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DD the vampire

(20 Posts)
Arabica Thu 07-Aug-08 23:04:39

DD (2, with GDD)is beginning to bite when I have to remove her from something hazardous, stop her from walking towards a busy road, or take her toy buggy away.
Her speech and communication skills are very delayed in comparison to her gross motor skills--she can sign 'hello', 'goodbye' and give a thumbs-up, if someone else does it first, but 'stop' or 'no' seem to have little or no effect. I'm worried she is going to hurt her brother, or another little kid at nursery, in the future, as well as the bite marks on my arms.
How do I get her to stop doing something when she has absolutely no idea it's wrong and doesn't even understand what 'wrong' 'stop' or 'dangerous' mean?

misscutandstick Fri 08-Aug-08 06:43:17

Obviously explaining is out of the question, as she simply does not understand. BUT its a fairly simple and basic rule "dont bite"... which HAS to be followed - the rule doesnt change just because someone doesnt understand it.

DS1 (ADHD) went thru a biting phase, explaining didnt help him either. I did have methods that i guarantee that A) most people will complain at and B) worked within 2 days.

if you want me to divulge full info, i can - but i dont want flaming for it.

Hope she grows out of it soon for you, XXX

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 08-Aug-08 08:58:00

God knows, let me know if you find out.

I turn ds1 away, sit him down if he's kicking, or will put him out the room and shut the door for 20 seconds or so.

It sometimes works, it sometimes doesn't.

He tends to move from one inappropriate behaviour to another.

Some people suggest replacing a piece of flesh with something that's allowed to be bitten, but I;ve never found that method to work (and it needs a lot of 1:1 at all times).

The most successful method was putting out the room and shutting the door as he didn't like that. he doesn't mind it now though so it doesn't work as well.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 08-Aug-08 09:06:42

Some people will suggest biting back etc, but ds1 - like many children with LD's likes being bitten, pinched etc because he likes big responses so any sort of tit for tat become reinforcing.

I'd suggest finding something that she really doesn't like then carrying it out every time she does it (this was why the outside the door thing worked). If for example she carries a favourite toy I'd take it of her for 10-20 seconds every time she does it.

It's hard if any response becomes reinforcing (which is where we are with ds1 now- he likes being told 'hands down, it;s predictable, as is going outside the door, he would adore it if I pinched him back - hilarious - so as far as I can see we're stuffed). If he kicks me when we're out now I just stop, stand still and don't allow him to move until he's stopped (he hates having to stand still).

Bit rambly but hopefully you can see what I'm saying.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 08-Aug-08 09:13:24

Actually thinking about this a bit more - we're working with someone very experienced in the States at the moment. WRT hitting etc she said to just physically prevent him from doing it. Calmly, and quietly but just to hold him so he can't. This has worked pretty well in the work session we do (which is how she's involved). It's far harder to do away from the desk, out in the open etc - and she wasn't really talking about anything except the sessions, but I guess it's what I'm doing when I stop and hold him and refuse to move until he's stopped kicking. It's a new approach for us but being calm whilst physically preventing the action works to an extent. The problem comes really because at 9 phsycially preventing him from hitting etc is quite difficult so he can still get a sneaky punch in.

Ds1 knows he's not meant to hit etc btw- but he gets sensory feedback, sometimes big responses (which he loves) and it's quite impulsive so probably not fully under his control. He also doesn't have the understanding of why it's not allowed, and of course no understanding of what is socially desirable.

r3dh3d Fri 08-Aug-08 09:18:55

I think the only thing to do is associate it with a disliked consequence: you have to work out what that is for your DD and hope that it's something socially acceptable. shock

I pick DD1 up, dump her on the floor sitting facing away from me, cross her hands over her chest and hold her by the wrists. So she's stuck, in a very boring position. I keep it up till about 30 secs after she gets bored and starts complaining.

I'm the only person who does this with her (everyone else tends to go "Ouch!" and then "poor thing, she doesn't mean anything by it" hmm. She bites me about 90% less than everyone else.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 08-Aug-08 09:22:32

Yes- that's a good response r3dh3d. DS1 still doesn't like being in his room so I try that - but lumping a 9 year old up the stairs is hard! Really whatever you do you need to do it for every response as well. I did do it repeatedly for every 'running away from the tab;e' incident when we started work recently and he did stop within 2 days.

I'm avoiding work! I;m off- good luck.

Raine3 Fri 08-Aug-08 10:02:14

I have the disagree with the 'bite back' solution ....

You could always smear something that tastes disgusting on your arm (like the anti nail bite stuff) and the deliberately invoke a reaction to see if it works.

Then there is always your reaction, I know it's hard not to say 'ouch' or to pull away but the less fuss you make the better as she will realise that the effect she wants is not happening.

If you are desperate you could always try the 'squirt water (with a misting spray) in the face' she won't like it but lets face it, it's not going to hurt her!

Not the best idea I know but as I said it will depend on how desperate you are hmm

Arabica Sat 09-Aug-08 14:12:01

Thanks for the ideas. As she is only 2 and likely to do something dangerous if left alone I don't like the idea of putting her somewhere on her own.
I can't see why biting back would work, I must admit I was shock when I read that!
I can see how the spraying water at her might work but only if I did it immediately. Or maybe I could put her in the buggy, as she dislikes being there. However, it's not really immediate enough.
I think what I am trying to ask is, how do I get her to understand 'STOP!' before she moves on to even more dangerous or potentially harmful stuff...

r3dh3d Sat 09-Aug-08 14:59:21

Well, I think your issue is you might not get her to understand STOP in the sense you mean it. DD1 most definitely does not.

It's actually quite a complicated word. It means: "I would like you to cease what you are doing, based on your understanding of the social contract between us, your acceptance of my legitimate authority and your desire to win my approval and continued enjoyment of my company and your understanding that future rewards may accrue."

DD1 has none of those social concepts. What we are aiming for is: "if I continue doing this after the STOP word, bad things happen. I don't like bad things. I will cease. For now, at least."

I think - and here I am on shaky ground - that if you can get them to associate STOP with immediate consequences to start with, you can then move on to associate STOP with the same consequences delayed. It definitely works like that (though with positive reinforcement) for dog training. Not the same thing, obviously, but another situation where you are trying to teach something without being able to communicate much.

misscutandstick Sat 09-Aug-08 17:19:55

I agree the 'bite back' method is not one id try either.

R3 - like that method! wink of course child has to be small enough, but hopefully the phase would have resolved by the time the child is too large - sorry Jimjams i know that doesnt include you... water sprayer sounds good too.

The method i used also involved a certain amount of ignoring, as DS1 hates being ignored.

Arabica, it sounds that your DD is doing it to show you how annoyed she is, rather than for attention - not sure how useful or relevant that statement is, just thought I'd share it.

i rather think that each child might have the one thing that works with them... thats the trick tho isnt it??? hmm

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 10-Aug-08 09:45:17

It is essential to understand why they are doing it. DS1 often does it for interaction so a bored response, or being put outside the room (literally for seconds) worked. Unfortunately ds1 has always been surrounded by people who squeak or shriek or stomp or shout when pinched which ds1 finds hilarious. I have gone blue in the face trying to explain to people that it is essential they don't react. Those that do get pinched more so I gave up in the end and let them become the human pin cushion.

If it's for frustration then it's harder to stop but should improve with better communication. DS1 tends to hurt himself, rather than others when frustrated, but telling himto get a PECS card or saying "show me what you want' can work now, wouldn't have when he was 2.

Oh you will get the 'bite back' advice if it continues. I've had it repeatedly over the years.

Arabica Sun 10-Aug-08 12:32:56

Thanks. I think her biting says, 'I'm going to make you take your hand off me cos I really want to run in the road/grab that intriguing-looking unsafe object/play with the telephone cable--and this is the only way I know to try and stop you.' I don't think she understands yet about getting attention by doing naughty or reckless stuff.
So, lots of Makaton, removing her from dangerous situations, and ignoring her when she bites, so she doesn't hopefully learn that it's a way of getting everyone's attention.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 11-Aug-08 08:20:05

ds1 does something similar when we're out and about - he pinches the hand that I'm holding him with. Just started with it and my hand is already bruised all the time.

I'm thinking of putting him back on his belt (crelling harness - like big children's reins). Haven't used it much for a long time but I'm fed up with being pinched.

Arabica Mon 11-Aug-08 10:12:19

That sounds really painful. How does he react to being in the harness? I hope DD doesn't learn to pinch as well as bite! Luckily she didn't bite anyone yesterday, but she tends to acquire new skills then forget about them for a while before incorporating them into her everyday behaviour.

SixSpotBurnet Mon 11-Aug-08 10:17:44

DS3 used to bite me, it was almost like it was an affectionate thing, rather than because I stopped him doing something he wanted to.

I used to try not to react in any kind of obvious way because I remembered what Jimjams used to post about her DS1 biting and how her MIL's reaction made it 100 times worse. To make him release the bite, I used to stick my finger in the side of his mouth and try and wiggle it against his teeth/gums - that make him let go.

Arabica Mon 11-Aug-08 14:43:48

Hard not to react when your tender forearm flesh is caught in surprisingly vice-like grip grin

SixSpotBurnet Mon 11-Aug-08 16:14:20

Indeed grin

BeautifulSpectrum Tue 12-Aug-08 18:39:12

DD bites for sensory feed back or frustration. She doesnt understand its wrong so biting back would confuse her even more. It is a tough one. Up until today its only adults, objects and herself she has bitten as she tends to avoid other children but unfortunatly earlier today she bit DS2 on the arm. He was following her and she would have bit out of frustration this time as she is nonverbal and couldnt tell him to leave her alone.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Tue 12-Aug-08 19:58:14

I can say that in the years that ds1 has been pinching etc (and he does it for the same reasons- sensory feedback) he has hardly ever gone for another child except occasionally siblings. 6 years ago he spent a couple of weeks going for other kids in nursery and i was terrified he would start going for other kids (especially as boy they screamed- and he loves that!) . Thank goodness, touch wood he hasn't.

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