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Old 04-06-2009, 12:08 AM   #1
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Does This Sound Concerning?

My son just turn 2 on March 13th. He is vocal, active, cognitively/physically/mentally where he should be. However, he is violent. We do not use any form of physical punishment in our home and he is not with anyone who does, nor has he ever witness violence of any kind.

He bites. Not your normal biting, but biting because its fun. He has done this since he was 6months and it has only intensified. I am a nanny and he accompanies me. Everyday he bites several times and is diverted from biting 5x more than he actually succeeds at. I cannot trust him with other children at all. He bites to draws blood, does not release, and laughs over it. He also bites animals.

He pinches. He pinches for fun. He pinches to make you say "ouch". He pinches to hear the dog scream in pain. He pinches to make that child cry.Daily.

He scratches. Again, for fun. Daily.

He throws things at heads. He has awesome aim, never misses. The bigger and heavier item the better. Daily

He smacks/hits in the face, head, body. Hard. Daily.


None of this is new behavior. Its all been developing over the last 18months. Ive dealt with 10+ toddlers long term and never have experienced such a degree of violence. Time out doesnt phase him, stern voices dont phase him. It all just pi$$es him off more. You will be cuddling and he will dig his nails into your arm and pinch with a death grip and not let go out of no where. You will lean in to give him a kiss and he will slap your cheek hard enough to leave redness. Holding him? He will dig his nails into your neck and drag them.

He is affectionate and sweet, but he does these things multiple times a day with no warning.

I am a big believer in ADD/ADHD being overdiagnosed, but his father most definetly suffers from ADHD and had violent outburst as a child ( still does if he forgets to do a mental check). I dont know how to convey that his behavior is not "typical" toddler tantrums. He does this for no reason and because he thinks its funny.


Is this something that should be "diagnosed"? Does any of this sound familiar? Should I change his diet?

I am at my wits end with worry over what is in store as he gets older.

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Last edited by mommyinthesun; 04-06-2009 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:08 AM   #2
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

My DS at 2 years was also a biter. We finally had him evaluated from the birth to 3 program in our state. He was not formally diagnosed with anything but it was decided he is sensory seeking. That he requires lots of input in his body. He is also just like DH was but worse.

He has no formal diagnose but we have done diet changes such as no glueten and very limited dairy. Once he got off of it you could tell when he had some because his behavior would worsen.

It may not hurt checking it out further especially if it has been escalating. It sounds like you are a great mom and there is nothing wrong in admitting you may need a little extra help.

Some of the other things are what does he really enjoy? Is he getting enough of that. DS needs a lot more physical activity vs. quiet time. If he does not release it then behavior is worse and he has difficulty going to bed. Good luck and for you.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:24 PM   #3
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

I agree with Lisa on the sensory seeking issue. We had a small problem with biting (nothing to the degree that you have, and I believe my son's was just a passing phase), but my son is very sensory seeking and as he gets older, I noticed that he gets a little more pushy when he needs sensory input. He was in OT from 16 months until just a few weeks ago, and our OT taught us a lot of really great methods to help satiate that sensory need.

One would be joint compressions and the other brushing:



This is the best one I could find, and I was always told to start on the inside and work out (shoulders, elbows, wrists, etc), but I suppose that it doesn't matter if it works either way. I don't know what kid hates joint compressions or brushing, especially sensory kids. Brushing really helped my son when he couldn't tell us he needed input. I would do it before we went out and it would help him organize his brain.

My son needs A LOT of vestibular input. He's always asking to be thrown on the bed or dropped onto a sofa and he's always jumping and landing hard to fill that vestibular need. Building a pile a pillows for them to jump in is good too.

Good luck, Mama.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:16 AM   #4
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

I think that the previous posters have offered some great ideas. I took a class last year and we discussed biting in infants and toddlers.

Here is the article, it might be helpful to read.

http://www.zerotothree.org/site/Page..._social_biting
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

If it was just a biting issue, I wouldn't be as concerned. This is a lot of aggression from a lo and sensation seeking doesn't seem to cover all the behaviors. I'd speak with your family dr/EI program about finding counseling services in your area and look into the sensory angle as well. I am not trying to be alarmist and say "whoa big problem!" I just think it's reaching a point that 1) you're running out of ideas and you've had a lot of experience with kids and having to "get creative" to solve behavior problems before, 2) safety of other children is involved, and 3) your mommy instincts are getting stronger about the issue. A sensory eval could give ideas to address any sensation seeking behaviors and a counseling eval could give you ideas for the other behaviors and maybe see the behaviors from a different perspective which might help. Plus, a lot of children's counseling agencies have outreach that will go into your home and help you implement their ideas if you want. You may just find out that it's all developmental and will go away with time but you'll have peace of mind that you looked into it all. As for the "happiness" he seems to get from hurting people, he might just be happy he's found a way to control situations and at his young age he doesn't understand the other person's feelings. Hope this helps! Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2009, 12:45 AM   #6
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

Thank you all for your replies. We do not have insurance right now so I have been changing his diet over the last 3 days and things are improving. We should have insurance by the end of the month and I fully intend to push for every eval possible and contact a few other resources.

I am lightly following the ADHD diet. I cut out snack foods(teddy grahms, crackers, cookies) and have him eating a higher protien breakfast and more protien throughout the day. Ive always been big on balanced meals and snacks, but the difference in eliminating the little bit of sugar he had and the unhealthy snacks has been impressive. My friend lent me two behavior/diet books that I plan on looking at over the weekend.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:19 AM   #7
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

I just wanted to add that you could look into your local Infants and Toddlers program that is run through your county/state. Each state has some sort of program for children birth to 3. This is funded through the federal government and is often free (depending on the state) and is not always tied into insurance. If you are working with your ped, they probably can help you get the information.
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:54 PM   #8
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Re: Does This Sound Concerning?

Early Intervention can be funded by the state. I would definitely at least call them. The initial assessment should be free, and at least that lets be see several people and gives a good starting point for you.
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