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Old 09-21-2019, 09:52 AM
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Default Two Year Old Head Smasher

Im lost here. I have a two year old who when told no intentionally runs around the room and trips, then cries. If shes close enough to a hard object she will intentionally hit her head, and cry. If not one of those options, she will throw herself on the floor and smash her head hard on the tile. We can head the thump! I called a parent meeting and talked to mom, who told me "oh yea, shes done that at home since around 7 months. Im a bit worried shes gonna hurt her head. Her dads a angry guy whos bipolar" Ive never met dad. The head smashing at daycare started about the time she turned two. We have a couple two year olds now that tantrum, but shes the only one who head hits. Im scared shes gonna be that child I have to call the emts for when she cracks her head. I work at center and have talked to my boss, who says observe and reach out to the Easter seals coach. I plan to do both of those things but I know you guys have mega experience so I thought i would reach out to you guys for help too. Ideas? I really would like to see her stop head banging
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:24 AM
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Others will have better ideas, but if it were me, I'd get a bicycle helmet for her, about $10, and make her wear it. Protection and maybe a deterrent.
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:19 PM
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I would put a rug down so that we then she smashes her head, she will be safe
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:15 PM
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I've had my share of head bangers over the years. What kind of reaction does she get at home for that behavior? My last little one was almost two. When told no he would throw himself on the floor and bang his head, or if he was close enough, bang his head on the wall. Then he would look over at us to see our reaction. We would just shrug and say "Looks like that hurt."
It got bad so we got him a "beat up bear." It was a giant stuffed bear almost as big as he was. When he would get upset we would put him on top of the bear. Eventually we could tell him "go get your bear." Sometimes it would work.
A combination of moving the child somewhere safe and not reacting to the head banging has been the most effective method I've found of reducing the behavior.
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Old 09-22-2019, 06:43 PM
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This type of behavior requires reteaching, demonstrating the proper appropriate response you want for the same circumstances. No different than if she was throwing a toy in response. Choose the behavior you want her to use instead, talk to her about it and demonstrate (that is important with this age) it repeatedly. After she uses the technique and is again (eventually) calm, talk to/praise her about her good choice and safety.
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Old 09-23-2019, 04:20 AM
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Maybe she needs to be isolated to a small gated, carpeted area that's very boring every time she does this. "Oh, bummer! This floor is too hard for you. This table is too hard for you. Looks like you need to spend some time in the soft corner." Then just plunk her over there for a couple of minutes until she's chilled out. After all, you can't control her behavior, and you'll just stress yourself out by trying to do so. What you can control is the environment, so move her to an environment that works for both of you.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:03 AM
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It sounds like you know the trigger, so when you are about to tell her "no", make sure you're close by and grab her hand as she's about to take off to bang her head. Sit her in a cozy corner if you have one, or on a stepstool/ chair away from the wall and tell her that she needs to sit in "chill out time". When she has calmed down, she is welcome to return to play. If she gets up before she has calmed down, she goes right back to chill out time.
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Old 09-23-2019, 07:16 AM
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Has she been evaluated for SPD? Does she have any other indicators?
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:55 AM
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I had a child like this for 8 months. In my presence she pulled this twice and I termed after the second time. No way was I gonna allow a head injury on my watch. The first time I questioned dad he said she never did this at home...the second time I questioned mom who said she did it all the time. Couple that with some other aggressive behaviour and she was gone.
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asq-se, assessment, developmental - support, developmental screening, head banger, intervention, sensory processing disorder, speech therapist

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