Stimming at School bothering friends

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angelgarden
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16 Mar 2012, 7:29 am

Any tips you can give me on helping my son find alternate stims or keeping his stims minimal until he leaves school? (He is a 4 1/2 year old Aspie)

The teacher has said he is flapping his hands or spinning and he inevitably ends up bumping friends, who then get upset and annoyed. A few incidents they have hit him or shoved him and he has hit back. I am trying to explain to him that it isn't a good idea to do this in a space where lots of kids are near him and he might bump someone. He suggested an 'alone' spot in the classroom where he can go when he is too overwhelmed. Is that a good idea? Will that isolate him more and make him stand out?
Are there appropriate 'alternate' stims I should suggest to him to help him regulate his tension? Haven't started OT yet.



Krychek
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16 Mar 2012, 8:45 am

angelgarden wrote:
Any tips you can give me on helping my son find alternate stims or keeping his stims minimal until he leaves school? (He is a 4 1/2 year old Aspie)

The teacher has said he is flapping his hands or spinning and he inevitably ends up bumping friends, who then get upset and annoyed. A few incidents they have hit him or shoved him and he has hit back. I am trying to explain to him that it isn't a good idea to do this in a space where lots of kids are near him and he might bump someone. He suggested an 'alone' spot in the classroom where he can go when he is too overwhelmed. Is that a good idea? Will that isolate him more and make him stand out?
Are there appropriate 'alternate' stims I should suggest to him to help him regulate his tension? Haven't started OT yet.



It might be hard for him to get any alone time at school, but if he can, that might work.

I never really would spin or flap, but I did have a few very noticeable (and made fun of) stims when I was in school, like chewing on my shirt to the point to where the entire front of it was soaked, and licking my finger tips, and also constantly soaking my finger in saliva and rubbing it under my nose. There was no way to really channel those things, I just had to break myself of them.. I still slightly do them, but no where near as much as in grade school..

A stim I had (and still severely have), and have figured out how to channel into something less annoying to others is tapping/drumming on things, and myself..
I started playing with a fingerboard to channel that energy. It definitely did not look as weird, and actually alot of other students liked watching me do it because I was so "good" at it.. Teachers definitely don't like it, though.

I still tap (and fiddle with a fingerboard) alot even at 30.
As far as other stims, like head shaking and different weird ones I have, I've learned to make most of them look like I'm stretching, or or cracking my bones..
I still go into other rooms, like the bathroom or something, to be alone and try to get alot of it out.

Not sure if that helps. That's just my story.

Also, I have a 4 1/2 year son who is in school too, but he has much lower functioning autism than I do, but he is in a class with almost all other children that are on the spectrum, so all that stuff is kind of expected, and accepted there.


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liloleme
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16 Mar 2012, 12:49 pm

My daughter was in a normal kindergarten here in France and the kids wanted to touch her face, and she hated that so they taught the kids they could not do that to her, also they could not crowd her and continually touch her and grab her roughly. She is also a spinner and she once accidentally hit a boy and he (being a boy) hit her back. So the teacher tried to redirect Maddy (my daughter) to do something else. She also had an aide which I think all our kids should have or at least a preschool or kindergarten should have aides....they can help. You can find a special stimmy place outside the classroom or give him squishy or other sensory type things to hold. Its hard to replace spinning except with a swing. Do they have swings and can they take him out and spin him in the swing for awhile?
The more they redirect him and try to get him interested in another activity the less he will do it unless it is from stress, then you have to find the reason for the stress and find ways to fix that......is it too loud (get eardefenders). Is it too bright (let him wear sunglasses) ect.
Maddy now saves most of her stimming for home and unfortunately she is very stressed, the school is too big and noisy, too many kids and her aide who I thought was wonderful last year never went to any of the classes to learn about autism so she is useless. He teacher likes her as she is the only one who gets her work done on time and likes to learn. He also likes that she is a perfectionist like him but he says she is a bit too much of one and will rip up her work if its not perfect. They have to watch her carefully.
You may also want to give him PECS cards with emoticons on them so he can express to his teacher or helpers how he is feeling. Even Aspies with their huge vocabularies have a hard time expressing how they feel.
I was also going to say my daughter loves flashing toys and shaving cream, these things and squishy toys calm her. You can find the best and cheapest fidgets and sensory toys online at office playground.....just google it, they even ship overseas and quick too. I was worried when we moved to France but they are awesome!
Good luck to you and your guy!



bethaniej
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16 Mar 2012, 1:57 pm

I've had the honor of following the same child now for 4 years. After next year we will have been in the same classroom together for 5. We are both at a Montessori school. I was assisting in his primary classroom and now assist in his lower elementary classroom. I think he has been diagnosed with turrets. What used to be just spinning and throwing of arms has evolved into self-punching, continued spinning, hopping...throwing of arms (sometimes into people). We do slow him down and explain the consequences of the way he's moving. But we also explain to other people that it is best not to be too close to him in a line of people because he tends to get to close and then move his arms and legs and you might get wacked. he's a great kid, but the body issue is a big problem for him. I sometimes take him aside to explain the proper distance between himself and others in line...and on "bad days"--high stress, near holidays...etc, I have sometimes had to place my body in a line between him and other children. Other than this issue...he's pretty cool....so he manages to make friends and tries his best to be social. But I always feel in classrooms it's a two part scenario. Explaining to the person how his behavior effects others, and explaining to others that some parts of the behavior are something he (or whoever I'm talking about) can't help and that they need to amake adjustments for that.



angelgarden
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20 Mar 2012, 3:24 am

Well, we're working on helping him understand his body and distance between him/friends when he moves around so much. I filled a balloon with uncooked rice and then tied a knot in it, and that became our squishy ball! (Didn't have time to hunt for one at the store yet.) It actually is seeming to maybe work. We'll see . . . no feedback from his teachers yet today, but yesterday and today he said he didn't get in trouble. And when he came home on the bus, he was holding his squishy ball both times. It's so hard to hear a teacher say, 'Your child is going to have trouble with friends.' Especially when at this age school revolves around the friends you have and play. Here's hoping this helps him out some!



BrookeBC
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30 Mar 2012, 4:54 pm

Might want to try a weighted vest or a squish vest, helped with my 4 year old. She would get too excited after gym class and swing her arms around sometimes hitting her friends. Ot started using the vests to help her transition between activities and it helped alot