head banging

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liahona, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    O.k. the doctors can't give me a satisfactory answer on this one. What do you do to stop head banging? Ignoring it doesn't get rid of it. It isn't for attention or getting what he wants. The hardness of what ever he is hitting his head on doesn't seem to matter. (He does cry harder, but it doesn't stop him from doing it again.) Most of the time he is hitting himself on the forehead and it doesn't leave any marks, but once in a while he'll really get himself good and leave a goose egg. I can't figure out why he is doing this and how to stop it. I used to think it was because difficult child was aggressive, but easy child hits himself/ bangs his head even when difficult child isn't around. It might be an autism thing, but how do you stop it if it is?
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    You aren't going to like this answer but I think it's pretty hard to stop. At this young age I'd concentrate on moving him to a location where he's more apt to be safe such as on a sofa or bed or grab a pillow.

    Has he had an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation yet? This can go beyond frustration into sensory/stimulant areas. It also is sometimes present in neurotypical kids of this age for that matter but I'd get a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son used to headbang. It's common on the autism spectrum. He didn't do it in anger (some Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids do and, no, it's not for attention--autistic kids just get very frustrated). My son had to rock, and, while rocking headbanged, to put himself to sleep, and it worked. I was told not to worry about it. He didn't do it so hard that he'd injure himself. We didn't try to stop it and were told not to, since he wasn't harming himself. It was a stimulant that soothed him. My brother, who we all strongly suspect has Asperger's Syndrome, also headbanged kind of rhythmatically (spelling) and he's fine. In fact, he's a genius! I would not jump to the conclusion that this child is trying to get his way or be defiant. As to how to stop it, I don't know if you can, especially if it's a stimulant. If he is hurting himself, you may want to try a helmet, but most kids with sensory issues won't keep them on. Is your doctor very familiar with sensory issues and children with disorders that are heavy with them? MY son also hit himself in the head when he got frustrated (another big Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) thing). He still does sometimes, while saying, "I'm so stupid, stupid, stupid." At his age, 13, and since he has really had a lot of interventions and is high functioning, it's pretty easy to redirect him and it never lasts long anymore. Is he getting any therapy for sensory issues and speech?
  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    My sweet easy child has a shadow symptom of AS. He has banged his head at bedtime since he was old enough to sit up in a crib. It is incredibly loud and strong banging but he does it when he is coming out of a deep sleep or when he is first going into a deep sleep.
    We have tried everything to stop him with padded head boards and such. He actually has a bit of a bald spot from banging. I don't know what he will do in college. difficult child calls easy child Sledgehammer. LOL. He presents with no symptoms that would indicate that he has AS but this is one symptom he has. He doesn't do it in anger. Just sleep.
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Thanks for the responses. Even if I can't stop the head banging its nice to know that easy child isn't alone in his head bangingness.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Fran, my brother had some neurological damage at birth due to a forceps delivery and he rocked/rolled in his sleep. We're talking serious get the bunk bed moving stuff. He slept so soundly he'd sometimes fall out of the top bunk without knowing it. I always figured the night rocking was related to the neurological condition.
  7. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    SRL, whatever neurological condition that has created AS in difficult child is probably the same brain wrinkle in a much milder form in easy child.
    He has a hole the size of a golf ball since birth with a cyst that grew inside so who knows where it comes from.
    The doctors. are talking about the medication for restless leg syndrome to see if it helps with the rocking and banging. Now that he has had a bout of atrial fib, I'm leery about adding anything.
    Sorry emilyislost. I didn't mean to hijack your thread.
  8. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Dylan headbanged for almost 5 years. From the age of 2 until almost 7, he had a constant "knot" at the center of his forehead. It was bruised red/purple, and swollen. At one point we even took him to a pediatrician. neurologist to make sure he didn't have some type of brain damage.

    He still TRIES to do it now, but at 10, it's easier for him to understand it's not okay to do than when he was 5. I don't know how to get you to have him stop, we never could :frown:

    Hope things get better.