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Solutions to Headbanging, Tantrums and Meltdowns with Special Children

Children do not self-harm. A child lashing out is usually an underlying medical issues, causing emotional stress.

First, you need to rule out pain. From reflux to migraines. Special children can’t typically self soothe or communicate. Instead, they will hit or lash out.
Second, have a good thorough visual examination. Lack of functional vision can cause issues from nausea and depth perception to migraines, frustration, and fatigue.
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Third, get a medical workup. Pseudotumor, Hernia, broken bone, are just some of the complications that can have a secondary stress for continued meltdowns.
Remember, when pain is normal or typical for your child, they can't tell you they need help. Never assume behavioral is the first and only answer.

Question from a parent, "Is headbanging because of a heavy head?"


It can be due to several things. Most assume it's behavioral and a precursor to autism. However, I disagree. Finding that a child does not want to self-harm but rather they are trying to fix a problem. Pain is the number one thing we need to rule out. Migraines, reflux, and/or sinus pressure are some key areas. Low vision would be the next area. Weak eyes can cause vestibular stress and exhaustion. Also, a legally blind child, not able to see a parent in the room, learns to hit or bite themselves to get someone's attention.

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