Frustration and self harming....

(2 Posts)
Pashazade Sat 09-Feb-19 08:22:49

My ds 7 (ASD/Asynchronous Development) has always got annoyed with himself easily and levels of self harm have fluctuated over the years. It usually involves scratching himself or hitting himself. It's flared up again recently and I'm wondering if anyone has found a way through this kind of behaviour. We've discussed it and he says the pain helps to stop him feeling the other emotion but I'm at a loss as to how to redirect this or help him develop a different coping mechanism. Has anyone found a good book or had useful practical advice? Given that saying "don't do that" or "be kind to yourself" obviously doesn't have any effect in the moment. He is aware that it isn't good to do but it is his fall back behaviour when overwhelmed by his own emotions. TIA

OP’s posts: |
CrazyKittenSmile Sat 09-Feb-19 08:35:42

I would be looking to find something he can do to replace the behaviour - I self harm and it fulfills so many functions for me. I would be looking to redirect him to take a break and do something whenever he self-harms, maybe something very physical like bouncing in a trampoline, swinging or cycling or something like banging a drum or knocking over skittles with a heavy ball. I would be looking for activities which will give his body lots of physical feedback, with the long term goal being that when he is feeling frustrated he is able to recognise this and initiate the break and activity rather than snapping and hurting himself.

I’d also be looking at strategies to support him to regulate his sensory needs, emotions and level of arousal. Have you had any input from an occupational therapist around sensory integration, managing his sensory needs and putting a sensory diet in place? This might be an area to look into along with a referral to camhs, although waiting lists can be very long.

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