Deb Michael posted this question:
We have a 5 yr old with ADHD, Microcephaly (subdued by RISPERIDONE), speech and speech process delay, sometimes hits instead of using his words. Sure enough, during the first visit evaluation he hit the volunteer in the stomach.
He’s in with a 5 year old with autism (very sweet), and three adopted siblings (ages 10-14) with the oldest had childhood trauma and can get angry but we’ve never seen him be anything but helpful to the the kid and sweet to his sibs. First: MM style. Just go with his likes, sports, horses, being in the open country (calm open environment) and see what happens? Or talk to all the kids first saying “ we have a rule here, no hitting old ladies or anyone else unless we are having a noodle fight...(could explain the rules for the noodle fight and have one planned in a sports game?) What are the consequences for hitting a person or an animal? Should we separate him from the other kids? We’ve only dealt with one kid who hit (years ago) because he couldn’t be in confined spaces. I told him if he hit old ladies or anyone else, he couldn’t come here because we would not be safe and able to run the program. He was older with Downs/Autism. No problem after that. Any advise.
Could there be a designated hitting area- like a punching bag, or a pillow he could smack when he needs to? Moving, running toward that area might already allow for some tension to get out...He could feel powerful ‘ordering’ the pillow to appear to hit- could even become a game- when his brain males him made we imagine we are fighting his brain since he wants to be happy and brain does not allow it- maybe draw a brain face on a white pillow case... just thoughts trying to turn a rule or no into a game and a yes...
Always always always make a joke out of it and turn the whole thing into a Scooby doo (you or volunteer etc) running away in a funny way then turn and chase him etc.This way he feels safe abd not shamed and you can participate in his mood whatever it isBiancas designated hitting space is also goodIts likely that if you create a stress free enviro you wont see any violence however because violence is usually a stress reaction But having the strategies makes it less stressfull for you all and therefore for him too
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