A Special Episode for Kids: The Fear Facer


What's that that my dream catcher Carter Dream catcher so I guess it catches batteries but hasn't been working so good? Thank you had some bad dreams lately yes. I've had some last night really what did you. What did you dream about last night? I don't even really remember yeah. I always forget forget my dreams too. I try sometimes to write them down so I can remember them. Do you ever do that. I'm no Ma'am I'm still working on spelling so sins ends on Michael without would probably be really high. I don't know is that his last name above our Barbaro Yeah. Oh why don't we try so for the New York Times. I've Ella this is the day kids addition. Today we are talking about fears and how you face them Sunday September twenty. Hello Hello Michael. Hi Is this Ella Nos my mom talking but now it's me his that might go. Hi Ella. Are you wearing headphones. How does it feel great all right cool and then my colleague Julia Longoria traveled to Nashville Tennessee to record our conversation with Ella mainers and her mother Katie Mirrors feels okay? Yes you calling me. Sir Sure Yes sir you don't have to do that. I appreciate it but are you hearing me. I'm not actually Ashley hearing us with a microphone. I'm hearing us who's a phone but then eventually a lot of people are going to hear you through the microphone. I don't get it yeah. I don't get it either either. I thought that we might begin with just a couple of really basic questions. How old are you? I'm I just turned nine and since ensure in L. A. Your bedroom I wonder if you could describe a little bit of your surroundings. Just a couple of things in that room that means something to you. Everybody and here my bunk bed in my steph animals sir. Can you tell me about those stuffed animals. I got a Unicorn Uni and Bumba Anez my favorite which is a bunny she she has. OCD Bun Bun has obsessive compulsive disorder. Yes sir I mean yes. I know that you have been through through a lot this last year so I wanted to talk about that with you and with your mom. Is that that sound fine yeah. Let me start by asking you you about your biggest fears. What are you most scared of? The rowing up tornadoes fire's win debt monsters in going upstairs by myself are in the garage and among those because that's a fair number fears. What would you say are the biggest the things that you're most afraid of getting getting sick and like tornadoes we have like Tornado watches here answered tornado the worse thing is our tornado sirens right beside our house near seven forty? PM Central it you can hear it like wow that's really loud wind gone apocalypse is coming. That's just kind of where her mind goes but we never had a tornado actually hit our house. That's good yes sir yes obsessive. Compulsive disorder is not what I'm imagined it to be pictured mainly the compulsive side of OCD hand washing over and over checking locks or things like that and with Ella in particular her OCD focuses more only obsession obsessive thoughts of vomiting of tornadoes NATO's LS compulsion is actually avoidance. She will do anything to avoid the situations where vomit tornado could happen. I will see the is just signed that telling you the scary things are gonNA happen to you. Oh it took what Ella had a fear of of it tornadoes in just made that fear just enormous when I found out that I had OCD I feel like it changed my life a lot. How so it was harder for me to do a lot of different staff that other people can do and it was just harder? I feel like the first time it wished just your typical school day and I get to the Carpool Line at school and I drive up and instead of Allah Walking Karkare her teacher dies and Kinda roll down the window a little confused going like okay where Saleh Ella and that's when she told me element wait the classroom and of course what do you mean. She wanted the classroom and and when I got to her classroom she was literally I just remember I was like screaming on the floor. If I moved I was GONNA get set these up churches or his rock around her. She was tucked into a little ball and she was just laying on the floor. I've been crying. I am going to get and she was able to say like if a move. I think I'm going to get sick or if a stand up I'm going to get sick. I am going to get sick I am going to there was not one thing I can say. You're going to be okay. You know you're not gonNA get sick. I get sick. I helped her. I am going to get sick. I she was just stop I. AM gotta get sick I am her brain was stuck. I am going to get sick. I am going to this. One thought of. I'm going to get L. OF wiz. Basically paralyzed here lies with her fear and I ended up just having to literally pull off the floor and carrier to my car. I am going to get sick. We didn't know that the things we were doing the reassuring her. You know you're not gonNA get sick. Those are really amplifying her a CD and the next thing that really pushed us was the day we got the phone call from the principal that told me there there had been just a routine tornado drill at school ella. Can you tell me what happened that day. Well the colour outside so I was wearing jackets. The tornado drill was at the end of the day hearing the siren really just Kinda sent. La into that state of all consuming beer the salaries of light no not gonNA get sick tried to talk yourself out of it and I didn't take the two coats off and it was like really hot inside it was really thick coats and the ad to duck our heads down even though it was just fe Kluber to adjust make sure we knew what to deal and what did you do. I want to do with Valley Dr Heddon and like then and then I throw up I mean when they told me it was like Oh my gosh like poor child. How much worse could it get? He had to be a tornado and had to be vomit. It was her to worst worst veered in one and what did that. Experience due to your fears won't just the worst really these fears. Just kinda consumed her. They consumed her life. Dare have been boys that boy navy. Maybe four can you tell me what kinds of things they would say. Somebody has said to me like you're. They're not that good as like other people because you have. OCD horrible. I started crying. When you start to see eh her not be able to do the things that she's been able to do is when as a parent you go okay? We've really got to get on this US yeah. I realized that we had to do the hard way. What do you mean the hard way? I don't really know the second can you do you WANNA break. Ella Yeah L. If you if you WANNA break I would completely understand now covert okay. We'll be right back. Don't leave is your kid at cauliflower. Skeptic board by Broccoli Sweet Green in schools and food court are on a mission to change that together. They're working to reimagined school lunch and instill healthier eating habits in the thirty million students who rely on school lunch daily nutrition seven with one million in funding support food core hands on learning and programmatic working Cafeterias Green and schools will introduce healthier sustainable food to twenty two thousand elementary school all students in America by the two thousand twenty school year learn more at schools dot sweet green dot com. Tell them you're ready ready Yup actually okay so once you determine that you have to do something yes. What do you do my husband and I we just started researching I did so much reading on? OCD The best treatment options for it allergist said too much touch and came to the conclusion that Ellen needed some intense therapy so that's how we came across the fear phasers camp that they put onto Tom's this summer fear phasers N- it is for children that have obsessive compulsive disorder or other anxiety disorders it is put on by the University of Florida and Sorry Ellis making funny faces home just based on the name. It sounds like this is a place where kids let's go to confront fears yes. The mom stopped talking my shine. It's your time to shine yeah. Go for it. Burn to tell me about what you first thought. When you heard about this this camp of fear phasers I was excited but nervous at the same time and I was not ready for the drive the drive yes long drive? Yeah you remember what you lied on the India I'm sad I love hearing emotional song because I don't know why like calm Scott your reason season. I'm still are clearly every swing Shane sale week gesture. I'd from Nashville to gained fell as you arrive can you can you describe what it looks like. There's tons of parking lot S- and it wasn't a spin night camp. You should just look it up. Okay let me do that. The the focus auto photos there really are almost no photos. I could tell that was like a really nice place. It kind of looked like a church right so what was the first thing that you did when you got there I got to meet my counselors and I named my uh-huh. CD OC Lucy and why did you do that address like the name if you give give that OCD name it helps them identify like okay. Is this me thinking or maybe being scared or is this OCD or an Ellis case. There's this oc being scared and tell me tell me about Oh see. I always just picture him being like he's a bubble. He insomnia brain needs the lead bubble blue. It's blue cross blue my favorite color. I don't know why why why did you give your favorite color. You think I don't know is it Kinda like Oh sees a little bit of part of you like it's always gonna be that yeah I did. It would always be there she or he just sneaky sneaky sneaky. How you don't know what he's GonNa do? He tells Louis are she tells me like I am going to get sick option guarding. I say I'm not going to get sick. I'm not going to get sick that makes it worse. Not GonNa get sick. Not GonNa get sick armed groups. She shake I am Greta gets so they told me to talk to see like deaf right like I am going to get Sir Graham get defeated. You can like say yes. I am going to get sick. Yes I am going to get sick. Yes I am yes I. AM good get sick. I get sick. I don't know how it defeats. OC says it's like so just so l. as OCD could have an unnamed my OCD Cinde. I discovered like okay. I definitely have a little OCD in me. Oh I checked my stove at night. We have a gas stove and I always check and I. I can't just look at it. I have to feel the little lines are facing off because I won't the pleasure of saying I to send in my mind is just like like violent. The the grandmother character is in Granny's right continue to write that down from Downton Abbey. Maybe he always has to have things a certain way in its very particular and picky nagging. I have plenty your friends and game clock. That's what those would be eligible. Remember we were sitting on the basketball court. I am we sat and we listed all of your fears. I can not really scared of it ten the biggest fear of tornadoes fires and so would the counselors do after you told them about your fears we we did adjusted on. Are we well. We we did did like exposure to them exposing yourself to the thing that you're most free enough. Yes yes sir yes so at one point during the week during ellas morning they tackle tornadoes Eidos Day would bring me into a room that nobody was in me and my mom my counselors they would bring their ipad in there to play something on on strong with the first thing odile watch for not too hard and then I went up to harder dog was running Kinda to tornado though doggy stay here take the didn't take the law was like I would just take the dog to then after they just need to the bathroom and played the Tornado Siren when we redid like what happened like when I got sick and we put two jackets on me. Everybody's like want to coats I would they really did try to create the situation at Skoll to really Kinda put her back in that moment when she was so fearful at school and have her see you can do this. I said Oh no Iran is getting louder and louder. We started talking to me Newport NATO. There's GonNa be a tornado yesterday's. Yes there's yes. There's yes there's yes there is we kept doing it over and over again and then it just kept getting easier and easier and then the dispatcher for the day where like over so after the first exposure we moved to vomit of course as soon as we said that Ellas got really big was like wait. We're already going to vomit. That's one of the really hard ones today explain that we're going to watch a video and of course her first response is like yeah. I don't know about that. I rated at a ten. Do you mind if I play it. I don't care really aw they showed me. The pitch perfect which started with a ten new saying was going to happen but no way Eh never I watched it perfect my heart races now yeah yeah I'm sorry do you WanNa stop doing this. I'm GonNa see I wanNA keep going site. I saw the sign and I opened up my eyes. I saw the black vomit shooting out for mouth so bad God but like kids. It's worse that those useless like oh you are gonna get sick so I was like yes same essay. I'm OC on realized that it wasn't as scary as you saw more times. I watched it Will it helped that her after we left the room with the ipads that is when we went to the kitchen area and started the exposure exposure of pretending to vomit water they took me to the sink and we got water in our mouth and then we spit it out but it would be Kinda. Dude up pretended to be throwing. Yes it was easy. I don't know what's just pretty pretty easy on that and then we moved onto the bath their own and that's where everything got trickier that definitely was hard so these counselors grab a handful of the really league gross jelly beans that you play like being Bouza wet so they taste like vomit or grass clippings or whatnot and having having God bless these counselors because they're the ones that eight the jelly beans not ella eligible had to watch and they chew them up and then then pretended to vomit in the toilet longer almost actually kinda got set kind of was gagging. I don't know if it was the taste of the jelly beans or or if it was just gag reflex but it really sounded like she got sick and that's when ellen just really lost it and they were saying you know Okay L. O. Why don't you look to see if she got sick and she did not want to look to see if she got sick? I think they would ask me my raiding. I said ten I refused to like look and that's why and I was crying. You're my mom was crying. I stepped out of the stall because I think my emotion show was upsetting elmore. She said this is too much. Like why so kitty is sounds like you're starting to question this whole exposure thing yes I had doubts. Did we make the right decision do is this really going to help her and you know I remember being outside aside and just go in like. Is this how it's supposed to be and they were like yes. You know she's this is hard. This is going to be a hard moment for her but she's going to have a moment in there where she realizes she can do this. I was like why did I come to Kim. This is not fine. My Mom's like she's knocking want to come. I'm back tomorrow but they wouldn't let me likely so I had to do it. so they took took a picture with my mom's phone so they said okay how about we take a picture and you look at the picture inside in the toilet and L. wouldn't look at it at first and cover is and they were like you know Ela. Let's try to look at it. I looked at the picture inside the toilet. They said she just stared at it like made herself look at it and she eventually took two steps and I looked inside the toilet. Actually without the picture and I made wines. I was so scared but it's like the worst always outside the bathroom talking with one of the doctors and we've heard them late cheering inside just ellis killed sirs like just going crazy in the bathroom instead we literally made like tunnel for her to go through coming out of the bathroom him and we all cheered and high five Dir and the first thing she did was come over to me and give me a big hug and of course she's got. You know like red eyes and I was like what was it like. It's just like I was proud of myself like I felt brave and hadn't heard her say that in a really long Tom I felt really I'd after I did all these exposures I felt good. I felt happy as brave as hell everything really. I've always said you know we will sit with you in the bottom of the pit and we'll just get through we'll get through it together and at some point everybody's GonNa be at the bottom of the pet. You know no one's life is perfect and I think the younger they are and can start learning to to be there and worked themselves back up. I mean that's it's an advantage. Sorry hard nuts so worth it. I mean we've Gosh she's GonNa be at amazing adult. Ella there are a lot of kids who have. OCD there also a lot of kids who have major fears. Here's even if they don't have OCD but Moose kids don't go to a special camp to face their fears. So what would you say to a kid like that. What what kind of advice would you get her? I I would say hi and then I would just do kind of what I do like do like like strategies while I do are like say. Yes I am. Yes I am kind of like that and hopefully it will get better. Do you think it they took away. Those fears now if you have these fears now. How are they different? They aren't as scary the L. I really enjoyed getting to know you in this conversation very much and thank you thank you thank you thank you dalen made by the cow gums and emails Lisa to- vent then Rachel Lindy garrison any brown Claire Scare page might go Simon Johnson Brag pitcher arrested. Stay Anderson Wendy Door Chris Would Jessica Chiang Alexandra Leon Jon Allen Fan Wolf Glacier Chow aircraft a key mark George Luke Vander bloop a Diese Egan Kelly Prime Julianne Gloria on Gory Jason Do Yamasani Don Jazz Aguilera. MJ Davis Lin Dan Powell Austin Mitchell and is Sarah NATO theme music is from Jim Brown burn in bands and Bert a Wunderle. Some of the music in this episode was composed by Alexander Alexander Ovechkin and special thanks to Donna delacruz who originally reported this story special. Thank you to stand donate Michaela Bullshit Tan and Julia Simon. There's like a huge team though we all. We all work together to make this show every day. That's it for the daily. I'm Michael Barbaro see you tomorrow. I'm an tornadoes talk right into and tornadoes term vomit and tornadoes vomiting tornadoes sugary milk refined grains and extra salt sweet green and schools food court. No our kids deserve better. That's why they're working together to reimagined school lunch and address systemic challenges to serving high quality food and Cafeterias Sweet Green in Schools on food core will bring their behavioral science backed approach to up to fifty schools by the twenty twenty school year piloting taste tests in cafeterias across the country and empowering our nation's kids to explore healthy sustainable foods

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