On a scale of 1 to 10, how inappropriate is it to...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by whatamess, May 21, 2011.

  1. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    bring food into the bathtub? Not just eat in the bathtub, but actually put the food in the bath with you? My difficult child (13) diagnosis: autism, anxiety, sensory processing disorder, adhd seems to need more care now than when he was a few years younger. We have had to lock up household chemicals because he says he wants to experiement and create something new. We can't keep shampoo, toothpaste soap out because he constantly dumps the contents of the bottles down the drain or mixes them. He has taken to putting rolls of toilet paper in the shower/bath with him because he likes to watch it float in the tub and likes how it feels?! In the past few months he has begun to take food from the pantry and into the shower/bath. Today I found the drained tub filled with almond nut butter and flour and yesterday it was mayonaisse!! When I asked him why,why, why he said, "I don't have anything to play with in the tub" (not true, he takes legos and other plastic things in there too). How disturbing is this to you? I think I've lost my perspective because I want to say he is bored and likes how the different textures feel, but on the other hand- it is disgusting to discover this stuff. Thoughts please.....
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, if he didn't have autism, I'd say it was disturbing. But autistic kids do have sensory issues and weird fascinations with things that other people don't. My son used to be able to throw his ball up and down forever, just watching it go up and fall down. I guess that's like the shampoo, only he didn't waste anything. Sometimes the ball would go into an unsympathetic neighbor's yard and the neighbor would yell at him, in which he'd cover his ears because of the loud noise. When he was VERY little he'd get fixated on turning a light on/off or rocking. He is much better now.I don't know if this is a stimulant or a sensory. He probably likes how the food feels in the water.

    I would hide the shampoo and maybe try those bath tub crayons to amuse him. Maybe they will work. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids get bored very fast and like to touch everything and experiment in some strange ways. Part of that is the sensory problems that they have. They like to touch/feel/try new textures out etc. It is possible to teach them what is and is not socially acceptable. Some will be able to adapt to social norms and some can not. Depends on how affected they are.

    Is he getting any interventions?
  3. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    We did in-home therapy for 3 years, but no interventions outside of school in a few years. I think he knows he shouldn't take these thing or at least he knows we wouldn't approve because he sneaks them (caught him with a bag of rice in his pants pocket , ready to take a bath) and I think he just wants to do it and so doesn't care about the inappropriateness- he just doesn't want to be prevented from doing what he wants to do. He is very, ahem, strong-willed but not very good at thinking out the consequences (having to clean up or pay for stuff)- he becomes angry/upset if he is caught ahead of time or has to clean up after the fact. He will not willingly listen to reason on this stuff.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    I'd call it annoying more than anything else. My kids never went to such extremes of sneaking an hiding stuff, but they are equally curious. Of course, there was the one incident where my son urinated on the wall behind the headboard (his father's side of the be heheheh) When I asked him about it, he told me he was curious as to what would happen. He was 5 with limited language and I didn't know he was an Aspie, yet.

    Anyway if possible explain that you understand his curiosity/boredom, but he can't be seeking and "steeling" stuff to explore and experiment - some mixtures could be extremely dangerous, and others could just be really expensive. Then tell him you'll set up "experiment" time, but you all have to discuss what he wants to explore at that time. In other words create a situation where he gets to do what he wants to do (be curious, experiment, explore his environment - all positive things) in a safe controlled environment, and it eliminates the bad behavior of sneaking and lying, and the biggest one - not being responsible for helping clean things up.

    If possible, between "experiment times" he can research his curiosities on the internet. This also gives you a chance to research safety issues like ammonia and bleach should NEVER be mixed. There's so much going on in our kids' minds that they don't always (often can't) express to us in ways we can understand - by definition this is true with autism. It's worth a shot, and he just might end up a chemist.
  5. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    This is going to sound like I feel...weary...we have done so many 'controlled' experiments/kits, we have researched, he has been told by parents and dr.'s about the dangers... he is given positive opportunities to explore, but he is limited in his ability to entertain himself with meaningful activities and thus when he isn't able to access computer/video games he needs constant supervision it seems.
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm sorry. I hear you and believe you.
    Knowing you've been there done that I'd say the inappropriateness level is a 10.

    I'm thinking it's a sensory thing like you said, but at his age, he should at the very least start taking some responsibility in the clean up. Yes, I know, difficult children are SOOOOOOOOO not the kids to willingly do that. But if he doesn't help, at least he can watch

    Wish I could help more.
  7. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    He cleaned it up (and made more of a mess in the process- think of a toddler/preschooler where their helping means more work in the end), but that won't deter him from doing it again. Why would he regress in this manner? Is this some sort of weird teen rebellion- autism version?! I am trying to decide if this goes beyond spectrum/sensory issues and onto a different mental health path?
  8. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    Is he on medications? When my daughter took Luvox, she started acting like a 2 year old, I thought. She was around 8 but started doing things a 2 year old would do that she hadn't done in years.
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    I'm sorry. I know we've been there done that but I reread my post and I wasn't specific enough. I meant to allow him to do the "controlled experimentation/exploration" in the tub/shower. If you knew that's what I meant, then I'm sorry again for bringing it up.

    From what you've written, it sounds totally like a sensory thing, but now that he's a teen he's finally learning/getting comfortable with getting what he might have wanted for years, but couldn't figure out how to do it before. Does not seem like regressive at all since he's using higher thinking skills.

    As far as thoughts on other mental health issue possibilities, I got nothing. Maybe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Timerlady gave me this idea, and it's very helpful here. Make a sensory box. In it, put the cheapest white rice you can find - several pounds - and some beans. He can just run his hands through it, play with it, etc., and get the texture "thing" he's looking for. Let him know that there is an appropriate and inappropriate place to use it. You know the drill.
  11. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Man, I thought we were past all that. I remember doing that when he was four years old. He would probably love it~ but I have to be careful when I give it to him because if he's upset it will get dumped/thrown, if he's hyper it will get thrown, etc., if I leave it in his room...he will probably try to add more 'ingredients' to it.

    The bathtub wasn't the only issue today, I won't get into the details, but all bedrooms and bathrooms in the house needed to be locked and entered with permission. That doesn't include his room though-no lock on the door~ and that is how the cat almost had a near death experience....he put the cat in a mesh hamper and held it out his second-story window!!! The cat jumped out and back through the window!! When questioned he said he wasn't going to drop it and I'm 75% sure he wouldn't, but the other part of me thinks he might have on impulse. :nonono:
  12. ready2run

    ready2run New Member

    on a scale of one to ten i'd give it probably an 8 compared to the things my difficult child does. i mean, it's still def gross and not at all something i'd approve of. it could be alot worse. difficult child plays with fecal matter and smears it on his walls and into the cracks in the hardwood floors. he rolls it into balls for his toys to play soccer with. i have even been purposely urinated all over because "i was mad." my difficult child is also very sneaky. i now search him everytime he goes upstairs to his room. not only does he hide/stash food which rots and if i don't find it he'll eat it and get sick but he also sneaks dangerous things if he can find them, like push pins from the school bulliten board or knives from the kitchen if they aren't locked up. he also gives himself baths in the toilet and who knows how many other nasty things which i have yet to discover. i know it is frustrating that he is doing it at his age, my difficult child is much younger. BUT i would gladly trade for a mayo bath...... (not that you should have to deal with that either) good luck on finding a solution. i have also been told about the rice/beans box but have been afraid to make one up because of the potential mess factor.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Probably. Unfortunately, even pervasive developmental delays do not slow down or mitigate the impact of puberty... and at 13? Probably.

    And yes, it REALLY complicates things!
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, I find that with time my son, who was originally diagnosed Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified and is now autism spectrum disorder high functioning, has gotten MUCH better. As a toddler, he liked to rock (hard) into his door. It helped him go to sleep. While it soothed him, it was hard on the door. Three doors, to be exact. Now he is aware when he is doing an inappropriate sensory thing and it happens much less often. I find that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids, however, must have something to do ALL THE TIME, even if it's the dreaded videogames, or they can't resist touching anything around (and sometimes breaking it, usually not on purpose). The few times my son is forced to sit and try to act interested in a family discussion, he taps his foot, picks at his clothes and can not sit still at all. But he is MUCH better. ..he could not have sat at all when, say, he was ten. Now he can at least stay seated. Interestingly, when he took the TOVA test to see if he also has ADHD, he passed the TOVA with flying colors, so the hyperness is not due to ADHD.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would say it is highly inappropriate and unfortunately part of the autism and sensory stuff. I would try to find/make some things he is allowed to have in the tub, provided he cleans it out AND he has a fund set aside to pay a plumber if he sends it down the drain. At 13 that is a reasonable expectation if he wants to do this, in my opinion. I would probably call a plumber and find out what the minimum cost of a visit is, and the hourly rate, and set it above that. he can do chores or use birthday/christmas money if he has or gets that. Or he can go beg a grandparent for it, whatever as long as HE is the one who comes up with the money and he is not stealing or doing anything with other people's stuff to get it.

    People on the autism spectrum often have very severe sensory issues and they can lead to really strange behavior. Some of it can be incredibly hard to handle as a parent. Wiz used to take a pound of raw burger out of the freezer and try to "cook" it with spices and eat it. made himself very very sick twice. He stopped because I made him pay the entire cost of teh doctor visit and the copay for the medications. wouldn't let him just pay the copay for the doctor visit because it was not high enough to really make an impact on him. yes, maybe it was "mean" or overly harsh, but it was that or endure endless rounds of this stupid behavior. I wasn't willing to risk his life to an e coli infection from eating raw meat that he let sit out for several days in his room - because he was still eating it when it had been out of the freezer for over two days. I have a friend who has a child with one kidney - that is not his own, and a very short digestive tract and most likely a very short life span (last I heard docs said it would be a miracle if he saw thirty) because he got e coli at age 2. I don't play with that. And money was the one thing that hit Wiz where it really hurt and couldn't be tolerated.

    If he MUST have something to play with in the tub, let him fill a sock or the foot of a pair of pantyhose iwth oatmeal. Tie it shut and let him squish it around in the water, rub all over him, etc..... It is the same as those expensive aveeno bath packets, very good for the skin, not terrible to clean out (as long as you do not open the sock), and not bad for the drain. Now it will cause drain problems if he opens it and pours the mushy oats out, but if he will leave it in the sock it idsn't a problem. I do this with sunburns, rashes, etc.... because we could never afford the aveeno stuff. Well, we could but paying five bucks or more for eight packets of instant oatmeal ground up in a blender seems really stupid to me, so I put old fashioned or quick cook oats from the canister into a sock and either let the kid squish it or I tie it onto the faucet so the running water goes through it (tie it shut and then tie to the faucet). It works very well and is easier on the plumbing than the aveeno according to the plumbers I know.

    Also get yourself a copy of The Out of Sync Child Has Fun by Kranowitz. It is PACKED with sensory activities and they always sparked even more ideas for my family. It is the most used book of games/activities that we have, lol, cause we ALL like the activities. We don't all like the same ones, but we all like some of them.

    Also look for various books of kids' experiments - there are lots of them out there. Plus maybe get him into making soaps, lotions, bath salts, etc.... Let him look up what would be good for his skin and then figure out a way to make them. I have found ways to make a LOT of expensive spa products. I LOVE the sugar scrubs that so many places sell but I HATE the price tags. I don't much like the salt scrubs because I have so many sore spots from a skin problem and they sting. To make a sugar scrub you put sugar (granulated or the larger crystal turbinado - aka sugar in the raw - or a mix of the two) in a container and pour vegetable oil and whatever scent you want to cover. Stir together and add enough oil to make a loose paste. Can keep in the fridge for about six months and on the shelf for at least 3 months. I also make a cream for my psoriasis that turns out to be amazing on wrinkles. I get most of the ingredients from ebay for the best prices. I melt shea butter over hot water, stir in macadamia nut oil, vit E oil and pumpkin seed oil and melted beeswax (a small amount to thicken it). After it is stirred together well I put the container into an ice water bath and stir until it is cool with a whisk. Then it goes into little jars. My aunt in OH and her lady friends clamor for this for their wrinkles. I have put various other things in it, depending on what I have on hand and want at the time. I do NOT use coconut oil because it is actually very hard on the skin. Cocoa butter is not, but the coconut oil everyone raves about is really hard on your skin.

    Anyway, my search for this cream started wehn I was allergic to most everything any doctor suggested for my skin problems. I was tired of paying a fortune for a little bottle of stuff and then having to give it away because it made things worse. I started reading and playing around with stuff.

    Your son can learn to do this stuff. He can figure out ways to indulge this sensory need with-o ruining your plumbing or your tub. It will take some help on your part to keep him focused, and I would lock the bathroom door so that he can be searched before he goes in.

    another thing he may like is to mix cornstarch and water in roughly equal amounts and put it into a big pan. It should be just enough to cover the bottom. I use a nine by thirteen pan, but you could use a cookie sheet if it has sides that come up a bit. Let him add food color if he wants (mix it with the water first). It is a fun mixture to play with, If you run a finger through it, the goop will move like a liquid, but if you hit it sharply it will break like a solid. My aunt's kids spent hours playing iwth this, as did my younger two. Wiz was grossed out by it though, part of his sensory stuff. He also hated finger paint of any kind, even pudding paint. Only kid in his preschool to refuse to join in when they did pudding paint (use vanilla pudding and food color as paint).

    I can probably find titles if you want/need specific books on experiments and making your own soaps and things. He could even start with the melt and pour soaps and add various things to them to make them different shapes and testures.

    I would insist that NO rice go into the bathroom. rice can swell to up to twenty times its dried size and is the single hardest thing in your home for your pipes. It is even worse for the bathroom drains than the kitchen ones because the bathroom drains tend to have hair in them in some amount and it catches the rice so it cannot move past.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good point about the Luvox.
    But it sounds more like plain autism. :(

    I agree with-the others, fill a box of things he can play with. Even blowing bubbles would work. And something with-baking soda. Those things will wash down the drain just fine.
    Make sure that he cleans up afterward.
    And yes, he will need supervision. Make sure that he never locks the door while he's in there. He's probably too old for you to sit there all the time, but you should walk in and out several times just to check.

    I sat with-my difficult child until he was about 9 or 10 and threw so much stuff into the bathtub it wasn't even funny. (Actually, it was ... ) Some of it was more sophisticated, like G.I. Joe, and some was for babies, but he never learned to use them as a baby. One was a cute bunch of ducks that attached to one another in a ring, and when they absorbed water, they made noises in different musical keys. He was 9 by the time he learned to use it. :) In the tub, no one knows what age you are. :)
    Anyway, he'd play and play with the shower door closed (major factor there, after numerous floods) and I'd sit on the closed toilet seat lid and catch up on all my mail order catalogs and magazines.

    Even with-all the of the things you will not put in there in the future, whatamess, I would put professional drain cleaning on your list about 3X a yr. Just so you know ...
  17. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oh, also, we have a detachable shower head that has caused us more flooding than I care to think about. difficult child learned to use it and spray the ceiling, the walls, the mirrors across the room ... Idiot me, I would have saved a lot more money by tearing apart the bathroom and installing a permanent shower head, than all the plumbing and sheetrock work we had to do over the yrs ...
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I do have to say that this post brought back many memories. Wiz hated sticky/messy hands but LOVED to have stuff on his face and the rest of him. After spending an hour cleaning up the mess after husband gave him a popsicle at the table, it was declared that popsicles were bathtub food. Similar thing with pudding - only it took longer to clean because husband tried to clean it up before I got home! After that, from age 10-11 mos to age 3 he didn't ever have either popsicles or pudding anywhere but the tub or outside if it was warm enough to have the hose out.

    I think owrking professional drain cleaning into the budget a couple of times a year is a good idea. Or buy a 25 foot snake and teach difficult child to clear the pipes himself. You may have to go to plumbing supply if Home Despot doesn't have one that long. You can get a 6 foot or so snake at walmart for around $20, for clogs near the drain.
  19. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Not really inappropriate as he is doing it in private. Maybe insist he clean up the mess, and ask first before he ends up bathing with dinner but this is quirky, not harmful.
  20. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    We bought beans today~ he was excited about that~ he wants to take them to school for when he gets bored~ he took the bucket o' beans to his room though and began breaking them apart. It's funny about difficult child, his nickname (not in front of him) as a toddler was 'destructo-boy' and it's still true today- his main mission seems to be breaking things- he hoards scissors and mini-screwdrivers to take things apart, he picks at stuff, rips paper products, etc,etc. Expensive!