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May 13, 2024

A Practical Guide to Biting Behaviour

A resource for practitioners to use when supporting individuals who may bite.

People bite for all sorts of reasons. For example, biting behaviour may occur when they feel angry, excited, frustrated, happy, sad or bored.

They may be trying to communicate an unmet need or express a ‘big’ emotion. Perhaps they are seeking connection, or trying to avoid an activity, person or environment.

This resource can be used by practitioners working with and supporting children, young people and adults who may bite.

Together, use the Emotion Name and /or Emotion Images cards to identify and name feelings. You could then link these emotions to biting behaviour and explore safer, alternative strategies.

Key questions to ask might include:

How do you feel before you bite?

•What does biting feel like?

•Why do you think you bite?

•Which emotions do you feel?

•How do you feel after you have bitten?

•How do you think the other person might feel?

•What could you try instead?


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