Why These Behaviours Happen
Many autistic children have difficulties with communication, which can affect their behaviour.
Some things that can cause these behaviours include:
- being oversensitive to things like bright lights or loud noises
- being undersensitive to things like touch or pain
- anxiety, especially when routines suddenly change
- not being able to make sense of what’s going on around them
- being unwell or in pain
These behaviours are not your or your child’s fault.
Computer Applications In Repetitive Behavior Therapy
Computer applications based on applied behavior analysis, which are able to attract attention of children for a long time, is highly effective in reducing the lack of education in children with autism. Otsimo educational game platform is an application that produces very positive results in the treatment of children with autism at all ages and educational levels. In fact, after 2 years of uninterrupted usage, it has been effective in acceptance of children with autism to public schools at the rates of up to 90%.
Where Does Come From
The short answer to Should I stop my child from stimming? is no. You dont want to stop it, as long as theyre not harming themselves or another person. These behaviors are calming to the kids. You can, however, limit the stimming in some circumstances.
Where does this behavior come from? It comes from the central nervous system, and its activated when children, or adults, feel like theyre overloaded. When they feel overloaded theyll start to stim to calm themselves down.
Or, they can be feeling lethargic or tired, and starting to wind down, and theyll stim to bring themselves back up. They use the stimming to modulate how they are feeling.
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Stimming: What Is It And Does It Matter
Stimming, also known as self-stimulating behaviors or stereotypy, are repetitive body movements or repetitive movements of objects. Many individuals on the autism spectrum engage in routine stimming. There are different theories as to why individuals engage in self-stimulatory behavior, and its likely that the reasons are different for different persons. It may be that the behavior provides sensory reinforcement or sensory stimulation to the individual, or the behavior may be used to regulate sensory input, either increasing stimulation or decreasing sensory overload. Another theory is that there is a brain dysfunction in the areas controlling these behaviors or that the behaviors produce endorphins in the nervous system.
Stimming behaviors in individuals on the autism spectrum may include full body or more isolated motions. Examples of full body stims are body rocking and spinning. These motions affect the bodys vestibular sensory system . Other stims that do not affect the entire body, but which affect one or more senses, include hand flapping, squinting, staring at rotating objects , stroking or rubbing surfaces of a certain texture, smelling objects, head banging, and squealing or making other vocalizations. Sometimes these behaviors can be disruptive and interfere with learning or work others, such as head banging, may involve self-injury and be potentially harmful.
The Calming Tag Points
A tag point is the behavior that will result in a tag and reinforcement.
The calming tag points are five tag points that I come back to time and again because they are so useful. The calming tag points are:
- Quiet Mouth The child is silent
- Appropriate Vocalization or Communication The child communicates in his/her own way
- Hands Down Hands placed at side or in front of body
- Feet On Floor Both feet touch the floor or ground
- Exhales Child breathes out you can see shoulders/chest go down upon exhalation.
All of these are simple behaviors that a child performs often, so there are lots of opportunities to tag and reinforce. Reinforcing these tag points brings about increased calm and communicative behaviors in children with autism. Plus, the more reinforcement and success our children experience, the happier they are.
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How Stimming Affects Autistic Children And Teenagers
Stimming isnt necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesnt hurt your child. But some stimming can be self-injurious for example, severe hand-biting.
Stimming can also affect your childs attention to the outside world, which in turn can affect your childs ability to learn and communicate with others.
For example, if a child flicks their fingers near their eyes, they might not be playing with toys so much and not developing play skills. When the child is older, if theyre absorbed in watching their hands in front of their eyes in the classroom, theyre not engaged with schoolwork. Or if the child is pacing around the fence in the playground, theyre missing valuable social opportunities.
Autism Stimming And Hand Flapping: What Are The Key Causes And Behaviors
If youre an autism parent, it is likely youve seen your child present repetitive stimming behaviors such as hand flapping, spinning, and shaking. These behaviors can be worrying if theyre not fully understood.
In this guide we will discuss everything you need to know about stimming in children with autism spectrum disorder and how to manage stimming behaviors.
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The Definition Of Stim
The word stim is short for self-stimulation. It is most commonly associated with autism. My sons neurologist calls it autistic stereopathy. It is also sometimes called stereotypy.
The DSM-5 includes stimming as part of the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder: Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech. It also says, Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning. That is the difference between autistic stimming and typical stimming: When the stimming interferes with everyday activities and prevents learning, it is often a symptom of autism.
Why Would I Work With My Child To Stop Flapping And Self
There are many reasons that you may want to help your child stop flapping or engaging in those other self-stimulatory behaviors. Some of them may be causing him physical harm, such as biting or scratching himself. Other things may call undue attention to your child which can cause him to have trouble making friends or engaging in social interactions. Other behaviors may begin to interfere with his education, for example if he is rocking or flapping so hard that he cant focus on the teacher. Self-stimulatory behaviors by themselves are not necessarily a bad thing, but the side effects caused by them can be difficult for a child to cope with.
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Things That Trigger Stimming Behaviors
There is no single reason why people with ADHD stim, but there are several theories. For example, people living with ADHD are said to have differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. Stimming may be a product of these brain differences.
An environment thats either over- or under-stimulating may trigger stimming. Depending on the person and their environment, stimming may be calming and self-soothing or it may be done to increase stimulation and attention.
Will You Be Treating Your Child Like A Dog If You Use Tagteach
Many commenters on this post have suggested that its not appropriate to use TAGteach since you will be treating your child like a dog. TAGteach is based on the same science as the popular and effective clicker training method used with dogs and many other species. Because its based on validated science that has been perfected through testing with animals , TAGteach works with everyone. Maybe youd prefer to teach your child like an elite athlete or an orthopedic surgeon? TAGteach is used successfully with both these groups and with many more. TAGteach began outside the work of autism, with sports, and has spread to many disciplines. So, no, you will not be treating your child like a dog, you will be treating your child with respect, kindness and a with a view to building skills that will help them to self-calm and develop functional skills skills that will make life better for everyone in the family. to read a more detailed explanation of why you will not be treating your child like a dog.
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Impact Of Stimming On Your Health
Many parents ask how they can help their children to stop stimming behaviors in an effort to help them blend in with their peers. But stimming is very normal, if not widely accepted socially. Instead of asking how to stop the behavior, try asking why your child is engaging in stimming.
Common reasons for people to stim include:
Overstimulation. Stimming helps block out too much sensory input from overstimulation. An example of stemming action is making a âbrrrâ sound with your lips in a place that is too loud.
Understimulation. If a place doesnât have enough sensory input â things to hear or look at â or if you are bored, stimming provides additional sensory input. An example of this type of stimming is clucking in a room that is too quiet.â
Pain reduction. If you fall or bump your arm, your reaction might be to hurt yourself in some other way to take away from that pain. Many children bang their head or body to reduce other sensations of pain. Even though it seems counterproductive, medical professionals believe that this type of stimming may release beta-endorphins that decrease the sensation of pain or provide a sensation of pleasure.
âManagement of emotions. If you suddenly feel happy or sad, it may trigger you to stim. You may flap your hands when youâre happy or begin to bite your nails when youâre upset.
How To Stop Flapping And Other Self
Self-stimulatory behaviors are things your child does to get extra sensory input when he needs it, such as hand flapping, rocking, biting himself, head-banging, or scratching himself. This article will tell you why it happens and how to help your child stop flapping and engaging in those other self-stimulatory behaviors.
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Types Of Asd Stimming Behaviors
- flapping hands again
- and again or flicking or snapping fingers
- bouncing, jumping, or twirling without observing any obstacle
- pacing or walking on tiptoes
- pulling hair forcefully
- rubbing the skin or scratching
- repetitive blinking
- staring at lights or rotating objects such as ceiling fans
- licking, rubbing or stroking particular types of objectssniffing at people or objects
- rearranging objects
Children with autism can spend hours arranging their toys. They do not spend their time playing with their toys rather they love to arrange their toys.
There is a list of other repetitive behaviors in autistic children that can really cause physical harm like:
- start punching or start biting to themselves or others
- swallow non-edible items that can really put their lives to danger
Occupational And Behavioral Therapy
Certain behavioral or occupational therapies may help autistic people reduce or stop stimming behaviors. Applied behavioral analysis is a method of treating autism through a system of reward-giving.
In some cases, occupational therapy may be helpful. It may be recommended to help develop the appropriate responses to certain senses, such as sound and sight.
Speaking with a qualified healthcare professional will be helpful to work out what recommendations are most appropriate.
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Treatment Of Higher Order Behaviors
As with lower order repetitive behaviors, an ABA perspective has informed much of theintervention research on higher order repetitive behaviors. One exception to this is theintervention research on obsessivecompulsive behavior in individuals with ASD, which cantrace some of its roots to cognitive-behavioral therapy . Therefore, it is important tounderstand the conceptual and empirical basis for CBT prior to discussing the larger evidence-basefor higher order behaviors.
What’s Behind This Self
I play with my hair while chatting with a friend.
Maybe you bite your nails when youre nervous or bored.
You may tap your fingers or pencil on a desk while youre thinking.
I once knew someone who chewed on sticks of cinnamon bark, and Ive noticed some who move their eyes in an unusual way.
I can recognize certain people from far away just by their distinctive movements. We all know someone who has an annoying stim like cracking their knuckles every 5 minutes or repeating a phrase over and over or a socially unacceptable stim such as nose-picking or biting oneself.
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Promising Evidence In Animal Models Of Stimming
The rat models in the study were treated with Korean Red Ginseng . To test the effects of the supplement on stimming behavior, the researchers used a slightly-modified version of the well-established Marble Burying Test, which measures stereotypic and repetitive behaviors. In both the rats that received the low dose and the high dose of Korean Red Ginseng, the researchers observed statistically significant improvements in the outcomes on this test. Although the study did not reveal the mechanism of action through which the ginseng may have mediated this behavioral effect, previous studies have highlighted the anti-inflammatory activities of Korean Red Ginseng. Inflammation is has been associated with symptoms of autism, suggesting a possible connection.
Why Does Vocal Stimming Happen
Self stimulatory repetitive behaviors and movements can provide sensory input for children with ASD, helping them cope with anything stressful in their environment, or helping them to focus or express their feelings. It can be calming because it is a predictable behavior they control. In a crowded restaurant, a child with ASD might feel overwhelmed by the noise, and stimming would help them to ignore the loud sounds. Dr. Mary Barbera, a board certified behavior analyst, equates stimming to the activities we might do in our leisure time, such as playing an instrument or a sport.
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Strategies To Manage Verbal Stimming
We might have heard countless stories from parents whose children were teased or mocked in public by adults who misread autistic behavior as naughty behavior. One mother described a woman who approached her son who was squealing and started shaking him, while yelling at his mother for not being able to control her child. For some adults such experiences are simply too overwhelming especially if they have little or no knowledge of autism or other sensory processing difficulties.
Individuals engage in self-stimulatory behavior for a variety of reasons. In persons with autism, self-stimulatory behavior may:
Provide internal pleasure,
Help them cope with stressors in the environment,
Enhance their focus or
Help them express their emotions.
Vocal stimulation is often a fun rhythmic pattern that is fun to produce, listen to, and feel. It is predictable and easy for the child to control. In some cases where the vocal stimming is repeating words or phrases.
Generally, interventions to reduce or eliminate stereotypical behaviors should be used only if these stims interfere with learning, community inclusion, or are dangerous to themselves or the people around them.
Autistic Adults Speak Out About Stimming
The study titled: People should be allowed to do what they like: Autistic adults views and experiences of stimming aimed to get a better understanding of stimming from the autistic adults perspective . According to the authors the study results may not apply to children. It is reasonable to assume, however, that the plea for acceptance of non-harmful forms of stimming is a desire of the majority of individuals, of all ages, on the spectrum.
The study further suggests actions like reducing sensory overload by carers, staff and autistic adults themselves may prevent the need for stimming in certain cases. These conclusions highlight an important and necessary shift in managing stimming: intervention should be aimed at the environment, not the autistic individual.
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Replacing Harmful Behaviors With Functional Behaviors
As both a BCBA-D and a mom of a son with autism, you might be surprised to learn that unless a stim behavior is dangerous, I almost never work on decreasing minor stim behavior directly.
Instead of focusing on decreasing the stimming , I work on improving language and learning skills and eventually replacing very odd and immature stim behaviors with more socially appropriate leisure activities.
How To Avoid Repetitive Behaviors In Autism
Typical autism symptoms are avoiding eye contact, pretending not to hear despite hearing, lack of speaking skills relative to peers and exhibiting echolalia, that is repetitive behaviors. Repetitive behaviors include shaking head and body, repeating voices heard, clapping hands, and swinging their arms to the left and right.
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Strategies To Reduce Stimming In Autistic Children
So-called stimming, or self-soothing behaviors, are common among people with autism. Sometimes, they’re helpful. When children feel overwhelmed or upset, the activity seems to calm them.
But sometimes, they’re harmful or outright dangerous. Some stimming involves hitting, kicking, or biting. That can quickly translate into injury.
If your child engages in stimming, there are six strategies you can use to ease the urge.
Be aware that some forms of stimming are helpful. Sometimes, it’s best to help others understand what your child is doing rather than trying to suppress the activity altogether.
Additional Or Education Support
If you or a loved one requires extra support in managing stimming triggers and behaviors, its crucial to tell someone.
For example, if stimming behaviors at school are disrupting other students or are resulting in poor academic progress, an individualized education program or 504 plan may be of use to help modify a child’s workload or environment to their benefit.