skip to Main Content
How to Stop an Autistic Child from Hitting His Head

Effective Tips: How to Stop an Autistic Child from Hitting His Head

If you’re a parent or caregiver of an autistic child, you are aware that head hitting is a common behaviour among them. This can be upsetting and worrying, as your priority is to ensure your child’s safety and wellbeing. But the good news is that there are strategies for stopping head hitting behaviour and managing it in a way that benefits your child.

In this article, we will guide you through techniques for reducing head hitting in autism, explain the reasons behind head hitting, and offer practical tips for creating a safe and calm environment, improving communication and social skills, and using positive reinforcement and behaviour management techniques.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be able to effectively prevent head hitting and promote your child’s overall development and happiness.

Understanding the Reasons Behind Head Hitting

It can be distressing to see an autistic child hitting their head, but understanding the reasons behind this behaviour is key to stopping it. There can be a variety of causes for head hitting, and it is important to identify these in order to effectively manage and prevent the behaviour.

Understanding Head Hitting:

Head hitting is a common behaviour in autistic children, and it can serve a variety of purposes. For some, it may be a way of self-stimulating and providing sensory input. For others, it may be a reaction to frustration or overwhelming sensory input. In some cases, head hitting may be a form of communication, expressing a need or desire that the child cannot otherwise convey.

Reasons for Head Hitting:

The causes of head hitting can vary greatly from child to child, but some common reasons include sensory overload or under-stimulation, frustration with communication difficulties or lack of control, and self-stimulation. Head hitting may also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as a headache or ear infection. It is important to work with a healthcare professional to rule out any medical causes for head hitting.

Causes of Head Hitting:

Autistic children may engage in head hitting behaviour for a variety of reasons. Some children may be seeking sensory input, while others may be overwhelmed by too much sensory input. Communication difficulties or frustration with lack of control can also lead to head hitting. Other potential causes may include anxiety, pain or discomfort, or discomfort with social interactions.

To effectively manage head hitting, it is important to identify the specific causes and triggers for the behaviour. By understanding the reasons behind the behaviour, you can develop strategies to prevent and manage it, creating a safer and more comfortable environment for your child.

Creating a Safe and Calm Environment

If your autistic child engages in head hitting behaviour, it’s essential to create a safe and calm environment that minimizes triggers and supports their sensory needs.

Consider setting up a sensory-friendly space with muted colours, soft lighting, and comfortable furniture. Use noise-reducing headphones or earplugs to decrease auditory stimulation. Keep the room organized and free of clutter to prevent visual overload.

Implementing a predictable routine can also help your child feel secure and in control. Use visual schedules, maps, or checklists to help your child understand what’s going to happen, and when.

Calming techniques like breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation can aid in reducing stress and frustration. Experiment with different techniques to find the ones that work best for your child.

Overall, creating a safe and calm environment can help your child regulate their emotions and behaviour, reducing the occurrence of head hitting.

Communication and Social Skills Building

Improving communication and social skills is key to reducing head hitting behaviour in autistic children. There are a variety of strategies that parents and caregivers can use to support their child’s development in these areas.

Visual supports, such as picture schedules and social stories, can help children understand and navigate social situations. Structured play can also be an effective way to build social skills. This involves setting up specific play activities that encourage turn-taking and cooperation.

If traditional communication methods aren’t effective for the child, alternative communication methods can be used. These may include sign language or the use of communication devices.

It’s important to take the child’s individual needs and emotions into account when working on communication and social skills. Understanding their perspective and providing a supportive environment can go a long way in reducing head hitting behaviour.

Positive Reinforcement and Behaviour Management

Positive reinforcement is an effective technique to encourage desired behaviour in autistic children and reduce head hitting. This technique involves providing rewards, such as praise, toys, or snacks, when the child displays the desired behaviour. Rewards should be immediate, consistent, and tailored to the child’s interests.

Behaviour management techniques can also help reduce head hitting behaviour. Setting clear expectations and consistent consequences for inappropriate behaviour can help the child understand what is expected of them. Visual schedules can also help the child understand what is happening next. It is important to remain patient and consistent with these techniques.

  • Use clear and simple language to communicate expectations.
  • Provide rewards for desired behaviour immediately and consistently.
  • Set clear consequences for inappropriate behaviour.
  • Use visual schedules to help the child understand what’s happening next.

Remember, it is important to remain patient and consistent with positive reinforcement and behaviour management techniques. Seek support from professionals and connect with support networks in the UK if you need additional assistance.


Stopping an autistic child from hitting their head is crucial for their safety and wellbeing. To effectively manage this behaviour, it is important to understand the reasons behind it and implement appropriate strategies.

Remember, every child is unique and may respond differently to various strategies. Be patient and consistent in your approach, and seek professional support if necessary. Connecting with support networks in the UK can also be helpful in enhancing your child’s wellbeing and your own as a caregiver.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I create a safe environment for my autistic child?

Creating a safe environment for your autistic child involves minimizing triggers and setting up a sensory-friendly space. Reduce noise, provide visual supports, establish routine and predictability, and use calming techniques.

What are some reasons behind head hitting in autistic children?

Autistic children may engage in head hitting behaviour due to sensory overload, frustration, communication difficulties, or self-stimulation. Understanding these reasons can help parents and caregivers better address the behaviour.

How can I improve communication and social skills in my autistic child?

To enhance communication and social skills in autistic children, consider using visual supports, social stories, structured play, and alternative communication methods. It is important to address their needs and emotions.

What techniques can I use for positive reinforcement and behaviour management?

Positive reinforcement and behaviour management techniques include using rewards for desired behaviour, implementing visual schedules, and providing consistent consequences for inappropriate behaviour. Consistency and patience are key.

How can I stop my autistic child from hitting his head?

Strategies for stopping head hitting behaviour in autistic children involve creating a safe and calm environment, understanding the reasons behind the behaviour, improving communication and social skills, and using positive reinforcement and behaviour management techniques.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top