Is it possible to encourage a different stim?

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kd
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01 Apr 2008, 9:12 am

My son had pneumonia a couple of weeks ago. He is medically fine now, but he's not quite over it emotionally. He's started skin picking again and now has about a 4"x6" area on his forearm covered in sores. I'm trying to keep it from getting infected, but it is hard since he keeps picking at it.

If he needs to stim, then stim he shall. I'm not trying to discourge his stimming.... just wondering if it is possible to encourage him to stim in some way that doesn't carry the risk of infection and permanent scars.

Has anyone had luck with tactile sensory toys (like fidgets)?



Grimfaire
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01 Apr 2008, 9:48 am

Sorry if I'm off the mark as I'm not a parent just a member who has gone through this myself. I used to have a lot of very gross (as in large, over the top not as in icky) stims, like the common arm flap, hand clap, etc... fortuneatly I was bright enough to know that this was hurting me with other folks so over time was able to transfer them to things a bit less overt.

It can be done; it is tough and takes a lot of time. The first thing though, is that your son has to understand fully what you want him to do and why.


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SirGIBaLOT
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01 Apr 2008, 10:34 am

I'm a new to these forums and any kind of casual AS discussion. I would really like to know what a 'Stim' is. I presume it is stimulus or stimulation.

I used to pick my scabs until they were massive. I had a scab that i kept picking for over 6 months and it ran across my knee. It only got that far because it wasn't visable. It was only noticed because i had some kind of massive immune system reaction to the constant picking.

I stopped doing it so much when i discovered the joys of Video Games. It's a double edged sword.


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EvilTeach
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01 Apr 2008, 12:19 pm

Try Silly Putty, in his 'picking hand'



katrine
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01 Apr 2008, 12:27 pm

Are you sure he is not allergic to something/itchy? Have you tried antihistamines? Is his skin dry?
I think you want to work at reducing stress levels - I know it can be very difficult - but he will probably stop when he is feeling more relaxed. Breaks during the day, with Nintendo DS, or something?
In the meantime could he wear long sleeves - lame suggestion, I guess... and play Nintendo DS when he's feeling stressed?!

Hope you work it out...



DW_a_mom
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01 Apr 2008, 12:58 pm

I don't have very specific solutions but, overall, yes, we've had some success getting my son to alter some stims. What you have to find is a substitute he finds equally satisfying, and finding that will require an on-going conversation with your child. For chewing my son now selects straws, instead of clothes and pencils. He'll still chew something else if a straw is not handy, but the moment you give him one, he'll transfer.

I would think most fidget toys aren't going to give the same satisfaction as picking. Picking is a weird behavior, because there is something very obsessive about it, a need to have control over something on your body, when so much feels out of control. So to change the stim you probably need to deal with two needs: the first being a feeling of not having control, particularly over his own body, and the second being to work something very fine and detailed.

Lol, I have some insight here, because while I'm not really AS, I go through definite phases of being a type of picker.


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NewportBeachDude
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01 Apr 2008, 5:39 pm

KD, stims can be redirected, re-trained and even eliminated. But, it takes time and perseverance. I'd only go that route if the stim is getting in the way of their functioning or harming them. I don't think a stim in and of itself is bad. It's when it causes problems that makes it bad. I've seen Autistic kids constantly pick at his scabs and eat them. Well, I don't need to tell you what kind of health and social problems that can cause.

Stims are a way to soothe and comfort and really "ground" a kid to the world when they're feeling out of place or not sensorially connected. I think it's also important to employ an Occupational Therapist to start out with. An OT can evaluate your kid and target areas that she/he feels can help with the stim. There's also a book called, "The Out Of Sync Child" (and there's a play companion) that every parent of an Autistic kid should have. It spells out why kids behave certain ways sensorially and stim and categorizes those behaviors. The play companion gives you exerciese and toy recommendations. Both books are good.



whatamess
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05 Apr 2008, 11:32 pm

I posted an article here about stims at one point...I'll see if I can find it...It was from some research done about "acceptable stims" and "non-acceptable" stims by society and how everyone stims, it's just a matter of some are more acceptable than others...(I think the article had something to do with the blind...???)

Anyway, it basically said that you had to figure out what type of stim it was (sensory, etc...) and then find one that brought the same effect...

I'll see if I can find it...I don't know if there's a way to search for the article through the posts here...hmmm



NewportBeachDude
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06 Apr 2008, 5:54 pm

whatamess wrote:
I posted an article here about stims at one point...I'll see if I can find it...It was from some research done about "acceptable stims" and "non-acceptable" stims by society and how everyone stims, it's just a matter of some are more acceptable than others...(I think the article had something to do with the blind...???)

Anyway, it basically said that you had to figure out what type of stim it was (sensory, etc...) and then find one that brought the same effect...

I'll see if I can find it...I don't know if there's a way to search for the article through the posts here...hmmm



I'd be interested in reading it if you can find it. Thank you.



jelibean
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06 Apr 2008, 6:04 pm

Hi, I have sent you a pm NewportBeachDude, hope it helps with the stimming issue! :wink:



NewportBeachDude
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06 Apr 2008, 6:05 pm

Cool. I'll print it and read it this evening.



jelibean
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06 Apr 2008, 6:27 pm

:D :D :D

My pleasure, and if you click on links you will see a couple more articles on stimming too! Not all stims are good ones so have a look around! Enjoy! :wink: :wink:



whatamess
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13 Apr 2008, 12:16 am

Sorry it took so long, I'm in the process of moving and running around.

Anyway, here's an interesting article on STIMS...and how they can be changed, etc...

http://www.tsbvi.edu/Outreach/seehear/a ... erism.html



jelibean
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14 Apr 2008, 12:44 pm

Here are a list of some common stims.

HAND STIMS

Hold on to your hankies, because this is a big one.

a. Finger picking, finger drumming
b. Nail biting/Thumb sucking
c. Hand to face contact constantly/stroking/scratching
d. Scab and skin picking
e. Smoothing hair and hair tugging
f. Pulling at clothes, murdering a cotton hankie or tissue
g. Playing with a pencil, constantly, or any other object
Okay so just about everything to do with the hands, even smelling fingers. ANYTHING REPEATED REGULARLY is a stim.

MOUTH STIMS

a. Gritting or grinding of teeth
b. Clenched jaw
c. Sucking anything!
d. Lip biting
e. Pouting constantly and obviously
f. Chewing
g. Sticking tongue out
h. Puckering the mouth up, maybe to one side
WHOLE BODY STIMS

a. Arm flapping from the wrist or elbow
b. Leg waggling
c. Foot Tapping
d. Over excited rapid, pronounced clapping and jumping up and down
e. Leg jerking
f. Body scratching
g. Eye blinking or flicking the eyes to make them "dance"
h. Head-banging, with their hand or against the wall or floor
VOCAL STIMS

a. Swearing
b. Non-swearing repeated words sometimes said or sung loudly
c. Humming and throat clearing
d. Sniffing through the nose, noisily
e. Involuntary child-like noises - squealing
BEHAVIOURAL STIMS

Repetitive and apparently unnecessary behaviour. Observe your jellybeans, there are so many behaviours that are stims and they are so personal to the owner that you may have to look carefully. Here are just a few to give you an idea of what I mean and what we do.

a. Rocking in bed
b. Eating the bed (my eldest son ate his wooden bunk bed over the course of a year!)
c. Whizzing around in a circle (spinning)
d. Jumping on the spot
e. Rocking backwards and forwards
f. Obsessive repetitive behaviour - computer games and Playstations, mobile phones, doodling etc.
g. Eating and drinking
h. Staring at something for hours


:wink: