As an autism parent, I’m always wanting to know what other parents and occupational therapists are using to help their child. There are so many products out there that may not be designed specifically for ASD, but become invaluable tools for us. Like those little whistle lip toys — the first time our OT pulled that dime-store toy out of her bag, I tried not to giggle, but it helped him to become familiar with plastic on his lips and how to blow. It was a handy little toy!
Another toy we couldn’t do without is Gululu. It was designed to help all children overcome dehydration concerns, but I had no idea how much it would help my son. Gululu is an interactive water bottle that changed everything for us. Many autistic children battle with food and fluid intake, and my little guy is not exception. Before Gululu, he left drinks on the table after only a few sips, and never finished anything in his cups. Dehydration was always a concern — especially after he was hospitalized for it in 2014. A common phrase in our house was, “is it time to take him in for an IV?” because we were always worried he wasn’t getting enough. But after three short months of continuous use with Gululu, fluid intake stopped being a problem! Today, he gladly drinks without being prompted, bribed, or pleaded with. And since Gululu has a fluid tracker on their app, we were reassured of his progress each time we checked in.
The fun Gululu bottle features a pet- tamagucci like that grows and goes through underwater adventures as the kid drink. The pets in Gululu motivate kids to develop healthy habits on their own. When your child drinks from Gululu Interactive Bottle, the pet grows happier and evolves. This constant interaction both entertains and encourages beneficial habit formation. Gululu has been featured on all main media publication like Forbes, Vogue and others.- and parents love it!
Our Gululu Story:
Jagger received Gululu for his birthday last summer, and I honestly had very little faith in it when it first arrived. My only hope was that he would try it. I mean, if I could get him to try it out, maybe it would stand a chance. I was shocked when he made it past the first day — and then the first three days — and the first full week! It was a eureka moment for us that first full week of use. I loved that I was able to divert his attention away from “are you drinking” and ask him if he had fed his Gululu pet instead. That minor switch in wording made drinking so much easier and it stopped being a struggle.
If he hadn’t received his first Gululu last summer, I don’t know where we would be or what we would have done. We were struggling — really struggling — before Gululu. Everything we tried before it was either a failure or something that worked, sometimes, if we were on the verge of requesting IV fluids. Frozen pops, juice boxes, everyday toddler cups, sports bottles, you name it, we tried it! Nothing worked for us before Gululu.
Why I think Gululu Helped Us?
Of course, the Gululu water-pet is what immediately prompted his attention, but aside from that, I think the design of the cup itself it great for children. The spout is small (approximately the same width as the standard straw) and doesn’t require any sort of special drinking technique. The liquid inside stays cooler than in a regular cup too. Temperature is always a concern for autistic children. My son likes cold things to be cold, and hot things to be hot; there is no in between for him. Since his drink does stay cooler longer inside Gululu, he doesn’t make me replace the beverage inside between “Gululu pet feedings”.
What I’ve Learned About Gululu:
Gululu is durable! Sometimes my son throws things when he is upset and isn’t communicating positively, Gululu has survived those moments. He has thrown Gululu across the tile floor a dozen times and we haven’t experienced any malfunctions.
We have been using Gululu since July, 2016, and something I have noticed is that it is important for each child in your home have their own Gululu. Sharing can cause your child to lose interest because, well, it stops being their special pet. This will also allow you to identify each child’s individual needs and make sure they are meeting the goals themselves. BONUS: Gululu is more fun when you have more than one, because they can communicate and connect to each other — the Gululu Universe is a fun place to be! Especially for siblings and friends!
Find Gululu on Amazon!
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, therefore I cannot give you medical advice. What works for my son may not work for your child. Please consult your pediatrician and occupational therapist to discuss your child’s fluid intake and dehydration concerns.