Every story is unique. One may be due to sensory processing challenges. Many theories have been put forward to explain them. Head banging and autism often comes hand-in-hand - it’s extremely common for children with autism to purposely bang their heads. Some strategies that may help include introducing a different sensory input, like white noise music for example. Powered by Shopify. Redirect into the task, so that your kid does not associate engaging in that behavior with escaping from that demand, BUT, 16. Some tips for giving replacement behavior for headbanging are: 1. This joy in movement is called our kinesthetic drive. Tips to Prevent Self-Harm due to Sensory Overload: 11. A behavior related action is typically related more to a want that the child has and … Simply move him as if you were moving a piece of … padding on the walls around the bed), 10. Your Child is Attempting to Communicate. Or it might look at a broader area of self-development, such as improving overall communication abilities. As parents, we don´t usually use these academic/behavioral labels when we talk about the causes for head banging. For example, as I type this post I am in a room by myself. But body-rocking and head-banging can be particularly intense in some children, including children with developmental delay, autism or blindness. Let me know if there are other suggestions that we could add to this list. Head banging may be a distraction for children who are unable to communicate pain. Visual supports are often helpful to show the redirected behaviour. In the case of kids with ASD or special needs, when communication may be affected, head banging may be a way to express frustration, anxiety or discomfort. As a neurotypical person sensory processing is not something I think about or feel. 12. most common reasons why kids engage in headbanging behavior, tips and ideas to prevent it or mitigate the consequences. Strategies to Stop Head Banging Injury Prevention Provide student with a helmet. When a child bangs their head, naturally parents will go to them to try and stop them from doing so. This might target a specific behaviour, such as banging their head on the wall when they’re upset, or skill, such as washing their hands or saying a particular word. Prompt your kid to demonstrate what he/she wants “show me what you want”. 19. You can check “Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions through Everyday Transitions. Whilst some children outgrow this behaviour before school age, some may continue to have so-called ‘head banging syndrome’ for years. However, when he does become upset and bangs his head, walk away if he is in a safe place (such as banging his head on plush carpet). You're probably heard the phrase "all … For us parents it is an extremely overwhelming situation: Today, I will try to put together a comprehensive document to help parents or caregivers that are facing this type of situation. Then a redirection to a swing or rocking horse or rocking chair might help to provide the sensory input the individual is seeking with their stim. I found the sensory side of autism one of the hardest things to get my head around after my eldest was diagnosed. So if you've got a story that makes you smile like an unexpected hug, a task well learned or something that may seem simple but is very special to you ...we want to hear about it! For us, in a case of attention-seeking, what has worked better in the past was a combination of making the environment safe (padded), learning how to block the attempts safely and very importantly ? Strategies for Handling a Child Who is Head Banging Compiled by Linda Cammaroto, OTR/L Intro Head banging can be a frightening experience for most people as they worry their child may hurt himself/herself. You will also receive our special needs newsletter and useful resources. Biting his hand and banging his head are behaviours which provided deep pressure input. We are also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an example, if a child is head banging into a wall, a safer initial redirection could be to head bang into a big cushion or bean bag. Head-banging also may occur without readily apparent provocation (e.g., as a soothing or self-stimulatory behavior). (even a favorite cartoon) and not making enough interaction for a certain period of time, Acknowledging your kid before you start an interaction with another person, Providing attention at very high rates of attention (every 1-2 minutes) while engaging with another person. A couple of examples: Jumping on a trampoline (This is a review of, Mom and Dad talking to each other for more than one minute, Leaving your child alone watching t.v. Small Changes- Big Challenges”. Children usually do not cause harm to themselves, but it can … Or, if your child is banging on the bed frame or head board, consider putting the mattress directly on the floor and removing the frame or board. When you throw a toy, what happens? A child may be experiencing a sensory deficit or sensory overload and banging their head may help them to self-regulate. amzn_assoc_linkid = "0c067541a04ed8547bbfc00ad50a7cd6"; 13. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; Your email address will not be published. Sep 30, 2014 - Self injurious behaviors are, unfortunately, not unusual for kids with special needs. Treatment for Head Banging . Try not to make a big deal out of the behaviour as it could reinforce it . Sensory processing is not just about difficulties with noise or … self injurious behaviors like head banging, skin picking or pinching. Hopefully, by the end of this read, you will know a bit more about the following topics: (Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are unlabeled ads and we’ll earn a commission if you shop through them, at no extra cost for you. Ways to decrease the behavior will depend on the function or reason. Usually head banging (make sure the child does not have an ear infection, vision problems or is teething), means the child is seeking proprieceptive input (deep pressure). These children are also more likely to rock or bang during the day. It is important to rule out any medical condition that may be causing pain. Assess if it can be made more fun /easier, 18. Strategies to Stop Head Banging. Tactile Treatment Strategies Cont. Photographs courtesy of Rob Mank Photography Remove noise with noise-cancelling headphones. Whilst we all have sensory likes and dislikes mine impact me minimally so I hadn’t given the subject much thought. We really hope that these strategies help. Due to the current global pandemic, we are experiencing shipping delays. As head banging is a sign of a child’s need for release, it can be altered with other physical activities that are not harmful to the child. Sensory Strategies for Personal Care 2 Contents ♦ General principles ♦ Meal times 4 - 5 5 - 7 ♦ Tooth brushing 7 - 8 ♦ Dental visits 8 - 9 ♦ Grooming products 9 ♦ Hair brushing 9 ♦ Hair cutting 10 ♦ Face washing 10 ♦ Bathing 11 ♦ Hair washing and drying 12 ♦ Clothing and dressing 12 - 13 ♦ Nail cutting 13 - 14 ♦ Toileting 14 ♦ Sleep 15 pinching, biting, or head banging ... powerful sensory strategies to decrease defensiveness. One of the most common ways that parents describe their sensory seeking child is: Repeat this 3-4 times before he has time to have an item or do an activity. So the tips here may be a bit obvious: 24. For children with autism, headbanging strategies might also include yoga and rhythmic therapy in conjunction with routine sensory input under the guidance of an OT. What was your favorite food? Learn how to do safe holds to prevent harm / Block attempts to bang head. If you identify transitions as a problem, there are different ways to address it, depending of your specific situation. Sensory strategies for headbanging. These extreme behaviours provided GH with predictable and intense input which helped him to block out unwanted input in his environment e.g. But if you notice your toddler does other activities like biting hands, scratching or rubbing, consult your pediatrician . This has always been part of the routine leading up to bed. In this instance, you should consult your child’s medical team to ascertain if any other methods should be put in place to help them, such as medication or a ‘safe-hold’ technique that you can use to safely prevent your child from injury. You can also read our Disclosure & Disclaimer policy here). I really hope you have found these strategies to prevent head banging useful. For these children, the rocking and banging can be harmful. Tips, tricks, and strategies for any caregiver of a special needs child who is feeling like they need a change! 20. Understanding the reason or trigger that results in your child head banging is the key to finding the right solution to prevent them from doing so. Head banging alone is rarely a cause for concern. Track behaviors to understand their function (you can read my post on how to track behaviors). The first head banging behavior that I´ve mentioned does not typically result in physical injury. Your kid will get the attention that he/she is craving for without the need to engage in self-injurious behavior. 10 Best Sensory Christmas Gifts for Children. A tip for those situations may be to redirect him into another task or distract her with a question (Response interruption and redirection):  What was your favorite toy? Some kids with autism or special needs have learned that they can escape from activities that they find too difficult (or just boring) with disruptive behavior.If we have identified escape as a trigger, these are some tips that may be useful: 15. A kid may use head banging (or other SIB) as a way to mitigate or mask pain and discomfort. In younger children, self-harm can occur in several forms; banging their head against the wall, punching or pinching themselves, biting themselves or punching or kicking a wall. Head banging and body rocking are common habits that young children exhibit that can be worrisome or frustrating for parents but that do not cause harm to the child. If your child is banging their head because of a sensory deficit then you need to look at different ways in which they can get the sensory feedback that they are looking for. Try sensory “breaks” in the classroom. A Blog About Parenting: Coping Skills, Behavior Management and Special Needs. Solution: Give your child attention but not when he/she is banging. Track date/time/antecedent to determine if the behavior is pain induced. Also, if a child is banging their head against the wall, you could consider moving their bed away from the wall. Head banging in autism is caused by sensory overload and digestive pain. Comments will be approved before showing up. Remove stimuli that are causing the sensory discomfort: Tips to Prevent Self-Harm due to Under-Stimulation. Many children find sensory therapy with an OT to be helpful. As a parent, you may feel that you are giving your full attention to your kid, but triggers may be as subtle as: There will always be situations in which we know we are going to be busy or we need to engage in a discussion with some other people. Do not force tactile experiences Deep pressure/proprioceptive input . The self-stimulation (stimming) behavior is pleasurable. Head banging and other self-injurious behavior is often associated with developmental problems like autism. Learning difficulties are different to learning disabilities because, unlike a learning disability, a learning difficulty does not impact on a person’s intellect. Without the ability to interpret the data properly, headbanging and other self-harming behaviours can help give some relief. blocking out sudden and loud … Head banging … A type of stereotyped self-injurious behavior, often present in those with ASD, intellectual disability, or other developmental disabilities that may be described as: episodic under highly specific stimulus contexts, or, in bursts after long periods without problematic behavior, social positive reinforcement  (either attention or access to food and materials), social negative reinforcement (escape from demands or sources of aversive stimulation), automatic positive reinforcement (sensory reinforcement ), automatic negative reinforcement (the SIB assists to stop an aversive stimulation-like pain).