What do you do about a blind child that will not stop throwing his spoon when eating?

He can hold his spoon but likes to be fed. He laughes after he throws his spoon. He does the same thing with other items as well. I have removed him from the table when he does this and brought him back. He will also throw his plate of food, again he laughs. Would like any help on how to stop this.

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Posted by Mary on Nov 02, 2013 - 9:30am

Hi Darlene, 
This reply is a bit of a marathon but I hope there's something here you will find helpful.
It sounds like your son is more bored than hungry. Feed him when he is hungry. He also sounds like a boy with a sense of humour and even being removed from the table does not mute the enjoyment he gets throwing cutlery, plates and food. You could try the type of plate that attaches with a suction cup to the table.
You can get cutlery which works the same way but is on an extendable spiral for mobility. 
These things might deal with the issues in the short term but what you need is a long term fix.

I tend strongly toward the ABC way of resolving this:
A/ What are the Antecedents for the behaviour? They should be that he is hungry and, with a strong routine aspect, ready to eat with you.
Right now he is not hungry enough to forgo the entertainment of throwing things.
B/ What is the problematic Behaviour? You have to decide if you want to deal with him feeding himself or deal with his throwing behaviour. The throwing would be my choice because if that continues he cannot feed himself.
C/ What is the Consequence of this behaviour which makes it worthwhile to him?
Does he perceive 'Oh no!' feedback as positive? Is it his way of including himself in the excitement of a family meal? Take a step back and look objectively at the response he receives.

Only you will know the best way for your child/self/family to eliminate this behaviour. 

My suggestions would be:
1/ He sits down hungry.
2/ The chat at the table is peaceful and food centered.
3/ There are plenty of wipes and floor coverings.
4/ Expect the behaviour and keep reactions to it to a minimum so there are no big 'Oh no!' moments or joining him in his laughter.
5/ If you have a spoon to feed him with and a steady supply of spoons for him to help feed himself you will be ready the first time it happens... and the tenth.
6/ Keep him engaged in the meal and when he is finished eating let him down from the table.
7/ When he's not eating encourage his active play to his hearts content- he sounds like a handful of happy energy.

I hope there's something there which will help out. Be prepared for the throwing behaviour to increase in the short term while he tries to work out why his previous actions are not providing the satisfaction he was getting from them. You will be teaching him that the enjoyment of food and company does not involve energetic play but is rewarding in different ways.

I wish you the very best of luck ( and it would be wonderful if you let us know how you and your son get on :)

Posted by Amber Bobnar on Nov 07, 2013 - 10:33am

Another answer from our Facebook page:

"I would redirect by using braille or other textile objects and give detail and ask questions (to help redirect) and go from there and praise him. Example: If you use your spoon this many times then I will feed you this many times. Then fade it out and use a reward when finished."