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5 replies

eidsvold · 15/03/2005 01:37

Dd1 has taken to biting herself when she is being told to stop or told no when she is asking for something she can't have or doing something she shouldn't do. SHe really bites into her arm/wrist. She has only started this a couple of days ago.

Dh and I have held her hand and said she needs to be gentle to herself - we also do the sign for gentle but she still does it..... we think it is frustration but we can't be sure - given her lack of language.

Any suggestions??

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Socci · 15/03/2005 06:24

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Davros · 15/03/2005 07:28

Agree with Socci. Although its hard I think you should ignore the behaviour and redirect her. Try to have a repertoire of things you can say instead of giving it attention, just little things such as shall we go to the kitchen and get blah blah (nolt a treat) or shall we pick the X up and put it away. Something very mundane and not reinforcing. I think it is definitely connected to her lack of language. Sounds like she learning signs so do use signing but to "illustrate" your distraction tactic, not pay attention to the biting. Do you also use PECs? If not I would consider introducing that too, or at least some picture scheduling if not PECs for communication. Either way, it takes time for them to learn enough to ask for what they want and then you have to learn to say no sometimes without it turning into a problem!!! Whatever you can do to help her communicate and to communicate with her then the better. At some point in the future you could talk about the behaviour and reward her for not doing it but for now I would try to ignore it. HTH.

eidsvold · 15/03/2005 08:34

i might try that socci - thanks for your ideas. Davros she does use signs and pointing to ask for what she wants but as you said I should be able to say no sometimes. I will try it out and let you know. It is just sad to see her hurting herself.

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MandM · 15/03/2005 10:02

Eidsvold - we've had this problem with dd too, although it has been sticking her fingers down her throat to make herself cough/gag more often than biting herself, but when particularly frustrated she has been known to do both.

Agree with Socci and Davros that 'rewarding' the behaviour with attention only encourages it, but I also know from experience that it sometimes it can be impossible to try and ignore your child hurting themself. So unfortunately I don't have any real answers, only that I can sympathise entirely.

The one thing I would say is that I am sure that this behaviour is related to frustration at either not understanding why they can't have what they want or at not being able to voice their objections and in the last 6-9 months, since dds understanding and language have made big leaps forward, we have been seeing this behaviour less and less. Hopefully it will be the same for you as dd1 gets that little bit older.

eidsvold · 30/03/2005 13:35

an update for you - dd1 has largely stopped this. We simply said 'no biting' in a firm voice and did the makaton sign for no. We then ignored her. A day or so after that she seemed to stop doing it.

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