He was at it again… BITING!

He was at it again… BITING… anyone who got in his way

We weren’t sure what… or who… was the trigger… But it had to stop.

Was it sensory seeking? Was it frustration? Was it anxiety? Who knew? But it had to stop.

We didn’t know what to do. Everything we’d tried; the therapy’s, the ABA, the counseling. And still.


Then one night we were watching Jurassic Park and my wife said, “Did you hear that? THAT’S IT! Let’s try that.”

Wait. What?

Let me explain how Jurassic Park helped us solve… BITING.

In Jurassic Park there was a scene where the guys who are responsible for keeping the dinosaurs safe – and the people
safe at the same time – are discussing how smart the Velociraptors are.

Their example was that the Velociraptors were systematically testing the fences in which they were caged in different
areas to find weaknesses and how they KEEP ON testing and KEEP ON testing and KEEP ON testing until…

Well, the fact is, in the movie, the Velociraptors NEVER stop testing their boundaries until they eventually escape
and gain way too much control of the island.

Here’s the point. Kids are like Velociraptors in that they constantly test their boundaries. AND they are like
Velociraptors in that they KEEP ON testing and KEEP ON testing and KEEP ON testing until…

They’re not being bad. They’re just kids… and kids DO WHAT WORKS.

Why do they kick? Because IT WORKS.

Why do they scream? Because IT WORKS.

Why do they hit? Throw things? Cry? Pinch? Why do they do anything? Because IT WORKS.

And they’ll KEEP DOING IT. As long as it works.

So, we devised a plan (and thankfully, we shared it with his school) so that anytime he bit anyone… even TRIED to
bite anyone… we/they gave him the exact same steps we’d take AND the consequences (in a loving way.) Bad
consequences when he bit, good when he didn’t – and decided to do it… F O R E V E R !

Why F O R E V E R ? Because Velociraptors… I mean, kids… NEVER STOP testing the fences

Every time. E V E R Y T I M E, he tried to bite someone, and when he didn’t… the same results (in a loving way)
happened. At home and at school. And… we were all… C O N S I S T E N T.

Can you guess what happened? That’s right. He stopped biting.

But maybe you say, we’ve tried that… and it didn’t work. To THAT I’d say, for how long.

When my other son Ricky (who is on the autism spectrum, yep… I have two on the spectrum) was about 3-years-old, we
had a serious problem with him in Church.

He was LOUD!. A LOT. And he was BUSY! REAL BUSY. So busy, that sitting still for him was very close to impossible.

We tried SO many things to keep him still and eventually, we discovered a clay-like substance called, “Model Magic.”
Which helped us in keeping his hands – and mind – busy.

But it did not close his mouth. AT ALL!

He was constantly being WAY TOO LOUD.

Constantly, I felt like I was “shuushing” him. Then, one day… Ricky UPPED the stakes.

He started THIS act.

Each time I would shuush him, he would SCREAM at the top of his lungs… NOOOOO!

You can imagine, huh?

(In a whisper) Shhhh… (In a LOUD voice) NO! (In a whisper – kinda) Shhhh… (In a LOUDER voice) NOOOO!
(In a louder whisper) Shhhh… (In a blood curdling SCREAM) NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

There was NO WAY I was going to let him be too loud and there was NO WAY I could have him SCREAMING at me in Church –
and in effect… STOPPING me from shuushing him.

So, I devised a plan.

The next time he got too loud. I whispered in his ear… “please whisper.”

If he didn’t quiet down immediately (and he didn’t), I’d take his clay, pick him up, set the clay in the chair where
he was sitting… and walk him out in to the foyer.

Once there, I WOULDN’T let him roam around or talk or play with anyone or anything. I’d simply sit him on top of a
trashcan, and whisper to him, “please, whisper.” And then in a whisper, I’d say, “now you say it… please, whisper.”

Maybe he’d yell, “NO!” Or maybe he’d yell, “PLEASE WHISPER!”

Believe me he yelled a lot of things.

But until I said, in a whisper, “please, whisper. Now you say it… please, whisper.” — And he REPLIED CORRECTLY by
saying, in a whisper, “please whisper” and I said in a whisper, “good boy. I love you. We’d stay on that trashcan.

“Please, whisper. Now you say it… please, whisper.”

“Please, whisper. Now you say it… please, whisper.”

“Please, whisper. Now you say it… please, whisper.”

Each time, as soon a he’d finally whisper back, I’d say, “good boy” and we’d head back in and I’d give him back his
clay and snuggle on him.

Sometimes this would happen 3 times in an hour, sometimes 15 times in an hour. Yep you read that right… 15 FREAKIN
TIMES in one hour.

Sometimes we’d be out there for seconds, sometimes minutes, sometimes what felt like hours.

Be we were consistent.

Over and over and over, week after week after week, month after month, year after YEAR.

Then one day, when Ricky was 8-years-old… the hour… was… over?

Not ONCE had I taken him out. I looked over at my wife and she looked at me and our eyes welled up with tears. “HOLY
CRAP! IT WORKED…” we silently mouthed to each other.

And we never had to take him out again. Five years of consistent effort FINALLY paid off. Yep, you read that right…


But here is the cool part. At about that same moment, he became the “de-facto” family quieter.

If anyone in the family was – in his mind – a bit too loud, he’d quietly lean towards you and say, in a whisper,
“please, whisper.”

If ANYONE ELSE – in Ricky’s earshot – got a bit too loud in Church, he’d say to them quietly, “please, whisper.”

And when he turned 14-years-old, he was asked to pass out the programs at the doors as parishioners entered… because
of the “reverent example” he sets for others.

And if you walk by and you’re being a bit too loud as you enter, can you guess what will happen?

That’s right, Ricky will lean it to you and quietly whisper, “please whisper.”

People are SO impressed they make it a point to come over to us and say…

You’re SO LUCKY Ricky is so reverent in Church.

And we almost almost always reply. “Thank you. We ARE lucky.”

Here’s the deal. You and I know “LUCK” has got nothing to do with it. It’s Just flat-out hard work.


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