Help with my son's stimulant

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by loving2, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. loving2

    loving2 New Member

    My son continually slaps himself in the face when he gets upset. He is 4 and has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified, anxiety, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I know it's because he doesn't know how to express his frustrations and anger, but watching slap himself repeatedly just breaks my heart. Last night he did it many times in front of a lot of extended family. I just removed him to another room and was able to talk to him and have him tell me what upset him. I've tried encouraging him to hit his stuffed animals or pillows, but he is afraid if he does that to his "pets" (stuffed animals) that they will turn real. Has anyone had any experience with this stimulant? what other options can i give him to express his frustration? he can't even tell me that he is upset; he just starts slapping himself...every time it happens i just want to start crying, but i hold that in.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Have you taken him to an autism specialist to see what he recommends? I do know that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids require different methods of parenting...they don't respond to traditional therapy. I have a fourteen year old with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified. He used to self-abuse.
  3. whateveryousay2007

    whateveryousay2007 New Member

    Mine used to do that also. He's almost broke from it. I understand the frustration. Mine would call himself stupid when he did it too.

    I had to put mine in Taekwondo a couple of times a week. It allows him to work out his frustrations. (When he's not too busy staring at himself in the mirrors....)
  4. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Are you familiar with social stories? SS teach skills to the child by telling a story about themselves--showing them using appropriate behaviors in a situation.
  5. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't know if any of this would help but we have K roll on a ball, we squeeze her, have jump on a bed, punch a pillow, press pillows on top of her... sometimes the compression, the stimulations or the release helps them get it out... we don't know why she hits herself sometimes, or calls herself stupid...
    We will set up little simple obstacle courses to distract her... change her muscles gears... Sometimes the joint proprioceptors just don't work the same as ours... they feel things differently than we do... There joints don't get it, their pain receptors feel things in different degrees than we do...

    We can only try and help...
    I agree with SRL we have used Social Stories as well, they are great for all kids...
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. I know this breaks your heart. (((((hugs)))))

    We dealt with this to a lesser degree, and mostly followed our instincts. Traditional parenting did not work. A large part of this journey is going to be listening to Malachi and your heart.

    What kind(s) of doctors/specialists is he seeing? I STRONGLY recommend you get an occupational therapy evaluation ASAP. Often there are sensory things you can do or help him do that will help. I found that having various things he could mess with quietly helped my son. We left a LOT of places with no notice, simply because my child could not handle it. EACH of my kids has done this to some degree, but each had different needs and stimmed over different things.

    As you wait for the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation, get a copy of The Out of Sync Child to help you understand the sensory aspects. And get a copy of The Out of Sync Child Has Fun to help you find sensory things that will help release the frustration without having him hurt himself. IF I had to pick one or the other, I would choose the Has Fun book first. It gives things to try and much less of the process going on in the child's mind.

    Probably as you look at the Has Fun book you will see an activity and think, "Oh, we had a good time doing that." or "That really wound him up, seems like a bad idea to me." This will help you with some practical, DO-ABLE things before and after you can get the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation.

    Once you have the Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation you will have a tool that helps you figure out things to help.

    This is NOT in place of an autism specialist, developmental pediatrician or whatever specialist you are seeing. This is simply for hands on help to get you through and help you figure things out.

    Welcome to our board,

  7. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    My son told me when he hits himself in the head, it doesn't hurt but feels good and helps his brain work again. I've heard this same thing on other sites so there might be something to it. It's really hard to watch though.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    If it's feeling good to hit his head it may be a sensory thing. Deep pressure techniques such as squashing with a pillow or carrying heavy loads might be safer alternatives.

    Amazing how different bodies and sensations are, isn't it?
  9. Mrs Smith

    Mrs Smith New Member

    Yes, I think it's a sensory thing too. I'm having a harder time incorporating a sensory diet into his day as he's a PITA teen and wouldn't be caught dead doing anything that might actually help. He also does the SIB secondary to frustration. A little education on anatomy and physiology of the brain helped somewhat to curb the real damaging stuff. It is fascinating how different they really are.
  10. loving2

    loving2 New Member

    Thank you for all of your responses and ideas. Right now we are currently awaiting some in depth testing that will be done January 23, 2008 at Hershey Medical Center. Hopefully this test will differentiate some of the symptoms and which diagnosis they are coming from. His pediatrician psychiatrist wants him in therapy; but our issue is that any program that excepts our insurance has a huge waiting list...which we've been on since October and still can't get in until May. We are trying to get some assistance to get him into therapy sooner. I think i've just been so overwhelmed because before only about 2 months ago he only hit himself once every 2 weeks and now it is daily and more than one hit at a time. So it is progressing and getting worse and we haven't been back to the psychiatric since it started getting this bad. Last night i pulled his arm to get him to sit down like i had asked and as soon as i let go he started biting his arm where i had grabbed it. From birth till about 18 months we didn't see any issues. At 18 months it started with-eating issues. peds assured us it was just a phase and at 3.5 i realized it was more than a phase and that is when we started to notice other symptoms that started giving me red flags...things that i just thought were cute that he did (running on his tip toes) (flapping hands when he gets frustrated) i just never thought to look for these things. Thanks again. it is so great just to have people to talk to that understand!