Something is bothering Alex and his ability to tolerate obstacles is well below what we would normally deal with.
We've seen an upswing in complaining, aggression and self-injury behaviour. His teacher and I agree that it seems as if something physical is bothering him but I can't figure out what it would be.
We had been doing much better with the head-banging. Sometimes Alex would just do a ritualistic tap, obviously satisfying the compulsion but not doing any damage. Over the last few days, he's been hitting hard enough to crack the drywall and dent metal.
We still have to stick with ignoring the behaviour or else it escalates and he'll do twenty or thirty bangs instead of one. But it's not easy. If anyone else hit my child that hard, they'd be charged with assault.
Dave thinks the problem is the increased stress load in the house. Certainly I've been feeling the pressure with less than three weeks of school and a sharp decrease in planned activities for July. Alex has begun a new behaviour program, there's the stress of planning to go to my sister's wedding and Dave's work has been spilling over into household time of late.
This could also be a hormone fluxuation. Alex is ten and that means he's in the window to begin puberty.
It makes me wonder if I'm going to be able to make it through the puberty years. Teenage boys are not known as the calmest and most pliable beings in the universe. If this is only a taste of what's going to happen, it's really going to test my ability to cope.