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How Do You Get Your Kid to Stop Hitting Himself?

I don’t know if this is an Asperger’s thing or just a boy thing, but recently, TJ has been slapping himself in the face when he thinks he’s done or said something stupid. I’ve asked him not to do it. I’ve told him not to do it. He still does it. He says he knows he shouldn’t do it, since I don’t want him to hurt himself, but he “just gets tempted.”  It’s not just a gentle facepalm – there’s an audible slapping sound that sounds pretty solid.


Is there anything I can do to help him stop it, other than reminding him when I see him do it? He says he does it in school, too, and that bothers me. I’m trying to think of something I could suggest for him to do with his hands when he feels like slapping himself, but I can’t come up with anything that would stop the behavior while also satisfying his need to react.

Any advice is welcome.

Christina Gleason (873 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Christy Maurer November 12, 2012, 8:22 pm

    My son has done that many times too. He’s ADHD so it may have something to do with the spectrum. I don’t know if they just can’t handle the stress and feel the need to lash out or what. It is frustrating but I’m not sure you can fix it. He’s 15 now, so that doesn’t happen as much although he has done it in the past few weeks…that was the first in a long time though. I know he’s going through hormonal changes too so that can’t be easy! I always tell him, I think I cried every day of my freshman year so you know hormones are out of whack. I think you just need to take in all of his behavior. My son’s never lasts long and he’s always loving and fine afterwards so it probably is just a spur of the moment, unable to handle it thing.

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