Behavioural vomiting — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

Behavioural vomiting

joden1 Member Posts: 21 Listener
HI all, this has been going on years now with my son who is now 9. He has quad severe cp but is very aware and knowing.
He makes himself sick when going into one place to another, e.g leaving our front door to get in car, leaving shopping centre to get outside, leaving school to get on bus, in other words nearly all transitions. He can also do it if one off his fav programmes finishes.
What we have been doing is putting headphones on him with iPod and his fav video/music on every time he leaves house etc to distract the behaviour, we used to use iPad but got for something less obvious now.
School are now worry how they are going to deal with this behaviour as he gets bigger , and so am i , its not a easy job cleaning him up and chair up esp when i have 2 other little children . And obviously i done think he enjoys being cleaned up or being sick but its what he has learnt to do.
I tried for a week in summer holidays to take everything away from him iPad, iPod etc when doing transitions and I've was so stressed and i culdnt cope with all the vomiting.
He is tube fed and i have played around with feed times etc etc enough times to help this, i have asked docs, dieticians and nobody has anything to help me. He is on highest amount of reflux meds too. He has not had a nissens nor do we want him to as he is very good at coughing up phelm off his chest and this has helped him not be hospitalised for chest infections.

Any help would be appreciated , we are a end of out teather with this.

josie x


  • Rocky
    Rocky Member Posts: 76 Listener
    Hi Joden, when I started to read your post, I was thinking this is a behavioural issue and this is something you have obviously thought about. It sounds as if by vomiting, he gets your attention and other things he may want so it could be a learned behaviour which can take a while to correct. He may also be jealous of the time you spend with siblings as it sounds as if he is the eldest and became used to having most of your time and attention.
    If there is no medical reason, it may be worth talking to the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, they may be able to give you some advice. You can phone for information and support on 0845 602 7885 or email [email protected]
    They also have local support and a parent linking scheme.
  • joden1
    joden1 Member Posts: 21 Listener
    HI Thanks for that info ill take a look
    I don't think he is at jealous of siblings as this happens when he is at school, respite etc. It is def something he has learnt but we want it to stop for all our sakes.

  • GinaS
    GinaS Member Posts: 35 Connected
    Hi Joden,

    I think it's interesting that you've identified transitions as the time when this behaviour is most likely to occur. The first call is always to rule out physical/organic causes that may affect this behaviour.

    If you've identified that your son struggles with transitions you might find it helpful to use some simple, visual cues to support his understanding. I suggest a simple "now-next" visual schedule to signal transition and provide the appropriate reassurance. Visual supports are tools that are used to increase the understanding of language, environmental expectations, and to provide structure and support. They can also be provided in a variety of ways across multiple settings. For instance, you can incorporate supports in school and at home. Another strategy is to use a visual timer (eg time timer or even a simple kitchen timer) to signal the end of one activity. A timer will allow him to “see” how much time is left before he has to move onto another activity. It also makes the abstract concept of time more meaningful.

    If this behaviour insists and becomes a problem at his school, you can also contact the local health team and hopefully a Behaviour Practitioner will be able to do a more detailed assessment and come up with some helpful strategies.

    Let us know how you are getting on!
    Best wishes
  • joden1
    joden1 Member Posts: 21 Listener
    HI, we have tried visual objects before and it made no difference I'm afraid.
    he has been referred to behaviour spec but they said it takes long time.

    josie x
  • GinaS
    GinaS Member Posts: 35 Connected
    I am wondering if you could try to work with the school and introduce some very predictable and structured transition routines at both environments. Also, when the time comes for the transition, it might worth trying to offer some choices to give him control over the situation. As far as responding to behaviour is concerned, it is important to decide on specific strategies to use when it occurs.

    I appreciate you might have already tried these but consistency is key in any intervention! What usually helps when many people are involved in someone's life, is to arrange a meeting with all of them (e.g. key worker from respite, key people from school, etc) and discuss what works/doesn't work and agree on certain strategies to try. You are the expert in this case, but other people involved in his care might have something useful and positive to share!


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.