What Is The Meaning Of Stimming
Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation. Stimming or stims is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or repetitive movements of objects common in individuals when they may expose to stress or anxiety. People with autism may exhibit stimming when they are overloaded with high level of anxiety.
Hand flapping, rocking, vocalization or repetitive movements in autistic children may confuse many neurotypicals who want to control such behavior in people with an autism spectrum disorder. These stimming behaviors look strange and dangerous to the rest of us but these behaviors really serve a purpose for the people with ASD.
Were Not Sure Why People With Autism Stim
While its pretty common, stimming still isnt fully understood, even by experts.
Its believed that people with autism stim for different reasons such as when they are stressed, excited, anxious, or overwhelmed.
Some people may stim because they are oversensitive to their environment and can be a calming distraction. Others may stim because they are under sensitive to their environment and are looking to stimulate their senses.
Stimming can also just be a bit of a habit, like whistling when walking down the street.
How To Help Your Child
The best way to help your child when they receive an autism diagnosis is to pursue evidence-based treatments that are recommended by your pediatrician and other specialists.
Treatment will most likely involve behavior therapy like ABA. This therapy has been shown over decades of practice and numerous medical studies to help people with autism manage behaviors associated with the condition. Speech therapy and occupational therapy are also commonly part of an autism treatment plan, depending on the severity of the disorder and the childs specific needs.
Complementary treatments like art therapy or music therapy can round out a treatment plan. These creative therapies help to improve behaviors, socializing, communication, and motor skills.
In 2021, there is no known cure for autism. While it can be tempting to pursue any therapy that is promising a miracle treatment, be aware that these claims are not based in science. Unfortunately, parents who pursue these false treatments are wasting money and experiencing immense stress.
There are ongoing clinical trials into the efficacy of stem cell therapy for autism, so well learn more about this possibility in the coming years. Until then, stick with therapies your treatment team recommends. This will ensure the safety and progress of your child.
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Stimming: What This Behavior Is And Why People Do It
You’ve seen people stimmingyou might even stim yourself without realizing it. Here’s everything you need to know, including why it’s controversial.
Alicia Howard bounces her leg in a way that most people would call fidgeting. This repetitive movement is so innate that she often doesnt notice shes doing it. People have always told me, Stop shaking your leg! Youre stressing me out! Howard tells Health.
Thats stimming, Philip Fizur, PsyD, a clinical psychologist of behavioral medicine at Cooper University Health Care in New Jersey, tells Health. People who stim might appear as if theyre intentionally moving or making noises in nonsensical ways that don’t serve an obvious purpose. But stimming does have a purpose people stim to communicate, self-soothe, or even just because its enjoyable. Here’s everything you need to know about this behavior, including why it’s controversial right now.
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How Is Stimming Different For People With Autism
Stimming is most commonly seen in children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorder.
Pretty much everyone stims now and again, but the biggest difference for people with autism is how often they stim, the type they use, and how noticeable it is.
Common stims for people with autism include hand flapping, rocking, flicking or snapping fingers, bouncing or jumping, pacing, head banging, spinning objects, and repeating words.
Some people with autism may stim a lot, others a little. Some may grow out of the behaviour, while others may stim throughout their lives.
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What Can Parents Do To Reduce Vocal Stimming
Parents might wonder how to reduce verbal stimming. Experts suggest that parents or caregivers should only try to reduce the vocal stimming at the moment its happening if the repetitive behavior the child is exhibiting causes a problem.
If the behavior prohibits the youngster from learning, excludes him/her from social settings with other children, or if his/her stimming is dangerous or harmful to him/her or those around them, then the parent should intervene.
So, what strategies could parents take to try reducing autism vocal stimming? First, parents need to consider why the behavior is happening. Perhaps there are times when it happens more often? Observe the child to know what sets off the behavior and when/where it happens most. It is also important to speak to a psychologist or an education specialist who has experience in this area to rule out other reasons for the stimming.
Many experts suggest finding a similar behavior to the stim so that the child still feels soothed and receives stimulation but isnt distracting other people with the sound. The replacement should be something appropriate that the kid can do based on their ability and age and something that is relevant to the setting. Some suggestions include humming a tune, blowing bubbles, or doing pretend play/singing songs that allow for making animal sounds.
Stimming Behaviors In Autism: A Look At Common Types & Examples
Curious about stimming behaviors? Below you’ll learn about the types of stimming in autism. You’ll also find a list of common autistic stimming behaviors.
Many autistic children stim. So do autistic adults. However, stimming is something that is often misunderstood and pathologized in autism.
Autistic or not, we all stim to a degree. So instead of trying to decrease stimming behaviors, we should be trying to better understand stimming in general. We should be learning about the types of stimming, its purpose, and its benefits. Yes, stimming does serve a purpose and have many benefits.
And we should be teaching our autistic children to understand their own stimming behaviors. By the way, I have a social story for that.
So let’s take a closer look at stimming behaviors. What are the different types? What are some common examples? Well, that’s what we’ll examine below.
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Advantages Of Pluripotent Cells
- These stem cells are useful for studying how diseases occur
- Scientists can track the point at which a disease began developing, or the event at the cellular level that may have led to the formation of the disease
- Allows the scientist to study the difference between the diseased cell and the normal cell at the genetic and/or cellular level
- Stem cells made through the ntES, or pECS process have the opportunity to create rejection-proof cells that would benefit individuals going through tissue or organ transplants
What Is Stem Cell Therapy
Recently, stem cell therapy is evolving as a new treatment for various incurable disorders such as autism. This therapy aims at replacing the damaged cells of the body using healthy cells. In autism, selective areas of the brain are damaged and do not function normally. Hence, this therapy helps in repairing and restoring the affected functions and thereby improving the quality of life of the individuals affected with autism. It helps to make these children independent and integrate them into the society.
Stem Cells Repair, regenerate and replace the damaged cells in the brain of the individual with autism.
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How Is Autism Treated
There is no cure for ASD. Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can substantially improve those symptoms. The ideal treatment plan coordinates therapies and interventions that meet the specific needs of the individual. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Educational/behavioral interventions: Early behavioral/educational interventions have been very successful in many children with ASD. In these interventions therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as applied behavioral analysis, which encourages positive behaviors and discourages negative ones. In addition, family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with ASD.
Theme : Stigmatisation Of Stimming
The second theme concerned the negative reactions that people perceived whenstimming and destigmatisation through acceptance based on socialunderstanding of their stims. Participants described feeling a variety ofresentful emotions when told by others to stop stimming, including anger,nervousness, frustration, belittlement, shame and confusion. They expressed thatothers might feel annoyed, stressed or alarmed by their stims, and stated thatobservers might view them as strange, aggressive, sad, ridiculous or childish.Many wished to avoid drawing negative attention and, in response to feelingmarginalised, attempted to suppress their stims in public. They also reportedstimming when alone, for this reason.
Other participants reported transmuting stims into a more socially acceptableform that provided similar feedback. For example, Ethan replaced arm stims withdancing, shaking hands, tennis, chess and sailing. Alternatively, participantstried concealing stimming from view. Repression of stimming happened more as afunction of whether people said they felt understood. Participants encounteredaccepting attitudes from others more often in private than in public. This wasbecause of greater understanding . Several only stimmed freelywhen they had total privacy or among selected family or friends.
Subtheme 1: devaluation
Subtheme 2: acceptance
Promoting acceptance through understanding
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The Controversy Around Stimming
People who stim used to be encouraged to unlearn the behavior, sometimes with the help of therapy and/or medication. These days, most clinicians have started to accept stimming and believe it doesn’t need to be restricted if it isn’t causing harm, says Fizur. The side effects of medications that are used to control stimming can do more harm than goodso its best to address the issue with behavioral modifications if it even has to be addressed at all.
Some people are taking this acceptance a step further and celebrating their stims, particularly on social media. On the other hand, the idea that stimming is a distraction and should be done in private or not at all still holds sway. It’s a controversial issue, especially considering one study of autistic adults who told researchers they felt confused, angry, resentful, nervous, belittled, and ashamed when told to stop stimming.
The autistic people in the study also felt that neurotypical people often misunderstand stimming, which can lead to social challenges and an inability to function well, if stimming is their usual coping mechanism.
Howard says that her mom encouraged her to stand up for herself if people treated her coping strategies as if they werent valid or acceptable. But many people who stim learn to mask or camouflage this behavior. Although Dr. Davidson believes that modifying their actions might be the right choice in certain environments, it still doesn’t address the root cause of the behavior.
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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Early Signs Of Regressive Autism
- Avoids or doesnt like eye contact
- Fails to respond when the childs name is called
- Unable to point at objects or things of interest, or failure to show interest
- Generally wants to be alone
- Fails to understand or acknowledge other peoples feelings, as well as their own
- Experiences echolalia, or the tendency to repeat words and phrases uttered by other people over and over again
- Tends to give unrelated answers to questions asked to them
- Obsessive interests
- Loves to flap hands and/or spins in circles.
- Gets upset by minor changes in daily activities
- Exhibits low to zero social skills
- Shows unusual reactions like over- or under-sensitivity to the sound, smell, taste, look and feel of various things
- Tends to reverse the use of pronouns and useyou instead ofI
- Detests or avoids physical contact
- Demonstrates little attention to safety and is greatly unaware of the danger
If you notice 3 more of these signs in your child, we highly encourage you to visit your family doctor.
Stem Cells Therapy For Autism: Does It Work
By Andréas RB Deolinda, BA, BSc
Most of us are familiar with the scientific fact that any living, breathing animal, insect etc. is made up of cells. These cells form tissues and organs that support the existence of the host. Many of us have also heard of stem cells therapy for autism but are unsure about its validity.
Scientists have studied the underlying mechanism of cells, as well as their functioning, and have discovered ways of using the cells to improve the lives of humans and treat diseases. To do so, scientists have discovered stem cells think of it as the building blocks of a fully differentiated cell.
Stem cells are human cells that can be developed and differentiated into other cell types. These cells can be derived from any part of the body, for example, stem cells from the brain, muscle, bone marrow, etc. Stem cells are versatile in that they can be used to fix damaged tissues. The two essential characteristics of stem cells include: Firstly, the ability to self-renew to create successors identical to the original cell. Secondly, stem cells, unlike cancer cells, are controlled and highly regulated, therefore, stem cells need to be able to give rise to specialized cell types that become part of the healthy body.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Asd
Every person with ASD is unique, so the timing and severity of the first signs and symptoms can vary widely. Some children with ASD show signs within the first few months of life. In others, symptoms may not become obvious until 24 months or later. Some children with ASD appear to develop normally until around 18 to 24 months of age and then stop gaining new skills and/or start losing skills.
During infancy , a child may show symptoms that include:
- Limited or no eye contact
- No babbling
- Appearing not to hear
- Playing with toys in an unusual or limited manner
- Showing more interest in objects instead of people
- Starting language skills but then stopping or losing those skills
- Showing repetitive movements with their fingers, hands, arms or head
Up to 2 years of age, there may be continuing symptoms from infancy. A child may also:
- Focus only on certain interests
- Be unable to have reciprocal social interactions
- Move in unusual ways, such as tilting their head, flexing their fingers or hands, opening their mouth or sticking out their tongue
- Have no interest in playing with other children
- Repeat words or phrases without appearing to understand them
- Have behavioural issues, including self-injury
- Have trouble controlling their emotions
- Like to have things a certain way, such as always eating the same food
Possible signs of ASD at any age:
Tips For Reducing Stimming Behaviors
In most cases, stimming is not harmful and does not need to be stopped or suppressed. Karen Wang, author of the book My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities, believes that any stim eliminated by a caregiver is likely to be replaced with a new one.
Despite this, some parents might want to reduce a particular stimming behavior to avoid self injury or help maintain a level of social acceptability. For example, a caregiver might use an autism helmet to prevent a child from injuring him/herself when head banging.
If you are concerned for your childs safety, here are some more ideas for reducing stimming behaviors.
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Can It Work For Children With Autism
Autism is one of the conditions that could potentially one day benefit from stem cell treatments. This developmental disorder mainly impacts behavior, socializing, communication, and cognition.
Some anecdotal evidence exists that clinics offering unapproved stem cell treatments benefit people with autism however, there is very little evidence through medical studies that this is possible. Currently, the best treatment for autism is behavior therapy like applied behavior analysis .
Do Allistic People Stim
Many forms of fidgeting, such as twisting hair or tapping fingers, are also a type of stimming. These forms of stimming are so common that they often go unnoticed.
Toddlers and preschoolers may also stim to cope with overwhelming emotions and having little control over their own lives. Some parents worry this stimming behavior is an early warning sign of autism, but when stimming is the only symptom, autism is unlikely. According to United Cerebral Palsy, about 20% of neurotypical toddlers bang their heads.
Neurotypical people stim for the same reasons that autistic people doto cope with boredom, alleviate feelings of sensory overload, manage frustration and anxiety, and because stimming can become a pleasurable habit. Fidget spinners, a recent toy fad, are a stimming tool popular among both neurotypical and neurodivergent children.
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Every Child Will Engage In Repetitive Stimulating Behaviors Known As Stimming Only A Few Will Be Affected By Autism
The term stimming is a shorthand used by the autism community to describe repetitive self-stimulatory behaviors like hand-flapping or rocking. While these behaviors are often used to diagnose neurodivergent issues, they are also common for children who are developing typically. So, parents who see repetitive behaviors in children may struggle understanding what is autism stimming and what is normal developmental behavior. It helps to consider how disruptive the stimming behaviors and how long they are persisting past their developmentally appropriate window.