Thursday, June 16, 2011

Elijah Verses the Vacuum

Elijah has been terrified of vacuums for as long as I can remember.

I know this fear is common with a lot of kids, but I don't think it's usually as excessive as Elijah's fear was. You see, he'd throw himself onto the floor in .5 seconds and scream the saddest/scared cry you've ever heard. It didn't matter that we'd explain it to him ahead of time or if we tried to make it fun. Nothing worked.  Usually, Elijah's fear would evolve into rocking on his hands and knees and banging his head on the floor, which was obviously something we tried to avoid. Andy and I would refer to Elijah's reaction as World War Three.

So, for the past three years or so, we haven't vacuumed when Elijah was home. We'd try it once in awhile, but it was always the same result. Therefore, I'd vacuum when Eli was at preschool or Andy would take him outside so I could do it (or vice versa). Vacuuming just wasn't worth experiencing World War Three.
Elijah verses the vacuum
With the help of our ABA therapists, we started working on desensitizing Elijah to sounds (including a vacuum noise) by playing a CD at low volumes. We praised him immensely when he stayed calm. Overall, he's becoming less and less upset by noises. And then one day a couple of weeks ago, Andy spilled something and needed to vacuum and when he did, Elijah didn't break out into World War Three. When Elijah heard the vacuum, he was definitely nervous for awhile. Then he got brave and watched the vacuum until finally he started to hop around the room in excitement. Eventually he even got close enough to touch it. A huge breakthrough!

Now, Elijah loves the vacuum cleaner.
Blurry Eli loving the vacuum
He loves it so much that a major temper tantrum ensues when we stop vacuuming.

Sigh. We just can't win sometimes.


Kathy said...

Awesome! Our Eli overcoming in leaps and bounds....Love you, GrammaKat

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