Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Head banging


When he bangs his head you can hear his brain rattle.
For me this is the most distressing thing that C does. As a parent to see your child hurting them selves is one of the worst things.

Last night i had my weekly phone call from Cs boarding school. Because it is the start of a new year they have new students and new staff. C finds change hard, so his incidents and the severity of his headbanging have gone up.

Over the years he has cracked walls, broken bathroom tiles, smashed reinforced doors and double glazed windows, TVs. The list could go on. All with his head.
He has been head banging since he could sit up, he is now 6 foot. His skull has now hardened, he has 3 calcified oedemas on his head. I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing, a thicker skull protects his brain, but it also means he hits harder.

When the head banging has been really bad he has given himself concussion, and/or induced fits. It could kill him.
It has certainly shaped my behaviour.

Some staff find his headbanging very hard to deal with. Understandably. Which is a good thing as then they try everything in their power to prevent it.

C has to leave school in this next year. This change will be enormous. I find it very hard to think about it. But when the time comes everything that can be done, will be done to help him.

So why does C do it? Its his form of communication. And it is very effective. The trouble is every time it works it is reinforced. Over the years we have tried various other forms of communication, but he is not interested.
He even bangs his head when he is happy!

But to end on a lighter note, I did speak to C and i heard heavy breathing down the phone!!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can relate to your life! I will check out ballas... blog. TY!
Does he like electronics? Have u tried one of those newer, electronic category boards that speak? I want to check them out for my son.
I wish C got into signing.

Casdok said...

Yes we have tried various electronic boards, but it would mean C taking his fingers out of his ears!!
He has his fingers in his ears when anyone speaks, so for him to make something speak is not something he is motivated to do!!!
Any other suggestions more than welcome!

Inthemud said...

Beginning of a new term, so he still struggles to cope with all the changes.
No wonder you worry about next year, it will be hard, but he's done it before, youve done it, so you'll get through it again.

Liked the heavy breathing touch!

Justin said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I have worked with a few autistic kids in my career. I have seen a wide range. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your blog in the days, weeks, months to come.

Trey said...

You have a very interesting blog. I have to recommend Byron Katie's Work to you as I think it would be a wonderful tool for you. You can find out more about it at http://www.thework.com/index.asp
Take care

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Hey, thanks for visiting my blog. It is always nice to hear from fellow British bloggers.

I have Dyspraxia, so I do empathise with people suffering from learning disabilities.

God Bless

Matthew

Cathy said...

Does he use PECS at all? That has worked well for us, even if he does only use it when he really wants something!

Casdok said...

PECs is a no go. He is now nearly 19 and has been at boarding school since he was 5. They do it everyday with him, but he hasnt given in yet!!

WesterWitch/Headmistress said...

Hi Casdok - thank you for the insight into your son . . difficult time for him and you when he finally leaves school.

Thank you for letting us Purplecoo people know that you have blogged . . .

ww

violet_yoshi said...

Do you think C might have his fingers in his ears, because he has severe hearing sensitivity? I have sensory issues with sudden loud noises, so I'm thinking maybe to C everything seems really loud.

Perhaps a good idea would be to see if a company could make him custom earplugs. Or if he could just use earplugs. The reason I suggested custom first, is that when I use normal earplugs they always fall out of my ears. This might help C, hear things at what is a comfortable sound level.

Of course, there's also having him listen to loud rock music until he gets a comfortable level of tinnitis to deal with the issue. I am joking, because that is what I did. Alot of ear doctors think I was nuts, but it worked!

Casdok said...

Im not sure that C is noise sensitive as he only does it when people are talking! He loves loud music!!
I have looked into ear defenders, but he still puts his fingers in his ears under them!!

violet_yoshi said...

What bands does C like?

Casdok said...

The Darkness.
It was the first time i ever saw him take his fingers out of his ears to listen to something!

Cheri said...

Have you ever fallen and hit your head really hard? I have. The sensation was amazing. I knew that it wasn't a good thing, so I've never repeated it. (I have to say, if it wasn't dangerous, I would have)

My son likes to spin because he likes the feeling he gets when he's dizzy. He loves to go to carnivals so he can ride the puke machines. Well, they make me puke.

C communicates all the time in his own way. I'll bet you understand what he means most of the time. Getting him to communicate in a way others understand would require some very creative shaping. It's too bad that the so many people have to have verbal communication to understand others. It seems it would be so much easier for C if everyone else would try to see him and communicate with him on his level, wouldn't it?

Casdok said...

It certainly would make life a lot easier for him!
He even does it when hes happy so i know he does do it for sensation sometimes. Thats proberly why we havent been able to stop him.

the witch said...

Hi Casdok

I wondered if this link might help?

Head banging and food

Casdok said...

Interesting thank you.
But he eats so little i dont think its food. But i could be wrong.