Advice re head banging

Hi everyone, I’ve joined as we are looking for help/advice from anyone who has had an autistic toddler who bangs his head in when frustrated. Our son, who is 3 next week, started this a couple of months ago & it has become progressively worse. He now bangs his head at least 20/30 times every day & has bruises all over his head :-(. Have spoken to gp & plan to call his paediatrician tomorrow but thought parents who have dealt with this before might be the best place for advice on management. At the moment we are at the stage of avoiding saying no to him or upsetting him in any way just to avoid him banging his head, but it’s very hard since he offer doesnt want to do so many things eg having a bath/eating/nappy changes. Any suggestions from parents who have been through this gratefully received 

  • Hi there, sorry to hear that you’re having to go through this, as a mother it must be such a worry! I can’t answer about head banging and our 22 month old daughter isn’t diagnosed with autism (yet). To be honest I’m hoping that by replying to you that I might start the ball rolling and encourage other people to reply with some hopefully helpful answers as well as taking this post back to the top of the threads where it is more visible.

    As I said our 22 month old doesn’t head bang but she has been pulling her hair out for nearly a year now (interestingly I’m also AS and a lifelong hair puller, though I’ve stopped a few months ago). She seems to have phases where she’s pulling loads, like whole clumps of it, it doesn’t seem to hurt her, I think part of it is a tactile/sensory thing as she likes the feel of pulling the hair (she also pulls out my hair of the fibres on my fluffy jumpers given the chance) and she also likes manipulating the hair with her fingers once pulled and looking at it, she used to eat them too but luckily that doesn’t happen too often now (interesting nappies!!!) then she’ll havd a couple of months where she’ll stop and her hair will grow back, then she’ll start up again! I can’t work out the trigger of what makes her start again. She also shakes her head repeatedly and has done for about a year, she can easily do this for anything up to half hour (she’d fall asleep after that) I think she is stimulating her vestibular system by making herself dizzy. It doesn’t do her any harm, though it makes my husband quite anxious! I have found doing alternative stimulating activities such as deep pressure massage, luckily she tolerates this on her feet and Iower legs and occasionally her shoulders (has to be firm though as if it’s too light it tickles her and she doesn’t like it). My conclusion though is that she engages in these behaviours for a reason, she achieves something by doing them. Your son is also achieving something by engaging in head banging. I think speaking to his paediatrician is definitely advisable. I’m also pretty sure that there’s an advise line on this website that would be able to offer some advice. I’ll have a look and post it if I find it.

  • https://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/about-us/contact-us.aspx

    This link has all the contact numbers, I’m sure someone will be able to help :-)