Biting/hitting when excited?

by Lyn

This might not make much sense, sorry.

My son is 2 1/2. I have had many issues with him since he turned a year old. He hit all his milestones within "normal" range, but I have always always felt like something wasn't right. I've spoke to the pediatrician but get blown off saying it's behavior and discipline. I even expressed my concern of sensory issues.
My son has no regulation of emotion. He is extremely active and cannot sit still. In public, he goes from extremely friendly to screaming melt down because someone looked at him or "it's too loud". Noise is HUGE. I can tell he's getting worked up because he'll hold my hand and start swinging himself, hanging on me. He won't wear clothes and often sits crying I could go on and on...

I know a lot of these could be SPD or high sensitivity but is biting and anxiety part of this too or is this something different? Is this not SPD at all?

I can't play with him because when he gets excited he will suddenly punch me in the face or bite me until I bleed. When he starts getting excited, he giggles and kicks and punches. He's not being mean, but it's almost like he's so full of emotion that he's got to get it out somehow. He bites his nails down until they hurt and he seems to worry about everything or everything bothers him, cue excessive crying!!

I'm so incredibly frustrated and tired of being told I need to discipline him more or need parenting classes. Someone please tell me I'm not crazy. That this isn't "normal" behavior...


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Mar 31, 2016
by: Ashley

Our now three year old has SPD and she hits, kicks etc when she's happy. Our 2 year old boy bites ONLY when he gets super happy suddenly. He almost never hits. SPD differs from child to child and can be more or less severe in each. Both of my littles don't like strangers talking or even looking at them at times. I could go on and on but like others have said, look into resources in your area. The program in our state is "first steps". We've worked with a speech, development and occupational therapist for our 3 year old and it helped tremendously! So of course we will be doing the same with our 2 year old. SPD can be very difficult to manage but with help from the right resources it helps a ton! good luck!

Feb 17, 2011
Thank you!
by: Lyn

Thank you for responding! I think there are First Five programs here. I didn't realize it's free. I will definitely check that. Thank you!!

Feb 16, 2011
birth to three programs can evaluate
by: Anonymous

If your state/county has an early intervention program (often called a birth to three program), you can easily request a free evaluation by developmental specialists. Although scary, it may give a base for you and your family to move forward in identifying some of your son's challenges.

We have also experienced some of the frustrations you mentioned, terming the happy, energetic hitting as "love taps" since they happen at neutral times and are not in conjunction with anger. Our son is "hypo sensitive" so he craves deep pressure. With working with an OT on a home therapy program, we have been able to maintain a fairly successful "sensory diet" to introduce some deep pressure activities before he acts out. Once some kids get "excited" it is hard for them to settle down to a base line, so finding a coping technique for ALL OF YOU will be helpful.

Best of luck to you and I hope you keep asking the questions your son needs you to ask for him.

Feb 16, 2011
We had the same problem

Before our grandson was diagnosed with spd, he went through a terrible period of biting. It mostly happened at daycare. He was 2 yrs old at the time. It was so bad we had to remove him from the class one day. Looking back (he's now 10) we feel it was due to frustration and over stimulation from being in a classroom with a bunch of 2 yr olds. He eventually stopped the behavior.

He has been having meltdowns at home so had him reevaluated by a psychologist who determined that he needs a plan to deal with his emotions in situations where there is too much stimulation. He's been getting OT since he was 3 which has helped tremendously. Seems to me you need to change pediatricians because he is not listening to you. I would have him evaluated by a child psychologist. She/he will determine if your son has any problems greater than just needing more discipline. If he does have spd, the sooner he gets occupational therapy, the better. Good luck:)

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