Toddler Head Banging, Please Help!!

by Shannon R.

Hi everyone! I have a 23 month old daughter who is very high needs and always has been. She is not diagnosed with autism or SPD that I know of (will be asking her ped at 2 yr check appt in March about this) however, my husband and I have always suspected something is not right with her as we have had a rough time since day one & she has sensory issues that myself and my family have observed.

She had severe reflux from birth that lasted over a year, and has always been a poor sleeper. She wakes with night terrors screaming and crying and sometimes throwing a violent temper tantrum upon waking where she will bang her head on the wall or physically hurt my husband and I. She has had night terrors since a year old, maybe longer. Her ped said that it was normal & she will outgrow it, but I don't know anymore. It's easy to say for someone who doesn't have to live with it you know what I mean?

She has also been in this horrible habit of banging her head against walls, the floor, our glass patio, us, the fishtank, mirrors etc. whenever she gets mad or we tell her no. Sometimes it's over a toy getting stuck or something not opening...very trivial things. We told her ped at her 18 month check up about it & she said it's normal & to ignore it & walk away. We tried that tactic before & it ends up with her getting huge knots on her head because she will keep on repeatedly banging her head and screaming bloody murder. So, my husband and I will have to go running to stop her from running to the wall & banging her head as her head keeps getting bruises over bruises (it looks like we beat her, I hate it!)

She has been doing this constantly lately the last few months and it's driving my husband and I crazy. We try time out on the couch & she just stands up screaming & bangs her head on the wall or leaps off the couch & bangs her head on the floor or walls. I have neighbors which I've never met yet & I can only imagine what they think is going on!

My husband and I have been getting so upset over this as we love our daughter so much & it is killing us to see her hurt herself & have this crazy stress going on all day long. I have even been trying to limit the processed foods we give her & went out & bought a bunch of organic foods hoping that maybe a food intolerance that we don't know about could be the culprit. Of course she is a picky eater & doesn't want the organic foods, just her processed crap foods.

She does drink a ton of dairy and seems OK with the dairy, but someone told me to cut it from her diet and see if that helps. She also has some sensory issues with certain textures of foods (will gag on bread like textures) and doesn't like messy hands, her sleeves have to be rolled up etc. She was in feeding therapy for a few sessions for gagging while eating & it has improved.

I am just curious if this sounds like SPD or autism to you, on the spectrum or just typical toddler behavior? She is my first, but in comparison to other toddlers I have been around Aubrey is just more and with this violent behavior something is not right to us. She is very intelligent & is always amazing us at what she knows. She has been early & right on time with milestones so some of the autism signs like not walking, crawling, pointing, talking etc. does not seem like her. She does get a bit obsessed with certain things like movie characters (Buzz, Toy Story) and likes to stack and line up toys a lot. Not sure if that is just toddler behavior or a sign? She has never slept well & seems hyperactive to us, always restless.

Is there anything I can do to help her or limit this? I am so stressed and upset over this and it's made my husband and I very frustrated to keep her from banging her head all day long. Does this sound like SPD to you? I really need some advice as this is very stressful & I don't know where to go from here, please help! Thank you!

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Apr 02, 2016
My son could be your daughter's twin!
by: Theresa

You have described my son exactly!! He is also obsessed with Toy Story/Woody/Buzz. Do you have an update on your daughter? I'm trying to switch doctors (again) because none of them will listen and keep saying he'll grow out of it. My husband and I haven't slept in 2 years and swear raising our twins was easier than our youngest. Hoping to find some answers soon. :-( Hope you and your daughter are doing well!!

Sep 27, 2015
Vaccines so not cause autism.
by: Anonymous

My daughter sounds exactly like yours. My family has a predisposition toward strong personalities.

When you acknowledge such behavior, it reinforces such behavior in your child. My child recognizes that my wife responds to her behavior more offer than I. I ignore her headbanging, she eventually stops when I watch her: I can't say the same for my wife.

Only time will reveal if your daughter suffers from any developmental issues.

Jan 31, 2015
Your Are Your Best Judge
by: Jill

Our pediatrician said the same thing don't believe it our son is still doing this at seven years old. He is now diagnosed as having autism. There is mild to severe levels he is severe. This happened around his second year shots. Nobody will admit in the medical field this is actually brain damage. Everyone makes money off of these kids to quack therapists, politicians, and doctors that give you a false sense of hope. These kids have toxins, and bad reactions from vaccines. I'm calling it out for what it really is. Even a family in Italy won a lawsuit over it. I would start with therapy, and natural herbal oils from Dottera immediately.

Dec 02, 2014
My. 3 year old son bangs his head when upset
by: Anonymous

My three year old son does the same when he gets upset.He's not speaking very well,he's a picky eater and bangs his head when he gets upset or doesn't have his owm way.Its very frustrating for my husband and I as well.I just have to trust God because he sees and knows everything.

Jan 26, 2013
My 3-year old son does the same thing!
by: Anonymous

My son is 3 now but he's been doing the head-shaking & banging thing when he's stressed out of upset since he was about a year old. He recently was diagnosed with SPD.

We also took him for food sensitivity test IgG and started to avoid the list of food on the sensitivity list. We've been seeing dramatic differences in his behavior - he used to be SO restless 20 hours a day, always a poor sleeper and a super picky eater, but now he sleeps through the night and is much, much calmer.

We also started OT session about a month ago. It's been very helpful to learn what calms him down and how to help him get there.

Hope this will help you to find out what to do with your daughter. May God bless you & your family!

Mar 01, 2012
Hope this helps
by: Anonymous

Hi there, i know how frusterating this can be as my husband and i went through this exact same thing with out daughter. We noticed she bannged her head when upset about something as your daughter is... What we did was worked with her to express frusteration/anger or whatever it may have been in a diffrent way like hitting the floor with her hands for example. Look for cues maybe a certain look your daughter may get before she goes to band her head and ask her are you upset? We don't hurt ourselves when we ate mad hunny you can hit the ground with your hands instead! This REALLY helped our daughter. I hope it helps yours!

Also hang in there because this does pass. I felt my daughter had a hard time because she was too young to talk and express her feelings to us. As she got older and started talking we taught her emotions so she could relate how she was feeling to us as a way of getting how she felt off of her chest.

Best of luck to to you all!

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