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How to deal with self harm? ASD?

(7 Posts)

DD1 is 6 and has an informal dx of ASD (informal because CDAC suggested formal wouldnt help us we are doing ok at the time hmm )
Anyhow, in the last few weeks DD1 has become increasely furstarded with herself and cannot stand to do things wrong (thats a long standing issue) but has began to start hitting/punching herself in the head if things arent perfect. What would you do? I am going to ask for rereferral to CDAC as the school dont seem to be managing it so well this year and we have had anumber of issues, that really should/could have been avioded had they thought first.
While Im waiting for referral any hints would be great

TIA

waitingforgodot Sun 08-Nov-09 15:49:34

Hi there. I just wanted to let you know that my DS went through a stage of hitting himself which seemed to disappear when we changed him to a gluten free diet. I dont know if this is coincidental but I personally believe there is a link.

ok thanks, gives me something to think about. Anyone else?

sickofsocalledexperts Sun 08-Nov-09 18:36:27

We use ABA - behavioural therapy - and over the years my autistic 6 year old DS has come and gone with hitting himself on the side of his head, or head-banging. One early strategy, when we were pretty sure it was just for attention and a way of getting out of work, was to ignore it completely, or indeed put him in the corridor and shut the door when he was doing it, meaning he has no audience. It was hard doing this, but he wasn't ever hurting himself badly, and actually it did seem to stop the minute there was no one watching. The more difficult times are when he is doing it just out of sheer frustration, almost like when you stub your toe you have an overwhelming urge to kick the table you stubbed it on. Or when someone bangs their head when they feel they've been stupid! With that one, I tend to OVER-react, ie get a very angry face and Say "WHAT on earth do you think you are doing. You STOP THAT AT ONCE YOUNG MAN!!" so it's a shock and it stops him in his tracks of doing it. The other thing to say is that every time head-banging has reappeared, it has also gone away again, so it's been like a phase. Sometimes it has meant he has had a headache, so calpol helps. Sorry if a bit rambling, but hope there is a nugget of help in there for you.

SparklyGothKat Sun 08-Nov-09 23:50:48

dunno Lisa, as you know we are still having problems with Ds1 with selfharm, he hits himself, and bites his arms, he is almost 12 and still haven't found a way of dealing with it.

bonkerz Sun 08-Nov-09 23:57:11

My ds also self harms, we have had biting, head banging and punching so far but all have been short phases. I also ignore until i think he may actually do himself some damage which is when i usually step in and try to distract by giving him something to take the frustration out on.........have given him a wooden spoon and a saucepan / pillow to throw / bean bag to punch.

the self harm is all about not being able to verbalise and understand why they are feeling so angry......anger is painful and to detract from the pain of this anger and frustration my son self harms, it redirects his pain and gives him something to focus on other than his frustartion and anger.......does that make any sense?????

saintlydamemrsturnip Mon 09-Nov-09 10:35:50

DS1 has a lot of self injurous behaviour. TBH we've never managed to stop it, although he gets far worse on some foods.

I do make sure that people who work with him are aware - because sometimes the injuries can look a bit strange. For example he often has very bruised knees from biting them, and he is always covered in small bruises on the sides of his legs - these are either from pinching small bits of skin, or thumping his legs with his knuckles. But they're not easy to work out, so I point them out to protect ourselves.

I do find SIB's tend to go in cycles. For about 6 months last year we had a real problem with head banging- every day- he had a bald patch and a raised lump on his head, but that seems to have diminished a lot recently by itself.

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