Self Injury

He looks so precious and sweet in that picture doesn’t he? Well the day that picture was taken Joel had a huge meltdown. Our mom cleaned his room while, which he hates when she does this. When he noticed that she cleaned he immediately yelled and started throwing things back on the floor like he always does. But at one point he just started crying inconsolably and hitting himself. Hard.

He was obviously looking for something but we couldn’t make out what he was looking for. I tried holding him down and hugging him so he would stop hitting himself. It worked a little bit but he would continue to cry and as soon I stepped away he’d hit himself again. After a while, I make out the word book. I ask my mom if she took any books out or moved them and said no but he left these books on the bottom shelf. ( she hadn’t touched any of his shelves and just cleaned up the floor) I showed them to him and he started laughing and said thanks. Even though he is the one that put them there and forgot, anytime he saw my mom again that day he cursed at her and hit himself again. He eventually forgave her and kissed her that night after he was able to calm down by watching Descendants on Disney channel.

He found a crown, put it on and pointed to the character on Descendants and kept saying “Me!” Thus the picture. You can’t really tell on the picture but that day he busted his lip on the inside, bruised the side of his nose and left read marks on his cheeks and forehead. He was very sad about his face and FaceTimed my boyfriend for comfort but he kept hiding his injuries and apologized. A lot of times he won’t talk me but he’ll talk to my boyfriend but as long as he’s okay, I’m okay. He iced his face and would look in the mirror very sadly. We tried explaining to him that he just need to calmly tell us and there was no need to hit himself but there’s no way of knowing is he completely understands. So far, this is probably the worst it’s ever been. And I pray it doesn’t happen again.

I know I’ve shared about our boy being violent in the past. His early teen years were a little tough, he would bite, hit, and throw things at us at home. For the most he has always been very well behaved InPublic or with other people. But for most of his mid to late teens he wasn’t very violent at all. To himself or others. Of course he still had his moments but nothing scary or serious.

In the past two years or so he has been hitting himself when frustrated. Although I’m glad he isn’t turning his frustration and hitting others, it really breaks my heart when he hurts himself. Sometimes it seems random and other times he is clearly upset about something. The worst part is that he can’t tell us what the problem is. I might be too sensitive but I literally sit there and cry at times because I know he’s upset and he can’t tell me why.

I’ve worked with families that have had this issue before and I have read about it but for the most part it’s all about therapy and medication. It took us a long time but we have finally have him with a psychiatrist but I guess we’re still in the trail and error phase… before doing this, I had tried to get him in with ABA or similar therapies but almost all have age limits and said he was too old. Others have giant waiting lists. I’m still going try to the therapy though.

His psychiatrists seems to agree that maybe a lot of his frustration is not being able to communicate. He has agreed to look for options for Joel to help him through this as well not just focus on medication. The school system did their assessment of Joel to see if he would benefit from a communication device but said the results were that he wouldn’t know how to use it. They also said if they teach him sign language that he’ll never learn to communicate. I have my issues with this and his teacher seems to be on our side and has shown me all the requests she made for Joel. It’s definitely on my list to revisit this issue again soon with the school board.

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