Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Community
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Avatar universal

Pinching and Hitting

My son is 6 years old.  He has autism and is non-verbal.  He has started pinching and hitting which is either after he says "ow" or before "ow".  We're guessing he is hurting somewhere and we think it's his tooth.  He just had dental surgery to fix everything last December so we don't think it's a cavity but the back molars are starting to come out.  But of course, we're not sure.  At the same time, he hits both his ears, too (like clapping his ears).  We had our family doctor checked him but there's nothing wrong.  We are really desperate on how we can stop this behaviour.  We have so much bruises and scratches from his pinching.  And also hurt that we can see him in pain (or something) because he cries and we don't know what to do.  We've given him painkillers and they don't seem to help him.  He has some behaviour interventionists working with him but so far, they don't know why.  Maybe you have something that you know why this happens and how to stop it.
5 Responses
365714 tn?1292202708
Have you made note of any triggers?  When I get stressed beyond my threshold, I'm prone to biting my arm really hard...if I have no way to escape from the stress.

If it happens, usually it happens if I end up in an argument with a family member and they are attacking me on an emotional level an putting me through lots of stress.  Thankfully this doesn't happen often, but it is frustrating for both of us when it does.  I don't like to hurt myself, but when I feel extrememly stressed it is a knee-jerk reaction... The pain does at least two things (besides giving an embarrassing bruise). First off it delfects some of that extremem anxety into physical pain. While I'm hurting it distracts me from the emotional pain.

2ndly if I do it in front of the person who is causing the stress, it hopefully shuts them up and makes them stop. That way we can both calm down...  If that doesn't work, and the person continues to go on then it intensifies the uncomfortable feeling.

The best I can describe is likely the feeling a wild animal gets when it is suddenly cornered and trhown into a small cage.  Without any escape it will likely bang up against the bars hoping to find an escape.

As a child I would also do it sometimes out of intense boredom, and mostly when I was upset and crying over something., It was likely an attempt to stop the emotional stress I felt.

Now days I'm trying to cope better and find alternatives to coping with the stress. I think I've made great progress, but sometimes in an outburst....  I'm trying not to let myself get stressed to the point I get those outbursts, but it is an ongoing process.
222135 tn?1236491821
MJI, who knows this subject the best, is absolutely correct about the reaction to stress. Also for any kids often negative attention is just as rewarding as positive attention.

Another factor to consider is the non-verbal status. Have you started introducing a few signs? If a child has no to express pain, anger, frustration, etc, they use what they do know - if I hit, mom comes. The "ow" is self-talk, perhaps trying to decide what to do , or perhaps trying to tell himself NOT to do it. Self-talk is not unusual for any child. My son is typical, yet when he was young he used to tell himself not to touch the electrical outlets every time one caught his attention.

Try learning a few basic, necessary signs and introduce them (along with the spoken word) so that he has a way to tell you he's hungry, thirsty, sick, etc.

367831 tn?1284262544
This (signs)  also got me thinking about PECS.  They need not be elaborate, just Polaroid photos with Velcro on the back on the fridge (oops, Polaroid went under, *sigh*).  
Avatar universal
I was smacked and overly well not mega battered don't miss judge me here, my step dad didn't kmow I was autistic mum step dad and biological dad all knew I had a birth issue I didn't I was born deprived of oxygen my dad doesn't mince wrods he said I came out black/blue so acute toned on my skin he litterally no lie said to the nurse attending (midwife) Doctor etc (is this my sone he's so dark skin toned?) They put me on a ventilator, in fact I was not held by my mum or dad until 3-5 weeks after my birth, and was on an automatic ventilation machine.

Now mum and my bioliogical dad were great, yeah my biological dad allways was there paid maintenance you know, allways paid direct postal orders me and sis to but paid mum the minimum maxed amount, yeah sounds low but get this he allways sent seperate birthday cards and even weekly comics in recorded post even 10 gbp for easter in postal orders and comics star wars toys etc, he gave me and my sister stuff and money had we accumulated those payments like we should have right in banks the amount would have way way exceeding the low end,  so yeah dad maybe got bad rap from mum and me step dad (still dad to me), but all 3 both dads and mum saw I strugglerd to learn, this caused big issues in that then I'd smoke weed and be a divvy and my step dad I used to think resented me but nah he loved me I loved him equally still does and I still do, him and mum specially step dad saw a big issue in learning, they asked the school well .gov for help, they didn't then have child autism understanding like today, so both schools primary and secondary overlooked me said naughty kid, so my step dad and mum thought yeah we'll trust them, and you know yeah I flopped at school I smoked weed 15yrs old made my memory majorly worse, ruined family relations, mum and step dad trusted the child physchiatrists assigned by .gov they said he's naughty not autistic etc, they reluctantly accepted got to be right, in the end they wrongly labelled me disruptive, naughty and easily led, lol In 2010 years on, yeah weed and autism and dyspraxia dont blend caused me and step dad to go full fight I got booted went a hostel and mates got me in there shared homes to eventually my rented flat,  i forgave me step dad he said educated guy big time that me and your mum allways suspected aspergers maybe and or dyspraxia but the .gov child physchiatrists said naughty kid, he said if you get diagnosed I'll hope you can forgive me because I'd never ever touch you knowing you were autistic me and your mum argued but they said nah naughty kids so yeah I slapped you told you off!

So you can see I forgave him it was a miss diagnosis at primary through secondary man I should sue them, get the right care and support worker for your kid start diagnosis go from there.
Something every single damn sure fire guarenteed autistic person (kid,teen/adult/elderley/middle aged) Every single sure fire autistic person, no aquivication has is a or multiple traits that's a unique compulsive maybe obsessive, or unique ability of some kind could be anything from throwing a cricket ball like I had won sports day secondary 4 yrs running, lost last yr as the lad my mate a twin wore football boot studed I slipped in trainers I threw upright mainly you know I only came 3 m behind him in almost verticle throm slipping. I thrw 56.5m a professional eg. england match cricket ball down the 100m track, they said if I won I'd be immortalised in the school entrance as the only winner of every sports day cricket ball throw, lol I ended up spending a yr copying pages out of a encyclopedia because I laughed at the head mistress screaming at my on the phone to my mum for smoking.

I'd much rather have been in that hall of fame.
Avatar universal
But yeah I never got told I love you enough, or given a fair sot, my advice praise your kid and encourage his/her abilities and hobbies. that's what messed me up school wise.
Someone really wise said to me once "accentuate the positive and minimize the negative".  Good advice as is yours. I appreciate your advice and comments and hope you come back again to share from your point of view.
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