Son Hitting Himself

Updated on July 02, 2007
K.H. asks from Columbus, NE
5 answers

My son is two and he is a special needs child. He does not walk, but crawls, he does not talk, but babbles, and he is fed with a feeding tube in the stomach (g button). They have no clue why he is like this and I believe that he may have a mild form of autism or asbergers or something; I don't know. However, we don't have a formal diagnosis. For the past couple of weeks whenever he is tired and goes to bed he will lay in bed and hit himself constantly in the face or head. He never makes a noise or moves, except to hit himself. This only happens when he is tired. I don't like watching him hit himself and I feel like I have tried everything. I have tried to tell him to use soft touches and show him how to "pet" or use soft touches. I have tried to ignore it. I have tried telling him no. I have even tried giving his hand a little swat even though I feel like that is sending the wrong message. (Hitting to teach not to). I don't know what else to do and he is too young/immature to understand me explaining to him why this is a problem. I hate letting him hit himself, but I don't know what else to do. I give up!!! I also find it frustrating that since he is not diagnosed with anything I sometimes have trouble deciding what is medically a problem and what is a kid being a kid. (However I am glad that he is not labeled too soon with something). Hopefully someone has some ideas or knows how normal this could be. Thanks!

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answers from Boise on

My son is special needs too, but he deals with the effects from Shaken Baby Syndrome. He used to hit himself too, and I always thought it was just because he was frustrated. Maybe your little guy is just tired and has no other outlet to vent the grouchies. I have heard of people trying a vest to weigh them down alittle bit, but I have never tried it. They say that it calms and comforts them. Or maybe give him something in bed to keep his hands busy? Maybe books or a stuffed animal?

My advice is, don't worry too much. I used to worry all the time about what was wrong with him, what I should be doing to help, etc. It was taking over my life! Somethings you just have to chalk up to a power beyond you. All kids have challenges in life, ours are just alittle different.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

You can always teach a child to not hit. No mater the cognitive level. It just takes time and a lot of pateints. Have you concidered Intensive Behaviorla Therepy (IBI)? If he is delayed then he would qualify for an IBI therepist. Many times at no cost to you.
Which state do you live in? If Idaho then jsut call your local health and wealfare office and they can direct you. If another state call around and find out if your state has IBI specialist.



answers from Des Moines on

I would try to make sure that he doesn't go to bed OVER tired. And then shut the door. You may not like watching him, but do it but that may the way he's using to vent himself. Right now that's the only way he's figured out to soothe himself.

Maybe try some music playing softly. We Find that soft jazz works wonders as far as soothing them off to sleep our kids are struggling a bit. Thus, his "episode" may not last as long.

sometimes the more attention we pay to stuff like that the more it accents it for kids and stresses us about it in the meantime.



answers from Omaha on

A symptom of autism is hitting themselves. Some children bang their heads into walls. My son slaps himself in the face but only once and awhile and if we frown at it and basically not make a big deal he stops. Otherwise he thinks it's funny and continues to do it. My son does have autism but a very mild form of it and he also has Sensory Intergration Disorder. He loves to jump up and down and flap his arms. Maybe you could teach him another way of stimulation. He could be overly tired and this is why he is doing it. Or this could be his way of getting mommy to stay with him til he falls asleep. :-)



answers from Lincoln on

I'd definately have him checked out for Autism, ADD, & maybe even ADHD. But definately at least Autism. I know what your going thru. I'm a single mom to of a special needs son.


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