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ds (4) hitting himself in the head - tic?

(5 Posts)
omama Fri 14-Nov-14 07:29:26

Since starting school in September, DS developed a blinking tic (this passed really quickly), then opening his mouth really widely (he still does this but not nearly as much as before). Our tactic was to ignore & this seems to have worked.

However, he has also started hitting himself in the face/forehead. He isn't doing it in anger, in fact quite the opposite, he does it when in the company of his classmates or other children. Initially we thought he was just copying other boys in his class, or maybe showing off a bit, but I've been watching them before/after school & he seems to be the only one doing this. He talks then hits himself then laughs & Its almost as if its a nervous/embarrassed reaction if that makes sense?

He was only just 4 when he started school & has handled it amazingly well (we & preschool expected him to struggle more as he's always cried at drop off & struggles to play in larger groups - gets overwhelmed easily & is highly sensitive). We don't know if this behaviour also represents a tic & is the way his anxieties are coming out or if it simply is just copying/showing off. We've been repeatedlyasking him not to do it but not sure if in doing so we are drawing more attention to it & if we'd be better ignoring like we've done with the other tics.

Sorry for the long rambling post. If anyone has any thoughts/avdvice it'd be much appreciated

omama Fri 14-Nov-14 19:56:01


Elfina Fri 14-Nov-14 19:57:40

Have you tried keeping a log of when it happens/what triggers it?

omama Fri 14-Nov-14 22:09:55

Haven't kept a log, but as I said in my OP it doesn't seemed to be triggered by him being angry.

Often happens if say we are walking to or from school & we meet any of his classmates, they start walking together & DS will talk to the other child (just general chatter) then hit himself & so it will carry on most of the way. Sometimes the other child may laugh & I think DS is just being silly, but not always. Sometimes he does this when he speaks to me or another adult, mostly as he comes out of school, but he's also done it at home & at the supermarket too. It may be that someone says hello to him, or asks him a question about his day & he will respond with a funny noise & hitting himself. Almost like its a go to response because he doesn't know what to say? Does that sound daft?

I usually ask him not to hit himself & remind him that he will hurt himself. Sometimes this is enough to stop him but often he will repeat it & then I wonder if I am fuelling it by giving it attention. hmm

Just to add: he has never been hit or witness to any form of violence in his home environment, nor anywhere else that I am aware of, except for a couple of occasions of witnessing kids hitting in preschool/school.

Elfina Sun 16-Nov-14 17:32:15

Sorry, I've just seen this. Have you spoken to his teacher?

I'd definitely start keeping an accurate log of what's happening before he does it,and what happens after. If you go to CAMHS, it'll probably be one of the first things they ask you to do, so would be good to get on it.

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