My 15 year old nephew was born without any eyes, (only blank sockets) and does not hear, he bites himself fiercely, what to do?

He is in a world of not knowing anything but frustration, he bites himself all the time, very seriously down his entire arms, he sleeps curled up on floors with his comfort blanket, trys to communicate with loud (Aggggg) outbursts, has never been to a special school, does he know anything around him? what can family do to help him grow and be somewhat content, I feel he is always in pain, and his parents use medications the doctor prescribed to keep him drugged all the time. he bangs his head against walls etc. does he even know that we are there?

Topics: Behavior
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Posted by shadrach on Aug 23, 2011 - 9:50am

If anyone out there has any ideas for my family to provide him any type of help to use at home please email me at: rpoole2u@gmail.com I would love to listen to any suggestions you may have, because I fear without outside family interactions, that he is just existing until he dies. I want more for him, some kind of help I can use to watch him grow, and be happy or at least content somewhat. he is a great kid. Thanks so very much

Posted by marymcd on Aug 24, 2011 - 10:12am

This is a very complex situation and I have every respect for your wish to intervene to improve your nephew's life. It is of course, the parents place to decide what is in his best interest while he remains a child but there are specific teaching programs designed for deaf/blind children. It is a great pity that he has had no formal schooling up to now but any point must be a good point to start this young man learning about the world. In the first instance, I would be inclined to offer my voice to assist the parents when talking to his doctor about medications to bring his stress levels down and target his self-injurious behaviour. It may then be possible to look at a wider range of activities which he could gradually be taught to engage in like swimming, or just being outside feeling the wind initially! What ever the plan, you must be prepared to start small and cherish small,incremental improvements.

Posted by Amber Bobnar on Aug 27, 2011 - 5:53pm

I agree with Mary - any time is a good time to start. There are programs dedicated specifically to teaching children who are deaf-blind. You may want to contact the people at the National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness:

http://www.wonderbaby.org/resources/national-consortium-deaf-blindness-d...

They are wonderful and very responsive. Their site also has a huge selection of articles about deaf-blindness. Here is their list of articles about behavior:

http://nationaldb.org/ISSelectedTopics.php?topicCatID=33

And here is another good article on challenging behaviors in children who are deaf-blind:

http://www.sense.org.uk/publicationslibrary/allpubs/talking_sense/congen...

Talk to doctors to see if you can get help with the self injurious behaviors and maybe test for any physical issues (he may be in pain or experiencing seizures, for example). And, like Mary says above, start slow and get him outside and in the world!