I have a spitter!


New Member
Hi everyone, I'm new with this. I have a 4yr difficult child that since the day he was born he has been hard to calm, can't calm himself, screams, yells, spits, throws, hits, and is very much attached to me. He's been in preschool and I've been called to pick him up numerous times for throwing chairs, taking swings at the teachers, spitting at the teachers, and so on. I just recently put him in a private child care setting where he is doing much better and minimal meltdowns. He did go after her china cabinet and she had to barricade him until his meltdown passed. He doesn't do well in a group setting like school. The developmental pediatrician put him on Respiradone, I haven't seen any other postings with kids taking this medication. He spit at my mother this weekend, and was just mean. Later he says sorry and he didn't mean it, but it continues to happen. He can't stop it, sometimes it's like the devil has taken over and you just can't communicate with him. On top of this he has severe separation anxiety problems. Mornings are no fun!

My husband is 200 miles away in school and will be stationed there for the next 2 years. I work full time, go to school, and have a 6 yr old that is now picking up those lovely habits. Suggestions anyone????


Active Member
Mine was 5 when he started that. Ugh! This is probably veeeerrrrryyy immature on my part, but I got so fed up with hollering at him for it, I told him that if he did it one more time (yeah right, how many times have I said THAT!) :/, I'd wait a few days and spit in his food and that I'd tell him I did it AFTER he ate!

Funny, I never heard about spitting again! :smile:

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
I wish I had words of wisdom. difficult child is now almost twelve and he's been spitting for ((((years)))).....and I'm not kidding. I scold him all the time......don't spit at the pool, no one wants to walk in it; don't spit on the sidewalk on the way to school, no one wants to walk in it; don't spit on our patio so the dogs won't walk in it; don't spit in the kitchen sink so I don't have to scour it all the time. I hate it, but I've yet to stop it. It has been suggested that it could be a tic. Interesting....huh?


Well-Known Member
What did the developmental pediatrician tell you she thinks is wrong? Does your son has any speech or motor delays too? Could the spitting be tics?


New Member
I would make the punishment fit the crime. You could have him repeat the behavior until he tires of it. Next time he spits, tell him to spit again; By the way, this works best if it is in the sink, or outside. This may have 2 effects. 1. He will probably never want to spit again. 2. He may think that the spitting doesn't bother you, if you tell him to do it.

Good Luck!


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Sounds like my 3 yo. Only she growls or hits and has extreme anxiety... I have started the time out with her... if she does it I warn her. If she does it again Time out, she does not get up until she is calm and can tell me why she got a time out. She knows now that I mean business and that we will sit all day if we have to... as a matter of fact she just finished one!!! For hitting her sister. She did not protest she went right to the stairs and sat and then told me why, then hugged her sister and said sorry!!!
Of course this is dependant on the fact that they are not tics.

My 6yo K was on Risperdal (Risperidone) I liked it, but she started having Tardive Dyskinesia and lots of drooling, toungue thrust, agitation. We swithced to Abilify... it is somewhat better. But we are going to wean her off of this as well, she still has TD as well as some drooiling and toungue thrust.
Good luck... I found for both of my girls consitancy, tough love, a clear schedule and what is expected of them has been very helpful. Along with the right medications for K.


New Member
I think I need to clarify something. He probably spits to get a reaction out of you, because he probably thinks that spitting bothers you. If you don't react to it, then you aren't giving him what he wants. If he isn't getting the reation that he wants, then he may alter his behavior; at least he would in a perfect world...


New Member
Now that you all are talking about it...my son spits too! But I think it is just a bad habit. It's mostly outside while playing
or walking about. I think for my son it's just a boy thing...

He also was on Risperdal for almost a year. It worked GREAT for impulsive behaviors, controlling his very quick temper & there were no major rages. BUT...the side affects got to be too much..DARN IT! A 15 pound weight gain, weird leg sensations that triggered big angry fits, high tryglisterides & high cholesterol. It figures huh?

Try telling him that if he needs to spit than he can spit in the toilet or one place where you will allow(a coffee can that he cleans). That way he can still spit, but you are in control of where he does it.. We did that with head banging at age 5 and he stopped with in two weeks. It wasn't getting him the attention he wanted. Just a suggestion.

Good Luck !


New Member
He was evaluated for autism and he doesn't have that, the county did an evaluation on him and they didn't help because he has the ability to learn so he doesn't require special needs. The developmental pediatrician agreed that he didn't have an autism spectrum disorder. I have 1 year to get him ready for kindergarten and I'm not seeing it happening. I met with the therapist today and since he runs in the street when he gets mad without realizing there is a safety issue, she suggested I leave him with a sitter when I go out or put him in a restraint type thing in the parking lot until we reach the store. That will make him very mad. I meet with child psychiatric in September.


Roll With It
This is not as uncommon as I thought it was when my now high school age son was doing it at 4. The spitting, I mean. We were lucky to have him in a Montessori school with a great director. If the kids were spitting they got a cup and were told to "fill it up to the line". The director drew a line on the cup with a sharpie. It is harder than it sounds, even with a small dixie cup. The key seemed to be to not let fun things like movies, treats, etc happen until the goal was reached. And to not react with anger.

We also adapted this for jumping on the bed. Ever try to jump on the bed for 2 minutes non-stop? It is hard, but it certainly worked for us. And for kicking it was to kick a pillow.

The time limits I used were 45 seconds to 1 minute per year of age. The cup was first about 1/2 full, then 3/4 inch and so on.

A thought, has your child ever been evaluated for sensory integration problems? I wish we had know enough to have this done for my oldest. It works wonders for my youngest (therapy, not the disorder). My youngest really melts downif he is in a hectic classroom situation. But he is lots better than he used to be.

I just popped over from the watercooler, but if you have questions, feel free to PM me.


tired Cheryl

New Member
Hi, All:

My son is a spitter too. Worst came this week when he spat into my mouth! :grrr:
We were actually at the neuro-ophthalmologist's office and I was holding him so he would not destroy their equipment. Kind of put an exclamation point on the day that he was kicked out of his third preschool and I was told by the SD that he would not qualify for their PPCD as he was academically not impaired.

Having him spit into my mouth was just the lowest low :cry: