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How to stop an Autistic child from biting? - Page 2

post #21 of 26

I don't have much to add here, just wanted to share that we have similar issues with DS (turning 7 in a couple of weeks). Punishment never works for him, it just makes the situation much worse and raises his anxiety levels even higher. What we do when he is getting violent is take him to our room (the kids' room is too full of things he can throw and break; they share a room and there are only 2 bedrooms in our house). But he can't be left alone because he will make a mess and try to break stuff, etc so someone has to be there with him. It's a tough dance - he needs to be somewhat physically restrained so he doesn't try to break or wreck stuff, but if we get too close he will hit us kick us etc so we need to keep ourselves safe. I tried the "holding" thing but that made him really freak out. The GFCF diet does seem to be helping reduce the frequency and magnitude of these incidences, but they are still an issue. We just got him an autism diagnosis and are now in the process of building a support team for him (we homeschool, but get funding through a provincial homeschool program). This has made me feel a lot better as we will now have help and new ideas on how to not only deal with this situations but also work to teaching him better coping skills. 


post #22 of 26

my nine year old has starting about 2wks ago biting, started with the matron on the bus to the aid in the class, and therapist at home...the principal called me three  times and finally today they had to suspend her for the day...

post #23 of 26

We are also at a loss.  My son is 4.  He bites, hits, kicks, pulls hair.  He is aggressive towards other children his age and his teacher.   We do not know what to do to help him control his behavior.   We got asked to not come back to our 2nd daycare today and are very frustrated.  I wish we could find some way to help him.  He is verbal but not enough to talk to us about what is going on.   Today he bit a little girl in her eye and that was the last straw for the daycare.    Afterwards he is very sad and tries to say he is sorry but he is so strong and he really hurts the other children when he is in his fit of anger.   I have been reading through the comments... he is in therapy.. he has sensory things that help.  I feel like we have done everything and do not know what else to do :( 

post #24 of 26

I would really recommend getting a FBA to find out what drives the biting behavior.


They will observe for hours and then get objective data on what comes right before and right after the behavior. Then you will get a behavior plan out of that. A good behavior plan based of a well done FBA helps you know what to do (and not to do) in response to the behavior. More importantly, then you can over-teach the correct behavior to helps the child get what they want or need.

post #25 of 26
I don't know if it would work in your case, but for my daughter we gave her something to chew on, they have "chewelry" out now - but I guess she just needed some oral stimulation? HTH
post #26 of 26

It's interesting to see this thread revived. My son is now 9 and doesn't bite anymore. He can still get aggressive during a meltdown (throwing things, knocking over chairs, hitting people) but thankfully these incidents are becoming very rare.


The OPs daughter was not very verbal so I'm not sure how much this would help, but we have been having really good results with a clinical counsellor who does Michelle Garcia Winner type stuff, floortime type stuff, and cognitive-behavioural therapy. He has been working with DS for almost 2 years now and we've seen huge, huge progress. 


As others have said, the first and most important issue is to recognize what triggers the meltdowns/aggression and work to eliminate those triggers. To the poster who said her daughter was removed from school - this is unacceptable! What your daughter needs is an aid, a Special Ed Assistant whose job is to shadow her and prevent her from being able to hurt anyone. My son had an aid in preschool and from that day forward nobody else ever got hurt. I'm pretty sure that schools in the US are required, by law, to provide kids with whatever they need to be included in the classroom. Sending her home and saying "it's your problem" is just unacceptable!!


Once the preventative stuff is taken care of, it's time to move on to helping the child learn the skills they need to eventually stop the behaviour. First is getting them to recognize when they are experiencing those feelings that lead to them melting down (frustration). After the meltdown has passed (because you cannot teach anybody anything when they are in that state) you say things like "The remote ran out of batteries and that made you so FRUSTRATED. You were really ANGRY about that!". You are giving them language. You can ask them "how did your body feel right before you threw the remote?". After they have the language you move on to "when you are feeling that way what can you do?" and give them just one or two simple options like "take a break" or "ask a grownup for help". We drummed this into my son's head over and over again and it worked. Eventually he got better and better at regulating himself. It is still up to us to make sure his environment isn't working against him, but slowly and surely he is learning to control his behaviours. 


He is high-functioning and I don't know how much of this is realistic for lower-functioning kids. I just wanted to share my experiences and emphasize that it is a long road, but it can get better. <hugs>

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