When I’m contacted for advice concerning an aggressive kid, these are my questions and suggestions. People often assume I am anti-medication, or that because I hate ABA, I am completely against all behavioral strategies. I am not. Yet I do believe they are last resort options . This picture is cruddy so – here is a Link to non picture version (uncertain as to how accessible this site is)
There is also now a text version of this chart – HERE
Don’t tell me these options cannot be made available, all you’ll get is the unimpressed Scully look.
Reader “Ekie” makes an excellent point in the comments: “I love this, but I would just add one more box: is the person in pain from something? Before you do psychiatric medications, get a full medical work-up, examine teeth for cavities, x-ray for constipation, etc.”
It’s important to make sure pain/illness isn’t causing added stress/disorientation that can lead to anger/aggression.
“ischemgeek” (see comment) adds another important consideration – hunger. Is the child hungry? Have they had an adequate amount of food? Do they know to recognize hunger signals?
I would add too that a very limited diet could cause anemia, or other deficiencies which affect mood. This is does not mean I think it’s ok to play around with vitamin therapy, but if you suspect a deficiency, have their doctor test for it.