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.
Think About Boring Facts
If the something awful visualization doesnt work, you can try taking the opposite approach. With this strategy, youre going to focus on neutralizing your emotions. Instead of thinking about your feelings, youre going to focus on facts.
Start scanning through the facts that you know: your height, name, the date, the color of the walls in the room. Ideally, these should be facts that dont excite or upset you. Focus on these facts when you start laughing. You might be able to ground yourself back into the present moment.
Pretend The Behavior Is Not Happening
Act as if nothing strange were going on. Go about your business as usual. “Screaming, what screaming?” Step over your child who is having the tantrum at Walmart . By the way, this is where you have to get real tough skin. All the other “good” parents in the store will look at you as if you are the worst parent in the world. Be tough. You know what you are doing. This is planned ignoring. If the other parents really bother you, hand them a printed card that my friend made up: “I noticed you staring at my son’s bad behavior. Just want you to know we noticed your bad behavior too. He has autism, what’s your excuse?” To help you pretend you can look away, turn your back, or talk calmly to your other children who are behaving .
Recommended Reading: Life Expectancy For Autism
Reasons To Reduce Stimming
Self-stimulation can interfere with learning, interpersonal relationships and social situations. Some types of self-stimulation are self-harming and may lead to infections or require surgical repair.
Self-stimulation may also be a symptom of an ongoing medical problem such as migraines which a person with a disability may be unable to verbalize.
Is That A Good Or A Bad Thing
Based on a clinical analysis, people prefer the laughter of an autistic to that of other developing children. Not that the other children dont create a positive atmosphere, but when they do laugh uncontrollably, it often means that they are discriminating against one another.
But, when a child with autism laughs, their smile is genuine and pure. Thats why scientists believe children with ASD have the potential to encourage people to form positive relationships.
You May Like: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism
Advice Needed My Child Hysterically Laughs Hits Kicks And Pulls My Hair
Real Moms Sharing Their Experiences and Advice
Please be advised that the information that is shared on this page is for general knowledge and information from parents and professionals.
****THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS PAGE IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE OR REPLACE MEDICAL ADVICE, OR TO PROMOTE, IN ANY MANNER, ANY OF THE MEDICINES/DRUGS. FOR DIAGNOSING A HEALTH PROBLEM OR DISEASE, PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR OR MEDICAL ADVISER ABOUT MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS FOR PATIENT-SPECIFIC ADVICE.*****
We Cancel Plans At The Last Minute
Its always a bit of a gut punch when youre all dolled up ready to head out and, suddenly, your partner in crime cancels. But, whats more frustrating is when that person comes out with some lame excuse for why, i.e. my car broke down whilst I was on the way to wash my hair and I suddenly came down with the flu as my dog ate my homework
In reality, the autistic person in question would probably prefer to have had all the above happened as, the truth is, they likely have been hit by a truck of anxiety. This has been the case for me on so many occasions and, believe me, no matter how disappointed you are with us, we are likely to feel twice as bad about it ourselves.
So, if this happens to you, try and not pile onto our woes and maybe encourage us to open up about the thoughts holding us back. If we mention that we do want to go out, but are anxious about the unexpected, offer us a get out of jail free card by saying something like We can leave whenever you want . Furthermore, if the anxiety really is too much, why not move the evening plans to a lesser packed venue, such as someones home? Fun doesnt always have to involve overpriced drinks.
Reduce The Amount Of Yeast In The Gi Tract
The first step in treating yeast overgrowth is to reduce the amount of yeast in the GI tract. Below, are brief descriptions of several nutritional tools your childs doctor can employ to help accomplish this goal.
The best way to control the amount of yeast in the GI tract is through diet. This is because candida feeds on sugar and simple carbohydrates that convert to sugar when consumed.
Unfortunately, a gluten-free, casein-free diet is not enough to control yeast. One of the best diets for treating yeast overgrowth is the Specific Carbohydrate Diet . Following the dairy-free version of the SCD diet can starve the candida.
Certain herbs work similarly to antibiotics but without killing the beneficial bacteria. Some examples of helpful herbs include:
- Grapefruit Seed Extract
- Pau DArco
Enzymes can break open the biofilm around the yeast, making it easier to target and kill . As such, your childs doctor may place them on one of the following enzymes:
- Candidase by Enzymedica
- While not an enzyme, caprylic acid is also helpful for biofilm.
There are the most commonly prescribed antifungals that treat yeast overgrowth:
- Nystatin: a mild antifungal that stays in the GI tract.
- Diflucan: a more potent antifungal that addresses systemic yeast but requires regular monitoring of the liver.
Vitamins and Minerals
Also, some vitamins and minerals can help the body fight yeast. A few examples include:
Probiotics or Fermented Foods
Solve The Original Issue
As mentioned, its mostly a mystery as to why tics develop. However, some tics can be traced back to a source. This source could be a seemingly menial event or conversation that occurred in your childs life. They could potentially uncover what this event was and work with a therapist to overcome the incidents residual stress through treatment.
Therapy is, of course, expensive, so if this is the route youd like to take, you should look at health insurance that may cover it.
Read Also: How To Tell If My Baby Is Autistic
Ask A Friend To Hold You Accountable
You can talk about your struggles with a close friend. Let them know that you want to improve your social skills and that you want to stop laughing at inappropriate times.
Ask them if theyre willing to call you out when they notice the laughter. A call out can be a codeword or hand on the shoulder.
Try not to get offended when they stick to their commitment. Even if you feel embarrassed, your friend is there to support you.
Think About The Times When You Laugh Nervously
Its important to know your patterns if you want to change your habits. Start by thinking about the situations that trigger your nervous laughter. Who are you with? What are you doing? What other thoughts or feelings are you having?
Spend a month tracking each time you laugh nervously. Use a journal or a phone app. Answer these questions:
- What caused my nervous laughter?
- What did I do to try to stop myself?
At this stage, youre acting like a researcher and collecting data. Youre gaining insight into your patterns. You need this insight if you want to make the right changes.
Read Also: Dyslexia And Adhd Comorbidity
How Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Play
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. Unlike a typical curious little kid pointing to things that catch their eye, children with ASD often appear disinterested or unaware of whats going on around them. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set. They usually dont play make-believe, engage in group games, imitate others, collaborate, or use their toys in creative ways.
Yeast Overgrowth In Autism
Yeast overgrowth is a medical issue common to autism that can cause sleep disturbances, sensory issues, hyperactivity, picky eating, stimming, and more. Even more concerning, yeast overgrowth can cause physical pain. However, when treated, symptoms can lessen or disappear altogether, significantly improving your child’s quality of life.
In this article, you will find information about yeast overgrowth, including:
- What it is and why parents of children with autism should be aware of it
- Lab testing
Recommended Reading: Do Autistic Toddlers Dance To Music
Getting An Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis
The road to an ASD diagnosis can be difficult and time-consuming. In fact, it is often two to three years after the first symptoms of ASD are noticed before an official diagnosis is made. This is due in large part to concerns about labeling or incorrectly diagnosing the child. However, an ASD diagnosis can also be delayed if the doctor doesnt take a parents concerns seriously or if the family isnt referred to health care professionals who specialize in developmental disorders.
If youre worried that your child has ASD, its important to seek out a clinical diagnosis. But dont wait for that diagnosis to get your child into treatment. Early intervention during the preschool years will improve your childs chances for overcoming their developmental delays. So look into treatment options and try not to worry if youre still waiting on a definitive diagnosis. Putting a potential label on your kids problem is far less important than treating the symptoms.
When And Why Do Tics Develop
Why exactly tics develop is still somewhat of a mystery. There are a few different types of tic disorders that can develop alongside autism.
Tics may develop at any point in your childs life, but they often come about around puberty. Ages 11-13 see an increase in the occurrence of existing tics and see the development of totally new tics. If your child starts laughing uncontrollably around this age, its very likely a temporary tic.
Don’t Miss: Autism Puzzle Piece Colors Meaning
Apologize When You Laugh Inappropriately
If you end up laughing during an inappropriate time, acknowledge the behavior. Its much more uncomfortable for everyone if you ignore it. Someone might believe that youre laughing at them. Other people might think youre acting insensitive or rude.
Your apology doesnt need to be over-the-top. You can say, I know its not funny. Sometimes, I laugh when I feel nervous. I apologize.
Apologizing shows that you respect the other person. It also demonstrates your willingness to be accountable for your actions.
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder
In order to determine whether your child has autism spectrum disorder or another developmental condition, clinicians look carefully at the way your child interacts with others, communicates, and behaves. Diagnosis is based on the patterns of behavior that are revealed.
If you are concerned that your child has autism spectrum disorder and developmental screening confirms the risk, ask your family doctor or pediatrician to refer you immediately to an autism specialist or team of specialists for a comprehensive evaluation. Since the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is complicated, it is essential that you meet with experts who have training and experience in this highly specialized area.
The team of specialists involved in diagnosing your child may include:
Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder is not a brief process. There is no single medical test that can diagnose it definitively instead, in order to accurately pinpoint your childs problem, multiple evaluations and tests may be necessary.
Also Check: Life Expectancy Of Autism
Can You Have A Laughing Seizure
Gelastic seizures is the term used to describe focal or partial seizures with bouts of uncontrolled laughing or giggling. They are often called laughing seizures. The person may look like they are smiling or smirking. Dacrystic seizures are focal or partial seizures when a person makes a crying sound.
Children With Autism: Inappropriate Laughter
Why do some autistic people behave inappropriately?
Autistic people struggle with proper behavior.
With our children, we hope to teach them how to behave in ways that are as socially acceptable as possible. As a parent of autistic child, I hope my son will eventually learn how to behave reasonably well in most situations. Of course, Im not asking him to be perfect.
However, there are some areas I want to address specifically.
What one do I think is important?
Laughing in an inappropriate way. This one concerns me because my son does it.
Heres a scenario:
A child with autism is on the playground at school. He witnesses a child near him fall and scrap their knee. The child cries, it hurts.
What do some children with autism do? Laugh.
Sometimes, I have watched another adult trip and stumble in an awkward way. I have seen that that person is unhurt and they can laugh about their klutziness. It could have been serious, wasnt, and one or adults can have a shared chuckle.
Now, part of me knows that it is inappropriate to laugh, but sometimes you play the situation one way or another. Sometimes, you laugh.
What is the difference?
Some children with autism have a difficult time distinguishing between IF they can laugh. Those clues are too subtle for them. And, some just laugh no matter what. They have yet to learn that particular social grace.
How do you teach a child to control or stop inappropriate reactions?
You can consistently explain the right way to react.
Recommended Reading: Stuttering And Autism
Therapies And Supports To Improve Communication And Social Skills
Improved communication and social understanding can lead to lower anxiety and less challenging behaviour in autistic children and teenagers. There are many therapies and supports that might increase your childs skills in these areas, and help you manage your childs behaviour.
A good first step is talking with your childs GP, paediatrician or psychologist, or another health professional who works with your child. They can help you find appropriate therapies and supports for your child. Psychologists, speech pathologists and experienced Applied Behaviour Analysis practitioners can help you with behaviour management if the behaviour continues to be a problem or you need support to deal with it.
Carry On The Conversation:
What are some autism misconceptions which you would like to clarify? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you want to learn the truth behind autistic meltdowns, check out this article: Exploring Autism: What is an Autistic Meltdown?
As always, I can also be found on Twitter and via my email: .
If you like what you have seen on the site today, then show your support by liking the . Also, dont forget to sign up to the Autistic & Unapologetic newsletter where I share weekly updates as well as a fascinating fact I have found throughout the week.
Thank you for reading and I will see you next week for more thoughts from across the spectrum.
Read Also: Does Dylan Chills Have Autism
Excuse Yourself To Go Laugh
If youre stuck in a laughing fit, trying to stop can sometimes make things worse. Instead, quickly leave the room. Get it all out. Even if it feels embarrassing, its better than laughing uncontrollably during a serious situation.
Only come back into the room when you feel grounded and ready to pay attention. If anyone asks why you left, you can just say that you wanted to respect the speaker and not interrupt them.
How Do You Help Your Child Wih Inappropriate Laughter
My son is really having a hard time dealing with inappropriate laughter. I know that it is a symptom, but it is a recent development. We haven’t started any therapies with him yet, so we are kind of muddling through until the IEP is done, and insurance tells us what they will/won’t cover. At his school they have a ridiculous behavior color scale, he is already on a modified version, but really hard for him to fall into their proscribed expectations . This is the third time he has come home on ‘red’ for inappropriate laughter. The past two times he was laughing when other kids were goading him into it , today it was for laughing when another child got the answer wrong. We explain to him that we understand it is hard for him to keep it under control, but we also need him to understand that it isn’t socially acceptable to laugh at others. Thanks!
Location: PA, USA
Recommended Reading: Does Gestational Diabetes Cause Autism
Related Signs And Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder
While not part of autisms official diagnostic criteria, children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from one or more of the following problems:
Sensory problems Many children with autism spectrum disorders either underreact or overreact to sensory stimuli. At times they may ignore people speaking to them, even to the point of appearing deaf. However, at other times they may be disturbed by even the softest sounds. Sudden noises such as a ringing telephone can be upsetting, and they may respond by covering their ears and making repetitive noises to drown out the offending sound. Children on the autism spectrum also tend to be highly sensitive to touch and to texture. They may cringe at a pat on the back or the feel of certain fabric against their skin.
Emotional difficulties Children with autism spectrum disorders may have difficulty regulating their emotions or expressing them appropriately. For instance, your child may start to yell, cry, or laugh hysterically for no apparent reason. When stressed, they may exhibit disruptive or even aggressive behavior . The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities also notes that kids with ASD may be unfazed by real dangers like moving vehicles or heights, yet be terrified of harmless objects such as a stuffed animal.
Savant skills in autism spectrum disorder