son bangs head into wall when mad?

Brittny - posted on 05/02/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 and has Classic Autism. He has started this thing when he gets mad he smacks his face and head hard into the wall..he also will run or throws himself into the walls and plays like it is a game. Im not sure what to do, I feel lost sometimes. Im still waiting on answers from doctors. Classic Autism is what I came up with. I may be wrong but may be close also. Can any one share some info with me about this??

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Sheila - posted on 05/04/2011

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Hi Brittny,

My son used to do this when he was younger (he is 7). He wasn't always upset...I would be standing there and he would come and bang his head against my hip...he would also throw himself into our recliners over and over again. Children will do this because the sensory input they get out of it (as strange as this sounds) feels better than the sensory overload that they are experiencing. Somehow, it helps to balance them out...

So, our OT was wonderful. We began a series of brushing and compression routines and we did squishes for his head that I did essentially every two hours...so
1) open hands, both side of head five pushes in
2) open hands, one on forehead other on back of head, five pushes in
3) open hands, one on top of the other, five squishes down.

So, instead of him randomly seeking out these sensory experiences, we regulated it and made it part of his routine. It worked for my son, and I know of others that it has helped.

My son is also diagnosed with classic autism...was diagnosed at age 4 and is now 7. His Ot, who works only with children and who has an incredible grasp on children's sensory needs, was a lifesaver.

Good luck,

Sheila

Shastin - posted on 05/06/2011

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Wow, I don't envy you or this situation as it must be difficult to handle. I know it must be heavy on your heart as a mother. Please don't take offense to this but don't only look to the Doctor's report. Are you a christian? If so have your church, those you love in your church, or a strong christian that believs in healing pray over him and your family. Sometimes things are spiritual and not just physical in life. Look to God for healing and wisdom in this situation.

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Stacey - posted on 05/16/2012

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My son does this but his therapists took about a year to teach him to ask for a head massage ( he puts our hands on his head and sais squeez ). It doesn't always work but it has reduced his tendency to randomly slam his face or head on the tile floor! He's 3btw w pdd nos.

KRISTEN - posted on 11/08/2011

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I have a 3 year old who also gets frustrated very easily, and gets mad when we say no. He will bang his head on anything he can find to do so, thrashed around on the floor or repeatedly hit himself. He doesn't talk much, but does say words. He also walks on his tip toes and flaps his hands like a bird when he gets excited.
My son is not diagnosed with anything, yet.
But since his seizure, after a DTP vaccination, I will no longer vaccinate my so! I feel there is a link.
I'm did my own research, and I shocked at what is in vaccinations! I'm paying out of pocket to have his blood tested for heavy metals, like aluminum, toxic chemical that is in vaccinations, that can cause neurological problems.
I pray he grows out of this "behavior". But I have my doubts. Please visit NVIC for more information.
Good luck to us all!

Sharlene - posted on 10/25/2011

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Hi , My son when he was younger did the same thing banging his head on hard serives his OT therapies told to get a bike helmet for himand when he is distress put in him so he does harm himself, Now I dont have to do that hes got 100% better but maybe that might work .Cheers

Sonja - posted on 10/23/2011

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We're in a similar boat. But only at school--he never gets this out-of-hand at home. And it's not happening with any clear antecedent.

I'm happy to see some folks posting ideas that worked for their little ones earlier--it's a starting point.

Thinking about you guys, Brittny!

Christina - posted on 10/22/2011

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My son started beating his head into doors and walls at 22mnths old. It was my first clue that there was something wrong with him. He had been changing his behaviors for about two months before that, but I passed that off as us being gone for 5wks out of state on vacation. Literally, between the age of 22mnths and 2.5yrs old, I watched my son lose 75% of his skills and development. I watched him regress into a person I did not know. At 18mnths old, my son was 18-23mnths in age on his development. At 23mnths old, my son dropped to a 13mnths. At 3yrs, he was only at a 17mnth old development level. It was the hardest year of my life. I cried myself to sleep every night.

The way I prevented my son from beating his head into things was I would literally pin him to my chest and rock him. I got plenty of bloody lips and noses, and bruises from this, but it kept him from hurting himself.

Lisa - posted on 10/20/2011

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also my son is non verbal and chas communicational delay as well as speach he cant tell us anything so times at the moment r very VERY hard! :(

Lisa - posted on 10/20/2011

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hey , im in the ssame kind of position my son hasnt been diagnosed but is bein assessed, he used to bang his head lightly on things occasionally does it still but the scary main 1 is he will throw himself on the floor onto his back let himself get so far down then as hard as he can throws himself back he constantly has red marks on his head we have tried ignoring this and nothing is workin if we try to interviene then he kicks off more cos he doesnt want the interaction i also have a 12 week old baby to watch out for as he kicks and rolls around so he can bang his head over and over! so if he gets too bad i put him in his highchair its soft and cushioned and hes safe and so is the baby my health visitor doesnt like this idea as apparently they dont agree wuth restraining them but what else can i do if i cant calm him down and hes not just being dangerous to himself but towards the baby too. we find sometimes this works and sometimes it doesnt depends on the size of the meltdown to be honest. i hope this helps but u r deffinatly not alone! not by a long shot! x

Erica - posted on 10/20/2011

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Up until last year my son would get so violent during meltdowns he would hit himself in the head or bang his head on the wall; he would also throw classroom furniture like desks and chairs (nobody could believe he was that strong, but the rage cause massive adreniline rush). He use to bite, kick and punch me as well. Then he was put on Risperdal last year and it was an amazing change, I had my happy little boy back after 3 years of craziness.

They do recommend helmets for ones who repeatedly bang their heads, maybe let him pick a bicycle helmet out at walmart or something. My son wears the hearing protection muffs because he can't take loud noises (like the vaccuum running).

Best of Luck,
Erica

Sarah - posted on 10/17/2011

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Hi, my son used to walk around with a bruise on his forehead constantly so i took him to docs. She basically said ignore it, and he stopped doing it. Simple as that!!. Hope this helps Sarah

This was before he was diagnosed with autism, so maybe I would have handled it differently after diagnosis,

it did work though :)

Deanna - posted on 05/18/2011

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Hello Brittny .... my son is 4 and has PDD-NOS. He is a "head banger" also. Usually when he was told no or would get frustrated ... he would go from 0 to 1000 in a split second filled with anger. He was out to hurt himself by banging his head on walls or hitting himself in the head with objects. It got to the point that I had to be around him 24/7 because I was afraid he was going to do some real damage to himself. Also ... the behavior was hindering his therapy sessions. Our doctor put him on Risperidone. He gets two .25 mg doses a day and the results were amazing. He is so much calmer (not drugged). He still will get upset ... but we can reason him through the issue without him self-injuring. He seems to be able to control his emotions. He also has sensory issues and will come to me and place his head in my hands when he wants his head "squeezed". It is very heart breaking to see your child purposely hurt themselves. Good Luck!!!

Brittny - posted on 05/05/2011

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I was thinking about calling his doctor if I find out anything I will let you know

Sarah - posted on 05/03/2011

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My daughter does this and she's 10 now. She used to have meltdowns that included banging her head on walls or on the floor etc. And she used to run at walls and bang into them and fly off and bang into another wall all for the fun of it.
She still does this when around younger auties that have fun the same way, and she still hand-bangs or slaps/punches her head in a meltdown, but rarely will she actually.
Because I tend to be similar in terms of meltdown behaviour, I don't stress too much about the head punching etc. i'm glad the days of wall-bouncing are over for the most part now though...that worried me a bit but I've put it down to stimming behaviour.

Amy - posted on 05/03/2011

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My 7 year old was diagnosed with PPD-NOS. He also does these exact same things. When he is mad he hits his head on the wall, or will continually smack himself in the head with his fist. He also will bang his head in windows (we have had to replace a few). I wish that I had an answer for us both! No matter what we say to him he continues to do it. If you ever find out any tips, please share. Hopefully my post will at least help you feel you are not alone.

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