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Old 06-13-2011, 07:32 PM
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Unhappy Head Banging

I am registered but logged out because these kids are foster kids .
I have 2 kids that bang their heads a lot! They do it when they are mad, sad, or just because. They are 13 months and 26 months old. They bang their heads anywhere and everywhere they can, floor,walls,tables!
I have tried everything from positive attention when they are playing nice and running to them to stop them from banging their heads. They have an awesome foster mom and the social workers are trying to get them services in their "usual' timing.
I am a daycare provider that gets paid from dpss for watching these kids while foster mom works. Sometimes I put them in a pnp or high chair just to protect them from themselves.
My question is, why do they do it? they hit themselves so hard they scream and cry and just look at us .... it just breaks my heart
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:03 PM
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sharlan sharlan is offline
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I am only guessing here, but I would say it's because of extreme neglect.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:18 PM
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yes, I'm sure that has happened, thats why they are in foster care.
what I'm asking is WHY? like what is the actual reason?
maybe a child development expert can explain. they get lots of love from fm and me probably more than any of the kids right now, they just crave it.
we used to think it was for attention but they do it when no one is looking sometimes, its just an automatic response to everything. I already suggested to fm to buy them little helmets. They also were malnourished.
I just want to help them with out having to put helmets on them.
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Old 06-14-2011, 04:53 AM
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My son was a head banger, trust me he was not neglected or abused. The head banging started as infant when he would rock himself into the bars in crib and increased to things like corners, tile, and even concrete as he got older. He was diagnosed with a sensory processing disorder.

There is a book called the out of sync child that really helps you understand what is going on. My child was not doing that to "hurt" himself he was actually self soothing in his own way. Today he 14 and with the right kind of help the only banging he does now is on his pillow on nights he can't sleep or has had a really tough day.

Being that you are working with foster children and you don't always get the entire picture of the child I would keep a careful eye out for other developmental needs that may come up as well.

Here is a link that just touches on sensory issues like head banging and basic checklist of things to keep an eye out for. It isn't for diagnosis but it can be helpful as you are working the state and the foster parents to get the kids on the right track. http://www.sensory-processing-disord...checklist.html
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:07 AM
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dEHmom dEHmom is offline
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i know the doctor told my MIL that my dh would bang and hit his head because he likely had a headache. My dh to this day still has chronic headaches.
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Old 06-14-2011, 05:17 AM
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My 11 year old, sometime after 1 year old, used to bang his head on the floor or the wall when I told him no. He would run to the wall or the hard floor and do it about 3 times in a row, very hard.

His 1st doctor said, "well you take him out of the situation, right?" I said OK. Well, months later he was still doing it.

2nd doctor (family practice), at his next appointment, said "ignore it." So we did. It was hard, but it worked after a little over a week.

Good luck, and I hope there are not any deeper issues.
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:31 AM
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Blackcat31 Blackcat31 is offline
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It can be many things...some a big deal and some not so big....
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:31 AM
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SandeeAR SandeeAR is offline
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I just ask my DD about this, she is a Childrens Physical Therapist and deals with this type of thing on a regular basis. Without a diagnosis, she suggested the following:

Possible Sensory issues, possible autisim if there are other factors. It could be a pain release, like the head ache mentioned above. (by causing pain with the banging, it takes from the other pain). This could also be a pain release from previous abuse.

She said to watch and make sure they are interacting well, tracking toys when moved around. Do they like the toys with lights and bells more than a regular toy. If so, do they focus very closely on the lights. That sort of thing.

Best of luck to you and the kiddos.
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Old 06-14-2011, 08:26 AM
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Default Very helpful

Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
thank you so much, I have printed these out and will give to fm today!!!
I have been ignoring it when they bang their heads on our soft mats but we have wood floors and I can't ignore it on these, but this has been very helpful!!!
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:34 AM
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MarinaVanessa MarinaVanessa is offline
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Just to add a little bit to the discussion here ... my DH did this as a kid and he was not neglected or had any type of disorder whatsoever. It was just his way to get my MIL's attention and to get his way. It started as a baby and tapered away a bit until his brother was born then started back up again probably because of the devision of attention. It got worse and worse and then eventually my BIL started to do it too. Monkey see, monkey do. My MIL says she had to put a play barrier (those big play yard type things) in her living room and put blankets up all around it so that the two couldn't see each other. My BIL stopped first and my DH eventually stopped only when she just turned her back and let him, even when he banged his head on the floor. She said she turned her back and would cry to hear him but wouldn't acknowledge it until he just stopped wanting to hurt himself. Took almost 2-3 weeks she said. I'm not saying that this is the case here and I'm NOT saying you should let them bang their heads all they want. Just saying that hopefully it's not something as serious as a disorder. Wish you luck!
Daycare Ninja, CA
Helping Hands Childcare
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foster, head banger

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