Monday, June 27, 2022

Why Do Autistic Kids Flap Their Hands

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How To Stop Flapping And Other Self

WARNING! Autism Hand Flapping | Why Do Autistic People Do It?

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.

How Can I Ease Stimming Conducts

Always keep in mind that this conducts should never be label as bad behavior, or tantrums. Although there is not a real way to reduce or control these behaviors, identifying the reasons behind them is a great way to prevent them. Some things to observe when the hand-flapping occurs that may help you determine the cause of it are:

  • Who is around the child?
  • What is the child doing?
  • Where is the child/what is the environment?
  • Is the child exposed to or experiencing known sensory triggers ?
  • What are the demands being placed on the child at the time ?
  • Is this a new scenario or a familiar one for the child?

Evaluating the situations above can be a great way to determine the feeling behind hand flapping. Also, it can be a great way to explain to them to those around you, for example, He is flapping his hands because he is excited about your visit or He is stimming because he needs a break from this activity. Once you identify patterns you will be able to determine if the hand-flapping is indicative of positive or negative emotion and if it serves the purpose of self-calming or not.

Keep in mind that as with any behavior, the more attention you give to the hand-flapping, the more likely you are to reinforce it. Supporting your childs emotional health, through the prevention of stressful situations or environments is the best way to help him.

Remember, you are not alone!

Treatments For Hand Flapping

In the short term, autism hand flapping can be treated by removing the person from the source of distress. This is not always possible, however, and it is better to seek a long term solution.

It is important for the parent or caregiver to discourage hand flapping and the offer of a treat or a favorite toy can work to motivate change. Parents can make the person aware of their behavior in the following ways:

  • Use verbal reminders to stop the hand flapping
  • Use a card with a stop sign on when the person starts hand flapping
  • Gradually increase the amount of time that a child or adult must refrain from hand flapping before they get a treat

In some cases, it is possible to encourage a substitute stimming behavior that is not so publicly off-putting or obvious. These include rubbing or massaging the back of the neck, and moving fingers around.

If an autistic person is going to be exposed to circumstances that provoke hand flapping, it is best to be prepared. For example, ear plugs can be useful in a crowd as they cut down on noise levels. Sun glasses can cut out visual stimulation and a family group around a person can minimize physical contact and jostling.

Autism and hand flapping are commonly seen together and can be a source of frustration and embarrassment. Dealing with the stimming is often most successful when a combined approach of treatment and prevention is implemented. This will take focused effort and commitment from the people who live with the autistic person.

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How Therapy Can Help Manage Stimming Behaviors

Therapy can help families and individuals manage stimming behaviors, especially when those stimming behaviors seem dangerous or interfere with daily life.

Family therapy can help families to:

  • Address and manage overwhelming sensory environments.
  • Develop strategies for managing the emotions and sensations that trigger stimming.
  • Address conflicts between caregivers about how best to manage stimming.
  • Determine whether a person is stimming because of an underlying neurological or mental health issue.
  • Help caregivers differentiate age-typical stimming from stimming that may signal a problem.

Individual therapy can help children and adults who engage in stimming find healthy outlets for their emotions. A therapist may:

  • Help a person manage harmful stimming behavior such as head-banging.
  • Offer different strategies, such as meditation, for managing anxiety.
  • Help a person talk to loved ones about stress and frustration.
  • Offer alternative stimming options that may be less disruptive or harmful.
  • Help an autistic person better control their sensory environment by identifying and addressing triggers for stimming.
  • Support a person in advocating for their needs, including disability accommodations, at work or school.

A compassionate therapist can help with stimming and the emotions that trigger it. Find a counselor today!

References:

  • Living with children: Head-banging . . United Cerebral Palsy. Retrieved from http://ucphuntsville.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Head-Banging.pdf
  • Video Answer: Hand Flapping And Stimming In Autism

    About Toddler Arm Flapping

    Similarly, spinning and rocking too is accompanied by hand flapping children engage in stimming when they are excited. For instance, when a child is excited about something, they would flap their hands and rock back and forth. Here, it is vital to notice that stimming is mostly, but is not always, a symptom of autism.

    Similarly, spinning and rocking too is accompanied by hand flapping children engage in stimming when they are excited. For instance, when a child is excited about something, they would flap their hands and rock back and forth. Here, it is vital to notice that stimming is mostly, but is not always, a symptom of autism.

    Similarly, spinning and rocking too is accompanied by hand flapping children engage in stimming when they are excited. For instance, when a child is excited about something, they would flap their hands and rock back and forth. Here, it is vital to notice that stimming is mostly, but is not always, a symptom of autism.

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    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.

    Autism Stimming And Hand Flapping: What Are The Key Causes And Behaviors

    By Kim Barloso, AB

    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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    How To Assess When Your Toddlers Hand Flapping Is A Normal Gesture

    Know that you understand that hand flapping can be a normal behavior among toddlers, there are ways that you can use to evaluate whether your toddler is just excited or is manifesting signs of autism. First of all, hand flapping is hard to miss, and it is easily noticeable.

    If speech-related disabilities accompany this as they progress in their development, and in most cases, an inability to directly answer questions after they reach a certain age, then there is a need for further evaluation for autism spectrum disorders by a physician. They may also respond to inquiries rarely, and you need to observe for such signs so that you do not end up worrying when your toddler is perfectly normal.

    Video Answer: My Child Flaps His Arms Does That Mean He Has Autism

    Why Autistics Have to Talk with their Hands and Flap their Arms | Autism Awareness and Acceptance

    Stims could include hand flapping, rocking, spinning self or objects, biting, head banging, moving eyes upwards or the side, making vocalisations. Although a common sign of Autism, hand flapping does not mean your child definitely has Autism. Many other children flap their arms when excited, particularly at a young age.

    Visual stimming is when the child flaps their hands, turns the lights on and off repeatedly or repeatedly blinks. Tactile stimming is the constant rubbing of hands or itching. Vestibular stimming include rocking, spinning, jumping up and down. Reason behind stimming. People who have autism stim because they find it comforting.

    Visual stimming is when the child flaps their hands, turns the lights on and off repeatedly or repeatedly blinks. Tactile stimming is the constant rubbing of hands or itching. Vestibular stimming include rocking, spinning, jumping up and down. Reason behind stimming. People who have autism stim because they find it comforting.

    Visual stimming is when the child flaps their hands, turns the lights on and off repeatedly or repeatedly blinks. Tactile stimming is the constant rubbing of hands or itching. Vestibular stimming include rocking, spinning, jumping up and down. Reason behind stimming. People who have autism stim because they find it comforting.

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    When Should I Worry About Hand Flapping

    It depends.

    If your kiddo is engaging in self-harming behaviors, stop reading right now and contact a medical professional for help. From a physical standpoint, stimming and hand flapping are rarely hazardous. That said, stimming is a term that can be applied to any number of behaviors, some of which may not be safe. If your child hits their head against a wall in order to self-stim, for example, it may be best to redirect that behavior.

    With hand flapping and any other stimming behaviors, be on the lookout for anything that may cause injury.

    The next potential problem is when a childs stimming behaviors are negatively impacting the other tasks they have to complete in a day. If your child struggles to complete their homework because they dont want to stop hand flapping, you may want to chat with your occupational therapist about redirection strategies.

    A study found that self-stimming can interfere with spontaneous play. Even if your kiddos stimming isnt inherently harmful, if it prevents them from completing the tasks they need to do to learn and grow they could fall behind.

    If your child self-stims but can be easily redirected to complete their tasks when needed, theres likely no harm in it.

    As with anything, check in with your childs occupational therapist before making any decisions or taking any action.

    Video Answer: Autism Hand Flapping Why Autistic People Like Myself Flap Their Hands

    Some children and elders with autism can learn through coaching and practice to either change their stims, such as squeeze a ball or fidget with a toy rather than hand flapping, or engage in excessive stimming only in the privacy of their homes. Autism is a special condition, and there are special considerations needed to be made to deal with it.

    What is autism hand flapping and why do autistic people flap their hands? In this video you can learn why this happens and what you can do to help.This is a …

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    Possible Reasons Why Your Toddler May Be Flapping His Or Her Hands

    Toddlers may flap their hands when they are excited, especially when they have not learned how to express their emotions using words verbally. It has also been observed that they can form a habit of flapping their hands when they feel excitement even when they have learned how to walk properly.

    Physicians note that children with autism spectrum disorders use hand-flapping as a form of self-stimulation, and this is repeated more often than a child who does not have autism.

    What Is Hand Flapping Exactly

    When should you worry about hand flapping?

    Hand flapping is a way to self soothe and regulate the body. Have you ever been nervous and realized that your leg was bouncing up and down uncontrollably? Well, youve experience self-soothing without even realizing it.

    This self-soothing is also known as stimming, or self-stimulation. While its often associated with autism, all of us engage in stimming almost every day. Our bodies need it. Its just that some bodies need it more than others.

    Here are some examples:

    • Pacing
    • You guessed it–hand flapping

    The thing about hand flapping and other stimming behaviors is that they dont always happen at the same time for the same reason. It really depends on the kiddo and the situation. Lets talk about a few different emotions and why hand flapping may show up when someone is feeling that way.

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    Olfactory Or Taste Stimming

    Olfactory stimming affects a persons sense of taste and smell. It includes repetitive motions like the following:

    • Smelling objects
    • Licking hand or objects

    Should I stop stimming?

    In most cases, stimming is not harmful and does not need to be stopped nor suppressed. Karen Wang, author of the book My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities believes if a stim is successfully eliminated, then it is likely that it will be replaced with a new one.

    Despite this, parents and caregivers of autistic kids may want to lessen the behavior to avoid self injurious behaviors or maintain a level of social acceptability. An autism helmet can prevent children from injuring themselves in the event that they do engage in head banging.

    In the next section we discuss how you can reduce stimming.

    Helping Autistic Children And Teenagers With Stimming

    Many autistic people feel they should be allowed to stim because stimming helps them to manage emotions and overwhelming situations. But if stimming is hurting your child or affecting their learning, social life and so on, it might be best for your child to stim less often.

    You might be able to reduce your childs need to stim by changing the environment or helping your child with anxiety. Also, stimming often reduces as your child develops more skills and finds other ways to deal with sensitivity, understimulation or anxiety.

    Changing the environment If your child finds the environment too stimulating, your child might need a quiet place to go, or just one activity or toy to focus on at a time.

    If your child needs more stimulation, your child might benefit from music playing in the background, a variety of toys and textures, or extra playtime outside.

    Some schools have sensory rooms for autistic children who need extra stimulation. There might be equipment children can bounce on, swing on or spin around on, materials they can squish their hands into, and visually stimulating toys.

    Working on anxiety If you watch when and how much your child is stimming, you might be able to work out whether the stimming is happening because your child is anxious. Then you can look at your childs anxiety and change the environment to reduce their anxiety.

    Recommended Reading: Difference Between Autism And Sensory Processing Disorder

    How Do I Stop Hand Flapping

    Talk with your childs occupational therapist or pediatrician before ever trying to shape their behavior. This article is solely informational and should never be applied to your child without professional consult.

    As we mentioned above, a study found that 98% of stimming could be stopped when cued. This means that asking a child to stop is extremely effective. That said, this neglects the reason why they were stimming in the first place. If a child is anxious, overly excited, or agitated in some way, asking them to stop stimming may make the situation worse. If you want a child to decrease their hand flapping and other stimming behaviors, figure out why their doing it in the first place and how you can address the root of the issue.

    Another interesting solution is physical exercise. A study found that kids and increased their interest in tasks after a period of exercise.

    Again, if your kiddo is causing any harm to themselves because of their stimming, seek medical advice immediately. In general, its best to check in with your childs care team to make sure that you understand their specific stimming behaviors and what you may need to do to address them.

    More Resources For Speech

    Hand flapping in kids diagnosed with Autism | Kim Barthel | Reena Singh

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    The Reason Behind Common Asd Conducts And Behaviors

    1.- Lack of Eye Contact: A lot of autism is related to sensory deficits. The avoidance of eye contact is no different. When a person is talking, you have to process auditorily, and sometimes that makes it difficult to process visually. So a kid with autism may have to choose to listen to a person or look at them.

    Sensory may not always be the reason. Sometimes it can also be a deficit in social skills, which is another hallmark of Autism.

    2.- Word Repetition: Echoing speech is a normal part of language development. Echolalia in autism can have one of several purposes, or its purpose can change over time. In some cases, phrases repetition can calm ASD children in stressful situations, or they can memorize a word for self-talk, or they might implement a complete phrase when its complicated for them to communicate with their own words. In all cases, echoing is a normal symptom of autism.

    3.- Fixation: Fixation is a common characteristic of the behavior of an autistic child. The child may be fixated on a book, a picture, a person, maps, music, numbers, or a movie. Fixations can be a good thing because the childs brain has finally found a place of function and normality. The old method of taking the fixation away from the child has been replaced with the idea of using the fixation to facilitate learning. If a child is fixated on a certain television cartoon, turn the sound off and let them read through closed captioning what is going on.

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