Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: orbiting the earth
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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.