A reader would appreciate your suggestions on this issue:
I am the Grandfather of an 8 year old autistic girl and would like any suggestions/and or directions on how to handle an 8 year old youngster that has what we call "little tizzy tantrums"....a behavior that is temperamental for short burst in where the child deliberately hurts herself. She bites her shoulders, pinches her legs and arms, stomach, etc., hits her face with her fist, bangs her forehead on the floor and/or bangs the back of her head on whatever is behind her. These little tantrums last about 30-45 seconds for the most part and are really scary. She looks like an abused kid but is treated with lots of love, compassion and attention. It is extremely disturbing and frightening for us to witness such behavior and even though we console her with "protective hugging" during the incidents it is most frightening. These incidents occur approximately three to four times a day. If the youngster wasn't autistic I would characterize the incidents as "spoiled" due to "not getting their own way"....Please offer us some advice and/or suggestions.I suggested that the family try keeping a journal to track the tantrums, with the hope of finding a pattern. So often, something specific is setting off the tantrums -- transitions, hunger, certain foods, etc. -- but it can be tough to figure out what the trigger is without a detailed record.
Do you have additional thoughts? Please share them!