Should Stimming Be Discouraged?

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siuan
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28 Aug 2007, 12:44 pm

My daughter has fairly frequent stimming behaviors. Since we have two young children, there is an array of noise-making toys here. Our AS child will repeatedly press (sometimes fiercely bang) a key on an activity table or a toy computer and will continue until someone says STOP. It drives us up the wall, especially since we have sensory issues ourselves. However, I was wondering what is typically recommended to do when a child is stimming that way. Suggestions? We don't see the specialist for her therapy to begin until December.


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krex
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28 Aug 2007, 1:21 pm

Either replace the stim with a quiter one or build a sound proof room.


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28 Aug 2007, 1:24 pm

Find a way to change the stim. I used to be very bad... the whole gross movement thing flapping arms and such. But learned that it was highly unusual so modified it. I've found that personally it's almost impossible not to stim... it's just a matter of what you do. Push your daughter gently and with kindness towards other activites that she may find just as satisfying. This may be difficult but if it can become something she can do unobtrusively, it will work out much better for her.



Sylvius
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28 Aug 2007, 2:17 pm

I flap. I've done it for 30 years. I don't see any problem with it.



rachel46
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28 Aug 2007, 3:02 pm

My son was diagnosed at 9 and I found out pretty quickly that he absolutely HAS to stim - all the admonitions in the world wouldn't stop him - he ,early on, flapped his hands and I was worried that kids would make fun of him. Of course they would make fun of him anyway - he has Aspergers. He is now 10 and it has lessened a lot but he still rapidly moves his fingers when excited. I let him do it at home and when we are in public I don't want him to be the subject of ridicule so he is learning to conceal it or do something else with his hands. Sometimes, though, he doesn't care and just does it - how could I stop that? Tie his hands together?

If possible try to (permanently) replace some of the really annoying, noisy toys with something else

GOod Luck!



Smelena
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28 Aug 2007, 4:03 pm

My 9 year old flaps - we're happy for him to do it because it's soothing for him.

Our 7 year old used to turn the light on and off and on and off and on and off .... you get the idea. Now he runs around saying 'Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep'. That's fine because he's not very noisy.

Can you replace your daughter's noisy activities with something quieter. Maybe a light goes on, light goes off type of toy?

Otherwise can you invest in some wireless headphones or i-pod so you can drown out her noise with pleasant music?

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28 Aug 2007, 5:00 pm

MY 5 y/o flaps. He also constantly mouths objects which we do discourage because of germy issues. THe most annoying on is his teeth grinding. It's a stim he does when he's happy or in a playful mood which is good, but the sound is enough to drive me batty. I am constantly telling him yo knock it off. He's been doing it since he was 2 1/2 and had molars to grind. It's not good for his teeth or jaw either.

The hand flapping doesn't hurt anyone and although it may be seen as outsiders to be weird, who cares? It's one of the things that led his Kindergarden teacher to order assesments for him. yay!

I stim constantly- tap my foot, tap fingers, rub 2 fingers together so they're calloused in between, bounce my leg, click pens, etc. It can drive NTs nuts(I know it did my mother and sister), but us aspies are used to it- thankfully I live in a house of Aspies :)



KimJ
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28 Aug 2007, 5:08 pm

I'm with the consensus, pursue a transfer of the stimming to a quieter (and safe) stimming.
If I wanted to change a routine movement, I'd mirror the action (copy) and then do something else. Autistic kids are really surprised and impressed by mirroring. It introduces them to interacting.



siuan
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28 Aug 2007, 5:46 pm

Wow thanks for all the responses! I usually say STOP then offer another toy to her. She seems to transition easily enough, but she will go right back to the stim object if I don't remove it from sight unless I'm right there watching. I'll try some diversions :)


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Pandora
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29 Aug 2007, 8:34 am

Maybe put away the really noisy toys for a while.

Pen clicking drives me nuts. I am sat beside another Aspie where I work and the clicking and tapping is very hard to cope with. When I asked him to please stop clicking his pen, he told me I should get "better" earphones. Well, I'd already outlaid money to get a good pair so didn't want to get another pair until the current one wears out.

It seems that he is the louder and more controlling and pedantic type of aspie where I am more of the kind who is withdrawn and has sensory issues with regard to sounds. He also talks really loudly on the phone. The lady on the other side of him is very highly strung and I suspect she could also be on the spectrum or have OCD: she finds it very hard to cope with.

What I'm getting at is it's good when Aspies can understand each other and be tolerant but it doesn't always happen.


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29 Aug 2007, 8:47 am

Smelena wrote:
My 9 year old flaps - we're happy for him to do it because it's soothing for him.

Our 7 year old used to turn the light on and off and on and off and on and off .... you get the idea. Now he runs around saying 'Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep'. That's fine because he's not very noisy.

Can you replace your daughter's noisy activities with something quieter. Maybe a light goes on, light goes off type of toy?

Otherwise can you invest in some wireless headphones or i-pod so you can drown out her noise with pleasant music?

Regards
Helen


My oldest son (16 with AS) appears to have headphones growing out of his ears, they are always with him and I allow it. He is a much happier person when he can block out the world at his own will. And he can fidget with the wire or ear pieces when he needs to. He also ALWAYS has a pocket and in that pocket is a fidget stone. He has discovered that he can stim when he needs to and it is fairly discreet.
When he was little he made a clicking sound with his tongue and his teeth, but he did grow out of it eventually. Thank goodness.



Pandora
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29 Aug 2007, 9:30 am

I think silent or quiet stims are the best. Even people without AS often find things like clicking and tapping aggravating.


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JsMom
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30 Aug 2007, 4:28 pm

I find my son stims more when he is stressed out. When I see him stimming excessively, I'll ask him if he is nervous about something or stressed out. He'll ask why, and I'll tell him that I notice him stimming more than usual. He'll either tell me yes, and we'll talk about it, or at the very least, he'll become more aware of what he is doing and either try to stop or continue on.

At one point he had developed a throat clearing stim that was driving my husband crazy. One day, after J had cleared his throat for the zillionth time, DH asked if he could please pick a different stim, and I just had to laugh because most of the time J isn't even aware he is doing it.


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MomofTom
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30 Aug 2007, 6:31 pm

As for the noisy toys, I've resorted to putting a piece of clear packing tape over the speaker holes. 8)

My son has also taken to doing a rather annoying stim lately. He has this gulpy, throaty, snotty snort. Goodness, I hope he knows not to do that in school.


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MishLuvsHer2Boys
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30 Aug 2007, 8:51 pm

I would say either help the child replace it with a similar yet quieter alternative or teach the child an appropriate time/place in which he/she is allowed to stim.



Duku
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12 Sep 2007, 5:21 pm

it might be a form of attention... or stress?
children could get quite roudy sometimes when they don't get their way. (could be a stim?)
But yelling or beating children is no way to make them stop, 9r show we are annoyed...

NB: Is play fighting a stim? or obsessiveness?