he still does it.  He spit in his pregnant preschool teachers eyes and now has to be HIV,hepatitis tested!  Any help?
Tags: spitting
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Wow.  This certainly is a hard issue to deal with.  A lot of times I have found that kids will continue to do things that they get reactions from, even if the reaction is negative.  Simply because it still is attention that they are receiving.  Have you tried (although sometimes age 5 may be hard to do this with) a reward system?  Use stickers on a chart as incentives for good behaviour, and removal of the stickers if he spits or other unwanted behaviours.  When he gets 10 stickers in the categories that you put up (like chores or making up bed, putting  toys away etc.), then he can get a reward of some sort, whether it is an ice cream, or a day out of his choice etc.  But, use this system concurrently for the punishment side as well, so that if he is spitting or misbehaving, the stickers get removed, and there are also sub consequences like the time outs in addition to the removal of the stickers.  I have heard there are great results using this system.  I modified it somewhat from a show we have on TV here called "The MOM Show".  They use it to encourage good behaviour but I found that removing the stickers is also a great way to minimize unwanted behaviours and it works for my 6 year old step daughter and 8 year old step son.  I got the idea when we needed to implement some sort of system for the eldest step daughter who is 11 but has severe learning delays and is also Dx'ed with ADHD.  I hope that if I need it again for my son (who has Ds) it will work well for him also.  He is only 9 months old though, so I am not in need of it yet!
Give it a try and see if you get any results.  Short of saying to you, talk to him and let him know that the behaviour is unwanted and is making you very upset - but I am sure you have probably tried the verbal route.  I often suggest martial arts for kids who have more extensive behaviour issues or aggression - but I tend to suggest that when they are around 6 years and older.  I have trained children as young as 4 years old, but that is a longer term solution for discipline, health and mental awareness.  (If that interests you, see my post in this forum that is titled "Aggression and Behaviour Issues".)  I have other suggestions, but you may want to message me as some of them may be lengthy.  My resources are from my years of policing, being a coordinator of a play group at the YMCA Early Years Centre's, 2nd Degree Black Belt and a university psychology background.  Hopefully we can figure something out to help you!

Good luck, and if you have any other questions that I can help you with, please feel free to message me directly.

Sincerely,
Sandi (Dragon1973)
MedHelp Down syndrome Community Leader
& Ds Group Forum Founder/Moderator
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