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All images and posts written by and copyright to Amanda Clements (nee Gray) 2009-2012 unless otherwise indicated.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Ask Amanda - Kim's Question

Hi Amanda, this is Kim from facebook. I have a question, or a suggestion depending.. Have you made a book, or social story about biting? Or other behaviors like kicking, hitting, spitting, banging head. Any "sterotypical" autistic behaviors that need intervention? I think showing visuals would help with these since the child doesn't understand that it hurts others, or can really hurt themselves. Thanks

Thanks for your comment, Kim.

I have only just begun writing books that can be used for children of all abilities to learn social skills. Dave is Brave, the first of these books, does look at rough behaviour, but it does not directly address the behaviours you have highlighted. It is something I will consider in the future.

Having said that, there are some great visuals that have been developed by others. You might want to check out or search for Boardmaker products. I am not sure about other countries, but many schools and early intervention centres in Australia use Boardmaker so you may find that your child's school already has a product available that may help.

Another thing to consider about these behaviours is the reason why they are occuring. If it is not due to the social difficulties discussed in previous posts, it may be due to sensory integration difficulties. This document, Sensory integration and Sensory integration dysfunction, discusses this well.

So, for example, if a child is biting themselves or banging their head in order to "feel" something, it may be important to find an alternative that provides that stimulation without hurting the child rather than trying to use pictures to communicate why they shouldn't bite themselves. Massage beads, stress balls and other toys may be usefull in helping change the child's behaviour. Giving the child an object such as this every time they start to display self-harming behaviour will help them replace the behaviour, eliminating it, whilst still gaining the stimulation needed to cope with difficult situations.

If there is anyone reading this blog who has some other suggestions, please feel free to share.


Anonymous,  May 6, 2009 at 9:35 PM  

There is a fantastic website that has visuals for all these different agressive behaviours. The visuals are free to download and they have a cross through the poor behaviours. Check it out. It is:

Also there are some books written about biting, kicking, hitting etc. We are reading one at the moment called "teeth are not for biting" by Elizabeth Verdick. Look it up under google. I have found my son with Down Syndrome really responds to it.

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