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Posted by Lynda on November 30, 2000 at 23:26:30:

In Reply to: biting within autism posted by dave muschamp on November 30, 2000 at 11:11:22:

: iIhave a 4 year old, Sam, who has just started school for special needs within the ASD unit.
: He has been biting for around 9 months now but he has got worse. He does it when he is frustrated, feels his space is being invaded or is very excited. wishes.
: His speech is virtually non existant so he cannot express his wishes
: Has anyone had similar experience and how did you cope. Any ideas PLEASE

Dave,

My son at age four had some agression. Much due to the lack of comm. and his team understanding his behavior(s). We took a total comm. approach. Which includes gestures, sign,augmentative devices, pictures, written word and always with vocalization. My son also has a behavioral treatment plan that addresses the types of issues you mentioned. Under his treatment plan alone he has a personal therapeutic staff person (aide) 35-38 hours a week and a behavioral specialist for 10 hours a month or as needed and an over seeing psychologist. This is seperate from his IEP.
However, these types of services are available to your son under his IEP if his behavior(s) are interfering with his learning and the learning of others and it sounds like it is.
As my son, now 5, continues to progress and use various means of comm., we have less behavioral issues. He is to the point now where he may request something verbally or pull the icon(picture) for milk off the strip we have on the frig., bring it to me and say "milk"--which is almond milk because JJ is casein and soy milk free. Or he may make the sign for more and say "more cookie". It is great to finally see him use some type of comm. system instead of tantruming and us second guessing his needs. Total comm. has greatly reduced his frustration level as well as his team members.
Also, we took the Greespan approach for therapy and it did wonders for my son. If your son's teachers are forcing him to do particular tasks this may be setting him off. It used to do this to my son. With the Greenspan approach we allowed him to take the lead and then gradually as my son became drawn back into our world , we began some more adult directed activities along with the Greenspan approach. For example, my son loves books. One day when he was 4 his OT decided to take his book away and make him do what she had planned. Well, he just grabbed a hold of her hair and wasn't going to let go. He was very upset and I had to intervene. It took awhile and many treatment plans for us to understand my son's needs and with that came tremendous gains and improvements.
Also, your son's team members may need to break activities down into simple steps that he can accomplish. We have had to do this for my son and it has made a big difference in his life.
It is tough I know when behavioral issues arise, but hang in there and access when and why these behaviors occur so you can help your son. The more my son's team understands his needs, the more he improves. We also have circle of support meetings once a month with as many team members as possible to keep everyone on the same page and to discuss what is working and what is not. These are great brain storming sessions and have had a significant impact on my son's entire
educational and treatment program.
Best wishes,

Lynda

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