My son seems to be doing a lot more of the verbal stimming. I am wondering if any of you have any suggestions to help redirect it. I am okay with him doing it at home (to a degree) but it is becoming very disruptive at school and other places. Any suggestions would be appreciated. He is almost 5.
Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Well, when I do it I usually kind of squeak under my breath. I don't know how to get him to redirect that, though, since I made myself stop because I knew it would seem weird.
When I think back on some social situation that I messed up (even if it was only minor), I stim much differently. I rock in a much more jerky motion and I curse under my breath (a LOT). Luckily, I can hold off on doing this if I'm in public.
I'm never gonna dance again, Aspie feet have got no rhythm.
Joined: 3 Mar 2009
My son verbal stims ALL the time. Right now he saying "hugs are cute", "hugs are the only thing in the world", and a loud sound & then he says "picture" at the end. He says these things sometimes hundreds of times a day. Loudly & then under his breath sometimes where you have to be right by him to hear it. About 7 months ago, he started saying this made up word "huggles" and he verbal stimmed on that hundreds of times a day until he switched to the other phrases. Prior to this, he constantly just hummed or made noises, he seemed to switch from that, to this. So those are my examples of verbal stims.
To the original poster, we homeschool, so the only issue is of the constant of it and the way it eventually annoys everyone in the house. If it's not bothering anyone, we don't say anything, but if it is, he has to go out of the room if he wants to keep saying it. Which of course, works for a moment, until 2 minutes later when he starts saying it again. lol In public, we do remind him to keep it quiet, or try to just say it in his head so he isn't bothering others. So, overall, we know it ties into his obsession with hugging, & we know if it's not this, it'll just be something else, so we pretty much leave him alone over it. I'd rather him be obsessed with hugs then with certain other things. lol
Dude from VA. Humanoids post describes my son to a t. He will do it with made up words. or with little phrases. Right now I can't think of the exact words, his vary almost daily. Sometimes he will just clap his hands really fast and just blurt out whatever comes to his mind. Sometimes he does clips of songs. I have been wondering if this could be Tourette's? He pretty much ignores us and his teachers when we ask him to stop. It seems like he goes through periods when it is worse than others.
Maybe I can try to teach him to whisper it when we are in public. As far as schooling, I guess we will have to see if it continues and how much it will hinder his performance. He is almost 5, and will be still in pre-k next year. We are going to shoot for mainstream kindergarten (with support) when he is 6. Right now the teachers are working with it, but I am not sure how much a mainstream kindergarten teacher will deal with it. I am keeping an open mind about homeschooling. Since he is an only child, I just feel that he needs the socialization. But, on the other hand, this habit could bring him a lot of negative attention and possible bullying if it continues. So, I guess we shall see---One day at a time right????
Joined: 29 Jun 2009
It could be Tourette's, or it could be a more severe than usual vocal stim. Either way, though, asking him to stop it won't work or help. In the case of Tourette's, it would be as useful as asking him to stop breathing. Vocal stims aren't quite at that level of compulsion (at least mine aren't), but it's still something that's often unconsciously done.
I guess a good place to start would be outlining rules for where he can do it. I'm honestly not sure, though.
I'm never gonna dance again, Aspie feet have got no rhythm.
I never really thought about it, but I guess I do some verbal stimming too. I don't do it in public, but in private (at home) I make up goofy songs and sing them loud, repeat things over and over and (I don't think this is one, but I will throw it out there) I talk to myself (ALOT).
You could talk to a speech therapist. They might be able to give you ideas on how to control the verbal stimming. I am not sure if they do that, but if they don't they could point you in the right direction. That is kinda my best idea.
I controlled it (minus the talking to myself) by working on it myself. I still talk to myself (under my breath) in public, but not in like meetings or something like that.
Joined: 8 Mar 2010
I am here because my youngest son has autism. He is 7 now.
I never realized his repetition of certain words could be a form of a stim! That makes sense.
He REALLY repeats stuff, every day. I don't think he does it as much at school. Sometimes you can tell he thinks what he is saying is really funny. He knows his alphabet and can spell a little bit.He will say a certain letter, then a word that he knows it does not go in. He laughs sometimes when he does it. I've stopped trying to 'correct' him,it doesn't work and only makes me frustrated. We don't have much verbal communication but he does talk a lot.
Knowing this could be stim behavior is helpful ,thanks.
I went through some of my papers and found something my son's speech therapist had given me on verbal perseveration. This is what she called it. I guess perseveration is "getting stuck on things"
Anyway, I read back over it, and decided to share it in hopes that maybe it will help someone else.
Verbal perseveration can be caused by several things:
1) It is another form of self stimulation. They get sensory feedback from the noise internally, or from hearing their own voice.
2) It is a form of anxiety, especially noted during or preceding transitions.
3) It is an inability to put closure on one thing and move to the next.
4) It is a way to get attention
5) They are not able to express what they really want to, so just repeat the same thing.
Ways to handle verbal perseveration:
1) If if is a form of self stimulation, it can be very difficult to extinguish.
2) If noted mostly with new situations and transitions, then use a visual picture schedule. Also work on anxiety relief, breathing, reassuring, recognizing the issue. "I can see that you are asking about this many times. I think you might be feeling uncomfortable because you don't know what to expect. Everything will be allright." Go into more detail..
3) If closure is the issue, then say, "We already talked about this and it is all done. Say it 2 more times, and then that is it. Next we will talk about....." then if they say it again, just say "all done", put a quiet finger to your lips, show a quiet sign picture, and don't say anything at all.
4) If it is for attention, then redirect the attention. "Give me a hug." "Let's sing a song" Something physical may work well. Also noting the behavior might work. "I see that you want my attention. I will busy for 5 minutes and then we can play together."
5) Sometimes you can re-direct the verbalization. for example if "boo boo" is what they are saying, Say, "Oh my finger hurts." giving them another thing to say which may get them off of the original repetitive saying.
I guess I have used some of this, but it just seems like this is something that is going to have to work itself out.
Sugarleaf, I think my son also knows that some of the things he is saying don't make sense, and he is using it as a way to make us laugh. For instance yesterday, he said "donut waffle" I did laugh and said oh that is funny! Some of his stuff doesn't really bother me for the most part, but my biggest concern is him doing it at school. I guess if I am lucky, maybe he will realize that school is not the place for it. Church is the other place that he sometimes decides to do it. For the most part, he is good in church, so I guess I can't expect 100% compliance when asking him to sit quiet for an hour on Sunday.
Dude from VA--hope some of this helps. Sounds like you sort of have it a bit under control.
Yeah, I have it mostly under control. The one I can't get under control is I have a nervous laugh, mostly at the end of sentences. But I am not sure if it is nervous or a stim. I am not quite sure how to control that as it is something I do all the time, even with my Mom and Dad who I am comfortable around.
Joined: 5 Mar 2010
My little boy does this too. His favorite made up word is 'apeeba'. We have no idea what he's talking about, but it always makes us laugh. He has caught on to that and now does it just to make mommy and daddy laugh.
He repeats words sometimes, too, for a few minutes...and sometimes phrases. However, it usually doesn't last too long.
Sorry, I have no suggestions for you- we are brand new at this AS journey. I just wanted to share that I think some of is probably encouraged by those around him laughing or paying more attention to him.
"This is the first day of my life..."
Joined: 21 Dec 2008
The older I get, the less I know. BUT he may just have to grow out of it. My son did hand and feet stimming from 3 months old up to 7 seven years old. He just eventually stopped. He stopped sucking his thumb at the same time too. His teachers were eventually able to get him to stop at school but when he got home, that's ALL he did!! ! Like he missed doing it or something. The older he gets, the more control he has. Now, he plays violin rather well. He's no prodigy but I recognize all the tunes so they're intelligible. He also tap dances usually to the same songs that he plays on the violin. He tells me,"Hey Mom, remember all my crazy parts...well, now they have real jobs to do." It should get better.
Joined: 9 Sep 2009
I used to try to deny that my son did verbal stims - at least back when we were still figuring out what aspergers means. There was a time when I tried to get him to stop things that turned out to be stims - do NOT try that, if it's truly a stim and you stop it, they will just replace it -likely with something even more annoying.
At this point, I have to admit that he does. Mostly it shows up as random noises that he makes, not words or anything. Sometimes it is - I know there were times as an infant / toddler, he'd start using an new 'word' to mean something like 'no' become 'nayah' or something like that - couldn't get him to say 'no' for nothing for a while.
At this point with the noises, I try to calmly remind him to not make noises in public, but I know it was a major issue at school (we homeschool now - he was spending 6 hours a day listening to too much noise, not learning anything and come home still really out of sorts). At school, I think the noises started as a verbal stim, but he noticed that those noises got him some attention (not good, but hey at 6 attention is attention). At that point he started uses some of the same noises as attention getters That makes it hard to separate the two. I find the attention getting noises usually increase in volume quickly, so the louder noises usually end up in a timeout, softer under the breath type things don't. I don't want annoying things like noises to be a way for him to get my attention, at this point he has lots of other reasonable options for that (like asking can I have hug mommy - I almost NEVER say no to that in part because I know hugs from me are SO important to him).
That probably doesn't help, but I figure it's good to hear the story from various perspectives, so there's my 2cents worth. Thanks for listening to me ramble. And good luck with stims! They are one of the hardest things to deal with, at one level you don't want to stop them but at the same time you don't want the stim to become a trigger for bullying / teasing later.
OriNebula (said with a long i - short for Orion Nebula)
Joined: 1 Nov 2009
Location: Earth. Hong Kong or the US, probably.
Could someone please explain to me exactly what a verbal stim is? From this discussion, it seems to be repeating a word or phrase quietly over and over as a way to calm down when stressed. I never quite understood what they are, but I think I might do that. I used to recite the first three pages of Twilight over and over, I didn't care about the book, it was just my way of de-stressing, to recite it. I've stopped for the most part now, though, as many people teased me for it.
Joined: 3 Mar 2009
I'd say it's saying or making noise for their own enjoyment, or it soothes or makes them happy. My son seems to do it because he just enjoys it. Just now, I gave him some apple slices for his snack, and he said "thank you, hugs are the only thing in the world", and he's not stressed at all. He just likes to say the same things over and over. He does do it in a stressful situation too, but also when he's happy & stress-free. It really is no different than things like him laying and moving car/truck wheels in front of his eyes, run/pace back & forth, etc. he does these things because he enjoys them.
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