Behavior Modification: Mom vs. Charlie

Star Date: 8/27/14

Captain’s Log:

4:40 pm Discussed with our Behaviorist, Lacey, the need for Charlie to eat dinner at dinner time, instead of running away and refusing to eat, only to sneak around looking for junk food at bedtime.

4:45 At Lacey’s suggestion, made one familiar food that Charlie likes (pancakes) and two foods he won’t eat (bacon and peaches), with a plan to require that Charlie taste one of the new foods. “We will work up to taking a bite,” she said. “For now, he just needs to lick it.”

5:00 Informed Charlie that dinner was ready. Pressed Henry into modeling appropriate dinner behavior. Ditto with Truman. Silently cursed Dutch for being on call and having to work late. Told Charlie he could choose between trying a peach slice or bacon. Screaming ensued.

5:02 Charlie cried.

5:06 Charlie hid under the table.

5:10 Reminded Charlie that if he tried either a peach or bacon, he could play Xbox after dinner.

5:12 Charlie ran away.

5:13 Retrieved Charlie and carried him back to the table.

5:15 Offered the peach and bacon.

5:16 Explained that he didn’t have to try either food, but if he didn’t, there would be no Xbox the rest of the night.

5:17 More screaming.

5:20 Charlie threw the peach across the room and crumbled the bacon on the floor beneath his chair.

5:21 Carried Charlie, thrashing, to time out in the bathroom.

5:22 Physically prevented Charlie from leaving the bathroom.

5:25 Charlie wet his pants , soaking the bathroom floor.

5:26 Required Charlie to dry the floor and mop it.

5:30 Required Charlie to carry the wet towels to the laundry room.

5:35 Required Charlie to change into pajamas.

5:36 Noticed Jack, naked in the backyard. Called him inside and ordered him upstairs for a post-backyard Code Brown bath, stat.

5:38 Wondered if the two boys on the spectrum had a staff meeting and decided to both be pills at precisely the same time.

5:40 Escorted Charlie back to the table.

5:45 Charlie finished his pancakes and said, “I’m done.”

5:46 Reminded Charlie that if he wanted to play Xbox, he must try a new food.

5:48 Compelled Charlie to pick up the peach slice from the family room rug and the bacon shards under the table.

5:50 More screaming.

5:55 Produced a fresh peach slice and half strip of bacon. Charlie rejected the bacon and pointed to the peach.

5:58 Held the peach slice on a fork near Charlie’s face.

5:59 Charlie licked the peach.

6:00 Cheering.

6:01 Hugs.

6:02 Permission to play Xbox granted.

6:03 Charlie fled downstairs.

6:05 Texted Lacey this “Me: 1, Charlie: 0. He licked a peach. I win.”

6:10 Wanted to run up a big flight of stairs and do the Rocky punch thing.

6:12 Cleaned up the backyard Code Brown. Dried Jack and helped him into jammies. Told Jack we poop in the POTTY, a rhetorical, if impassioned statement.

6:15 Sat down, sweaty, rumpled, flushed.

6:16 Cried. Shut out hopeless thoughts of doing this night after night into infinity.

6:20 Admitted deep weariness. Because all that and he licked a peach.

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