Odd behavior question... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 07-27-2003, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a friend whose son has a bunch of behavioral and social problems. He hasn't been officially diagnosed with any disorder but a lot of his behaviors point to possible autism spectrum disorder. He is very bright and has no problem engaging in conversation (better with adults than children, though), so that doesn't fit in. He'll be five in Novemeber.

Anyway, he has developed a new behavior that has my friend really concerned and she is not sure what it might be or how exactly to deal with it. Last week he bit his baby brother on the arm, almost breaking the skin, but not quite. He did not do this in an aggressive way; he was simply playing with my daughter and the baby was nearby, and he just leaned over and sank his teeth into the baby's arm. Of course his mom was horrified and gave him a time-out for it. And a few days later, he did the same thing to his dad's shoulder after he came out of the bath and dad was towelling him off.

Is this one of those sensory things? Something else he does is grab people's heads and squeeze, and I've seen this myself - he doesn't do it out of aggression, either; it's almost as though he craves the sensation of squeezing. What professional should my friend go to for something like this? How can it be handled? Does anyone have any information or opinions? My friend is really worried about him, and worried that he may hurt the baby badly without meaning to.
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#2 of 3 Old 07-27-2003, 08:58 PM
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It could be part of a larger Sensory Integration Disorder. An Occupational Therapy Evaluation (done by an OT trained in sensory issues) could tease this out. Some kids squeeze to tightly or bite too hard b/c it doesn't feel that hard to them. What is recieved as a painful squeeze was intended at a gentle one and the child just couldn't feel it until it was painful to the recipient.
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#3 of 3 Old 08-03-2003, 06:33 PM
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I second the OT suggestion. Also, the book The Out of Sync Child might be very helpful for her to read. Here's a link to more info about the book: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

Here's Amazon's write up:

"Do you know a child who plays too rough, is uncoordinated, hates being touched, is ultra-sensitive (or unusually insensitive) to noise or sensations of heat and cold? Many pediatricians and other experts are beginning to recognize a link between some of these apparently unrelated behavior patterns. Children with perfectly normal "far senses" (such as sight and hearing) may have, because of a poorly integrated nervous system, serious problems with their "near senses," including touch, balance, and internal muscle sensation. It's called Sensory Integration Dysfunction, or SI. The announcement of yet another new syndrome is bound to raise skeptical eyebrows--and with good reason. (How do we know which child really has SI, and which one just happens to share some of the same symptoms?) Author Carol Stock Kranowitz argues convincingly, however, that for some children SI is a real disorder, and that it is devastating partly because it so often looks like nothing so much as "being difficult." And, whatever the scientific status of SI, Kranowitz carefully details many routines and remedies that will help children--and the parents of children--who exhibit the behaviors described. This book is a must-read for all doctors, pediatricians, and (perhaps especially) childcare workers. --Richard Farr "
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