Question:

I am working with a preschool-aged child with autism. Although he bangs his head frequently at home, it’s only happened only once at school. His parents requested strategies to help with this behavior at home. What do you think about a weighted baseball cap? Any other suggestions would also be helpful. This mom has another child with intense needs as well, and she is very stressed.

Answer:

I have used weighted baseball caps successfully for a couple of kids, but they were not headbangers. Instead, they liked deep pressure to their heads and would seek it by placing adults’ hands on their heads or pushing into a wall. It’s worth a try for kids who bang their heads, but I suspect the intensity won’t be enough to satisfy them. Consider that he might be reacting to the stress in the home, especially since he rarely does this at home. If this is the case, your best bet might be trying to help the mom get some structure in place through visual schedules and a predictable routine.

If you’re a BrainWorks member, take a look at my sensory diet suggestions for head hitting.

Please let me know if I can be of further help. Sounds like a tough situation!

Best Wishes,
Gwen