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16 year old son with autism likes to bite. Looking for suggestions to change this behavior

We have a 16 year old son with autism who likes to bite when angry. There is no particular pattern which starts this aggression. We have tried to provide him towels, soft toys, soft balls to bite to satisfy this urge, however, it does not stop till he has bit caregiver's skin. We are looking for suggestions to change this behavior.

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Asked by vbhutani1 at 6:46 PM on Nov. 27, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I don't have any suggestions but seeing an OT (if he's not already) will help him.

    Answer by Simplicity3 at 6:47 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • i dont know. my best friends son is autistic and he is almost 10. when he gets aggressive he "turns into a dinosour" he got suspended from school last year(3rd grade) because he turned into a dinasour and bit the hell out of a boy in his class. saying he was a t friend does not know what to do and neither do his therapists. he is classified as a nonfunctioning autistic. which is basicly that they are at a point where they dont know what more to do.

    Answer by cassie_m at 6:52 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Don't know how much this will help but if you push into him as he bites he can not bite down. I don't mean to shove but to not jerk away. Natural instinct is to pull away from a bite and that is when biter pressure comes in. If you lean in or push towards his mouth the pressure will be broken it is physically impossible to bite if this pressure is applied. I have not explained well pm me if need help and I will try to be more clear.


    Answer by higherboundmom at 7:31 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I totally agree with higher bound... it also doesn't feel good to the bitee so can encourage them to know THAT move is NOT a good idea.
    What other tricks has the behaviorist thought of? Communication, teaching alternative ways to express anger/frustration... of course I'm sure there are already consistent consequences.
    Has there been a good FAB done and so do you know what the FUNCTION of his behavior is? That would be the place to begin.

    I'm sure my suggestions are nothing new... but maybe redoing a FAB may help.
    GO.. that is a VERY diff. habit.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 5:26 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • okay reread... THERE IS SOMETHING that is triggring it.. It's just hard to tell (in the workshop I'm taking they even talked about how for one kid it was the door but took it an outsider doing a FAB to finally see the trigger -- really hard to see when you are in the middle of it)

    He's angry ... so of course its nothing but the person... doesn't seem to a sensory issue (hence the soft balls and other OT stuff not working) its an I'm pissed off and its YOUR fault so I'm going to hurt YOU...

    it seems by your post that its a behavioral not OT issue.

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 5:29 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

  • I used to have a adult young man that I hosted homed who was also autistic and would bite. I figured out by happenstance, when he would want to bite it was his happy. He would like my toddlers be excited and try to bite. I started to clap and say yeah woo hoo and he would respond with a postive clap and smile as well. It was his happy to bite. He was never angry or upset when he wanted to bite. Once I figured this out we could find his happy. good luck hun. It's not the way you make the cake it's the ingredints used.

    Answer by rosetoes at 7:49 PM on Nov. 28, 2010

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