The FASD Trust
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Hi our 3 year old has been diagnosed with fas, she is non-verbal doesn't walk and has global developmental delay, she has a nasty habit of biting and has bruised me on numerous occasions, when she does it I make sure we have eye contact and give her a firm "no that hurt mummy" but she just smiles very sweetly at me!! I don't want to sound like I am making excuses for her but I really don't think think she understands what she is doing or the fact she has hurt me!!

Any suggestions on ways to deal with this would be gratefully received please xx

3 Replies

Developmentally she is at age when biting is a "normal phase" lots of kids go through. It sounds too like this is her way of communicating that she loves you and gets your attention!!! Have you tried, simply saying "No" very firmly then walk away?

Our eldest still talks about our youngest going through the biting stage - if it is any consolation they do grow out of it - failing that it will be winter soon & you can wear thick jumpers which her little teeth won't go through as much .......!!!!!!!

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Yes, i would agree that it's probably getting your attention in a way that's reliable for her, specially as communication is difficult..

I would definitely give minimal attention. No anger, no reassuring smile, just no reaction at all if you can!

if/when she bites try to immediately 'disengage' for say 20 secs. Avert gaze, move away, talk to someone else, etc. Then after a short time, start again where you left off. It's like a version of the time out technique that i use with my older FASD children - see The Nurtured Heart Approach - Howard Glasser. This is an awesome parenting approach taking the western world by storm... it basically works on zero/dull reaction to unwanted behaviour and celebrating/commenting on (giving attention to) ALL wanted behaviour including the stuff we just normally take for granted or don't notice like sitting quietly, remembering to flush the toilet, asking before taking stuff ;) etc... It might sound familiar to stuff we all try to do but it is different - a challenge to take it to a deeper/higher/more effective level - that's what makes the difference.

Step by step, Boots x

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Our twins were non-verbal at 3 years old & their biting was a real problem - they also had 'global delay' & problems walking/ with all motor skills. Three years later their speech is delayed (perhaps around ability of a 2 to 3 year old), the biting is still there but a lot less frequent & they are classed as having moderate learning delay as they have proved they do have the capacity to learn. Their motor skills are now very nearly age appropriate. It also amazed me that they didn't properly 'laugh out loud' until they were 5. There is no magic wand but hopefully you will find the same little steps of improvement that we have :-)


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