question about head banging child with Autism.
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Benita - posted on 01/12/2010
when my son learned to communicate his feelings and he was taught how to do that by E.I his head banging went from very frequent to less and less. It was frustration for him the head banging disolved away once he could use his pecs pictures fluently and has virtually disappeared now he can talk and communicate his needs and feelings. What evere I did to help, ingnoring- talking to him softly- physical restraint- just didn't help, and I tried EVERYTHING. My son had a need or a feeling and he could not communicate or express it properly and so he would head bang(pretty logical if u think about it - hitting yr head against a brick wall, that is how the expression goes) We worked on first his communication, first with pictures-pecs and photos, then progressed gradually to words, then sentences. The final stage was learning about feelings and emotions with the O.T. combined these things worked for my son, he still gets frustrated but he has learned how to express it so others can understand him, without hurting himself. Talk to an Occupational therapist teach yr child to communicate even if they never talk, they can still communicate and express themselves. HEAD BANGING STEMS FROM FRUSTRATION- this is a fact.Frustration can be channeled into a more healthy habit, just like children who hit\bite people for the same reasons. In anger management classes for adults they teach people to change their habits for heal;thy expressions, i.e squeezing or hitting a ball/pillow, breathing, counting... Hope it helps
Ruthie - posted on 01/10/2010
My daughter Alyssa did the head banging from as old as she could walk up yo 8 years old. That's when a gastro intestional doctor told us through observing a ct scan showed that she was having major constipation. He has since put her on zatac and a perscription form of miralax. We did try the glutten free diet and it worked really great.... however in this economy we could no longer afford it. I have found that watching her bread and fiber intake has helped a lot!! Every child is different but please remember that some things I have found just come in their on time.
Sheila - posted on 01/08/2010
My little guy has always banged his forehead to some degree. If he is really upset, he might bang his head (used to do it much more as a 2 year old) He also used to deliberately walk into a person's hip to get a "bop."
After going to his OT, she showed me how to do deep pressure on his head. So, I do
squishes for him on his head. That has relieved much of the head banging.
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Jodie - posted on 01/12/2011
Im a mum to 40 month old twin boys, one if them head bangs a lot and they are both not saying full sentences as yet but we have them seeing a speech pathologist and a occupational therapist.
The youngest of the twins head has just broken his third window within a matter of months, they have both had hearing tests done and they were fine.
The pediatriction does not see any sign of a disability.
His head banging is driving me crazy as I try not to take notice but he keeps banging, we have tried being nice telling him off, growling at him telling him off weare so stuck could anyone please help us.
It makes me so sad to see him do this.
Jannette - posted on 11/03/2010
I have a three year old autistic son and he bangs his head out of fustration, anger and for attention. I don't know what to do anymore. Some days I cry because it is sooo painful to see him in a rage like that. I pray he will get better and that I can find some help.
I am not a mother, I hope I am not violating any rules here. I am just a desperate relative of a 2.5 years old autistic child who is banging his head more and more severely.
What I would like to know, until what age this might go on? We will try all the ways and advise you ladies have given here, but if nothing works - will it ever stop? Or will it go away at some point.
Thank you all.
Tracy - posted on 01/18/2010
My daughter is 8 & used to do it a lot when she was little. We have had a Home program since she was 4 and that has helped her. She has had little spells in the past 2 years only because of other violent students in her Autism Class. She does it for attention and we ignore it. she stops after 3-5 min. Doesn't do it hard. You have to figure out what the Antecident is to the Behavior and have a Consequence. ABC Data. Our kids are smart & will try to outlast us, we need to outlast them. It took me 1 1/2 years to get my poker face on. She looks for a specific reaction and decides to stop when she realizes that it's not gonna happen. I hope this helps some. Have a great day.
Michelle - posted on 01/17/2010
My son Ryan who is now 13yrs old was diagnosed with moderate Autism at almost 4yrs and 3yrs ago diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome.Headbanging was definitely an issue,and distraction if possible is the best way to go, if not deep pressure,pull your child into your lap hold them tightly and apply pressure to the forid so you don't get your teeth knocked out whilst they are on a roll and as we know most autistic children like the rocking motion,so gentle rocking and calming prompts worked for my child.As your child develops,their vocabulary grows and they can express their feelings with words the self destructive behaviour caused by pure frustration will lessen and generally cease.At the time,i thought it would never stop and i would be forever replacing windows but IT DOES GET BETTER!
Emily - posted on 01/14/2010
My daughter is 7,and hurts herself by head butting walls,punching her self in the face,and i have sorte help because she has such a high pain threshold,we are worried she may injure herself, i try to keep her away from situations where she may become stressed. but hard with twin brothers of 4yrs and 9mth olde sister,but im soooo blessed to have her xx
Brooke - posted on 01/10/2010
My daughter used to bang her head on the wall or floor and the more i gave her attention for it the more she did it! I chose to ignor her and the head banging went away, however she wasnt doing it really hard and harming herself. If she was hurting herself i wouldnt ignor it! but have found with a friends child that he stops and calms down by putting pressure on his body with pillows!
Felicia - posted on 01/10/2010
My son used to do the head banging alot when he got angry. I learned through his psychologist and speech therapist that (1st) as the parent, you have to be calm and explain to explain to him that he is not normal to do that. I learned to express to my him repeatedly and calmly to not do that each time he did that. His school helped me in keeping the consistency going when he did the head banging or throwing his body into a person or wall. After about 3 or 4 months, he began to understand and he doesn't do that anymore.
Kimberly - posted on 01/10/2010
I have seen where simple sign language works in situations like these. They head bang when they are frustrated and can't say what's bugging them. I had to do this for a while with my daughter, but she wasnt severe.This doesn't work for everyone though. It depends on the severity of the disorder
Tracy - posted on 01/10/2010
its hard to explain the pain that the parent goes through when they see their child head banging a concreate step or wall. this was something that i had to do for sometime. and the doctors just said let him do it. but it is not human nature to watch your child physically hurt themselves. my son we realised would do this if he became frustrated, and we learnt to watch for signs before the head banging starts. his teachers at school soon became aware of this behaviour and learnt to to watch of certain signs. as he has got older, he is now nearly 7, he seems not to do it as much, as his communication has improved.
so my advice is to watch your child, learn the signs as to the build up to the head banging, try to take the anger/frustration away. its something that you cant stop them from doing, but you can try to avoid it where possible. good luck xx
Fiona - posted on 01/10/2010
jayden has alway done the above as well as run and slam his head into T.V both houses i have lived in have been tiled apart from bedrooms at the age of 2 and a half i ended up putting a lock on jaydens door because holding him when he got upset was very very hard and the tanty would go on for over an hour each time if not longer so he would go in his room i found it worked for jayden he had his own space and less able to hurt him self and got over it faster. he is a bit over 3 now he loves water and tramp if he gets upset i will put him in the pool most of the time i find that carms him down. no child is the same u have to find what works best for u and your son
Brittany - posted on 01/10/2010
my son would do it until he made his nose bleed.. he didnt care where it was... i had the government put him in a head start program and put him in a pre 4 class.. he had speech therapy and goes there everyday like a regular school.. he no longer beats his head..he talks.. he memorizes songs.. he eats good.. he minds very well.. although he is still autistic and you can very much tell.. i suggest everyone try ot get their kids in one of those clases.. it puts them around other autistic children and they learn... im only 21 and my son os only 3.. ive been dealin with it for a while.. but now e doesnt head bang.
Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2010
My son bangs his head on all surfaces when frustrated. I can't watch it; I grab him and rub his head and back, try to give him bodily pressure, whatever I can- I can't bear to see him bang his head so hard. You may need sensory therapy because he is being soothed by that repetitive pressure and there are alternatives via therapy.
Angie - posted on 01/09/2010
My daughter does this and we have tried everything we can thing of to get her to stop and nothing has helped yet. My son used to head bang when he was younger and we got him a helmet. He HATED that helmet so the first bang of his head the helmet went on. It didn't take to long before he stopped for good. But that same trick is not working with my daughter.
Kristy - posted on 01/09/2010
I know exactly how you feel, my son is 3 and when he has a fit he will bang his head. It used to be a lot worse before we started receiving early intervention. It used to be that if he got frustrated he would have a complete melt down and shut himself down and bash his head as hard as he could. Its always scary, but it was really scary for me before the early intervention. I don't know how old your child is, but I can say that early intervention has helped a lot. What ever you do don't ignore it, its a metal scream for help. I used to think that my son was posses because his fits of rage were so bad sometimes. I would have to hold him still so that he couldn't hurt himself all the while I would hum softly to him. The real big thing that helped for me is correcting his diet. We found out that he had multiple food allergies and removed them from his diet, he's now on the gluten and casein free diet and a whole array of nutritional supplements including digestive enzymes. Another thing we do is what we call squishing. We do deep presser and compression on his joints as recommended by our Occupational Therapist. We also got one of those blow up exercise balls and have him lay down flat and just push down on the ball and run it up and down his body. Sometimes when he starts doing a lot of stimming we will get the ball out and "squish" him. This almost always fixes the problem. Its just one of those things that you will have to work on. He is now at the point where we can tell him not to do it depending on how bad it is. If he gets real mad or frustrated he will try to headbutt us or the floor. Then we will just firmly put a hand on top of his head just enough to keep him from doing it and tell him to "stop it" then he will go into a more age appropriate meltdown. If its not real bad but he is not out to hurt himself we can just tell him not to do it. And genitally remind him that he doesn't need to do that anymore. Usually he stops. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of love to help them though this difficult phase in their life. Good luck!
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