Autism – accidentally hurting pets

Does anyone have problems with their child on the spectrum with accidentally hurting their pets due to rough playing even after being told to be nice and showing them nice ways to handle and play with the pets or purposely hurting them because they think the animals reaction is funny? I understand that they sometimes won’t understand the consequences but my child has been taught what might happen due to him sneaking into my locked dining room (he used something to unlock it cause it doesn’t use a key) and strangled my hamster which killed him… I found out hours later when my daughter saw him on the floor hidden from us.. I didn’t have very long… I guess he thought it was funny cause he was moving to allot but that’s not the current reason for my post it’s about hurting other pets in my home and I’d like to know if anyone else has or is going through this problem 🙁

EDIT: My son is only 7 and he is not deliberately going out of his way to hurt animals. I put the purposely part in case anyone has experienced it. I believe he wanted to hold him but didn’t know how to yet because I hadn’t allowed him to since I was still working on trust with my hamster and he was 5 or 6 at that time. I have since taught him and got him to understand what death means now though. Nothing that serious has happened since then. But something has happened accidentally that triggered this post.


My daughter was super careful with pets.. she is a HUGE animal lover.. so much so for a long time she was an animal.. and even at 19 she still pretends to be an animal and she is surrounded my pets.
I don’t know if there is a difference between boys and girls and how they react to pets… but I don’t know an autistic that is aggressive to animals.
I say he obviously needs therapy.. hurting animals and even so far as to kill them is a huge red 🚩
I’m truly not judging at all.. this is super tough.. but in the meantime make sure animals aren’t around him.. for their safety.

well yeah ive been struggling and he’s still very young the rodent was when he was 5 or 6. he has odd too. my daughter loves animals and very caring my son loves them but hes far too rough with them. he isn’t going out of his way to hurt them for the rodent i think he just wanted to hold him but didnt know how to yet. I got him to understand what death means tho

I like to keep things positive but not all people like animals. In fact, sometimes how someone treats animals can be an Autistic trait that psychiatrists look for in giving a diagnosis.

This is a huge huge red flag poor animal

Wow, that’s scary. I’d be seeking help from a GP or pead. My autistic boy is super gentle thankfully. Soz but my first thought was a future serial killer. Poor hamster. All the best💜

It is very scary but I have kitties so we can teach him proper good nice ways to behave and treat pets. Normally he is good but sometimes he gets carried away from playing too rough and not realizing it or something like that and Right? If… See more

Oh darling I do feel for you. Meant no offense my boy has a terrible time listening to me. But animals bring out the best in him. I’m sure your boy is super curious. And doesn’t understand maybe. All the best to you all

Please try to take into account the feelings of the mom when commenting. She obviously doesn’t support her son’s behavior and is seeking help with it.

My daughter is 6 and does the same thing. She’s not as rough as she used to be though. I pretended to squeeze her just as hard as she squeezes our cat and say “ow! That hurts! Oh no, that doesn’t feel good!l And show sadness rather than anger or laughter. After a few times, she understood that it wasn’t funny or a game. Hope this helps.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with him, it’s a learning process figuring out what works with our children. Don’t worry!

Thank you so much that is an idea I am going to try with him is the mimicking the action I know it got my kids to stop pulling each other hair but didn’t think bout doing it with the animals and of course not so severe either lol

It is actually quite common for autistic children, especially young to be behaving this way. I can explain the ‚why’ very shortly. Autistics struggle with what they call ‚theory of mind’. This helps people to see something from the other person’s person… See more

As far as removing animals they help teach my children the proper way to behave with and treat them. But I will no longer have any small animals example: lizards, rodents, snakes etc.
As far as his behavior I think Tay told me a very good trick that may get him to realize that its not good to do it. Mistreat animals. and I’ll be seeing if his BT will work on it with him. But I needed some ideas that I can do at home to help me help him to treat them properly. He LOVES the cats but he doesn’t quite understand how strong he is getting that he has to be gentle and to be calmer. He hasn’t done anything severe since that one-time accident.
Unlike most autistic children both of mine love being touched and cuddled. Also, both of my kids are VERY caring.

Our children have very little control over their lives I feel like my son may at times push my cat around but nothing too serious or alarming however a hamster would sadly not be a good choice with my gentle giant need an animal that can handle a squish lol lol
I’ve kept up reminding him to be gentle and he’s gotten way more careful over the years ❤ your doing great mama keep it up, ou kids can’t control much in their lives so they may seek control or simply a reaction in other ways just gotta guide them to healthy gentle ways 😊

Thank you so much Noelle that’s exactly what is going on here except he did something on accident to injure our 7-month-old kitten’s nose. our kitten is a big loooonnnggg boy who is very gentle and has never swatted orbit or any sort of attack on any human kid or adult its amazing. However, I have consulted a vet friend and he’ll be ok just gotta keep an eye on him and I have put things into play that will hopefully keep my son from picking up the kitties. So far so good. But this is the worst in 2 years give or take that has happened. I’m thankful it wasn’t too serious but our little guy has been sneezing a ton and loud nose breathing but he’s doing wonderful in everything else thank god and I just wanted to hear if anyone has had similar situations to their children harming kitties accidental or purposely. I know my boy did it accidentally but yeah I got some decent tips and my worries have been answered ❤

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