I would start by redirecting his throwing. I used to tell DD, "let's throw this ball instead" and I would show her where and how to throw appropriately. You could do the same exercise with hitting and kicking - show him appropriate things to hit and kick.<br><br>
I would also show him how you expect him to treat the animals by supervising him with them and giving him verbal instructions and demos. Give lots of praise when he is gentle.<br><br>
Does he have trouble speaking? If so, that may be the root of his frustration. If so, try doing some sign language with him.<br><br>
Assign words to his actions - when he is angry and hitting tell him, "I can see that you are angry but you may not hit the dog. You may hit _______ instead (a couch, the floor, a pillow, whatever). I used to also discuss frustration with my DD a lot. We had a little ritual whenever she would start to get very frustrated, we would say, "it's time to stop, breathe, and think" and I had little hand signals for all of this. This usually distracted her enough to calm herself down.<br><br>
I hope the others will have more advice for you.
Whatever direction you decide to take, realize that it will take a long time for it to "work". Its not enough to try stuff for a week or two, it can take months for behaviour to change. So pick a response and be prepared to stick with it, each and every time, for at least a month before deciding to change tactics. And make sure that everyone else in his world responds the same way and with equal consistancy. This is where the hard stuff starts. In the meantime, you will need to supervise very closely his interactions with things that can be hurt.
ITA with LoveBeads!<br><br>
Ean went through a hitting, throwing, kicking phase and what helped us was to show him the things he *could* hit, throw, or kick. We taught him to hit pillows, throw soft balls, stomp his feet, etc. I can't say for sure if our techniques worked or the phase just passed -- but he doesn't do it anymore!<br><br><br>
As someone with lots of experience working with kids with disabilities, I agree with you that much of this may be in response to his inability to communicate. Everyone must communicate somehow and most kids, without the ability to use words or symbolic communication, use physical methods whether they be non-violent hand-leading or pointing, or violent hitting, throwing, etc. I would definitely follow Lovebead's example of labeling his emotions and verbally explaining what IS ok to do.
It sounds like he could also benefit from lots of energetic playtime, probably outdoors if at all possible. I have a really energetic DS too. About that age I started to feel like I lived at the park because it was so important to let him run around as much as possible. We used to spend hours out where he could run around and play, which really helped avoid the sorts of situations you describe.