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Old 12-23-2012, 03:08 AM   #1
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Head banging any ways to control it?

Our son is 16 months old, almost 1 adjusted and has CP. He sees an OT, PT and SLP weekly in our home he's been making great progress but for one area headbanging.

It's so frustrating. Whenever he's sitting he's constantly rocking and violently hitting his head, like when he is in his highchair or sitting beside you on the couch. He just started sitting up unassisted and rocks when he sits but can't hit his head thank goodness but he ends up falling over.

The only advice his OT and PT have given is to tighten the straps on the highchair, which are kind of big since he's only 16lbs, and tell him to stop. Not very useful in must say.

Does anyone have experience with this, did you find anything that worked to help it?

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Old 12-23-2012, 06:01 AM   #2
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

No real advice but I know some parents wind up using padded helmets like these. I have a child that does self harm by poking his eyes hard. At one point the rehab doctor talked about a referral to a child psychiatrist to medicate because it got excessive after my split with my ex. If it hadn't have calmed down on its own I would have medicated because I did not want him to lose any more of his vision (opthamologist said he could scar his eye sockets).


If you haven't already I would suggest setting him up with a rehab doctor. They are the ultimate doctor to have when doing referrals for therapy and equipment. Literally I call DS's rehab doctor and places sometimes call me to set up an appointment within hours. There have been times where they had someone in the office and were able to set him up immediately. DS's Rehab doc and staff are that quick at handing out referrals and setting appointments up. His rehab doc takes pride on being on top of things. They can also see down the road since it is there specialty and suggest interventions and equipment before things reach a crisis point.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:05 AM   #3
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

Another thought has neuro evaluated him for cranial pressure problems? He might not be stimming, the head banging could be an outward sign of a medical problem.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

My FD baby did this a lot when she first got her helmet at 14 months old. It she hit us with her helmet, we would say "No banging" and put her down. When she banged her head on her own, we would say "Stop!" and hold her head against whatever she was banging until she started to fuss. She learned that banging her head got her "stuck" and she hated that. Eventually she stopped and it's pretty much a non-issue now at 17 months. Good luck!
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:00 AM   #5
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

Have you tried a weighted blanket or weighted vest, or a compression vest for extra sensory input? Maybe if there is more input, kiddo would do it less?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:32 PM   #6
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

I haven't tried a weighted vest or blanket I will give that a try. We've been telling him no when he does it and trying to get him to stop by distracting him with something else.

He can't sit in the Bumbo because he tries to bang his head so much and so hard that he almost pops out, we only ever use it on the floor.

Thanks so much for the suggestions I am going to give them a whirl.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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Re: Head banging any ways to control it?

Can I ask, is it rhythmic? My son started out with rhythmic head banging, and I was so stressed out about it I was crawling out of my skin!
One of the ECSE teachers at his school suggested a metronome.
It sort of worked. If we would turn it on before head banging would start, then he would tend not to do it. Once he got going on his own, though, it was impossible to get him to stop.
For him, his head banging would be at sleepy times of the day like the morning, nap time, and nighttime. Also if he was by himself for too long and got bored.
It seemed to satisfy his craving for rhythm. But, like I said, it wasn't 100%.
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