Wednesday, April 22, 2015

S is for Stimming




On Day 19 of the A - Z Challenge S is for Stimming

Stimming, self-stimulating behavior is very common  for autistic children although non-autistic individuals may also perform these behavioral patterns.  

It is believed to be a protective response to over-sensitivity to stimuli, and also a way to relieve anxiety and other emotions.  

Since Michael and David were in classrooms with other autistic children, I noticed many of them had some sort of stimming behaviors. 

Michael had a lot of stimming issues.  He used to do this tick of moving his neck which almost looked like a seizure.  He would pull up the collar of his shirt over and over and one of our friends started calling him "Drac" (Dracula).  He would also stare at wheels and anything in motion and flap his hands.  We kept saying he was going to fly away.  He used to line his cars up from the living room to his bedroom.  David used to balance a ring on his finger when he was small and watch it go back and forth. He also used to wave his finger around, faster that I ever thought was humanly possible.

The behaviors have become less frequent as they are getting older.  They both have stimming pretty well under control at school.  I notice David and Michael falling back on them when they get really excited about something. If David is really excited  he has this way of tapping a pencil so fast it looks like a film in fast motion.  We all laugh about it, including him.  From what I've read, we're not supposed to draw attention to it or tell them to stop.  But we do.

Stimming behaviors in some cases can cause injury, such as head-banding and self-rubbing and scratching.  In some individuals, drugs are prescribed.  Thankfully, David and Michael's stimming behaviors were harmless and we have again been extremely lucky.  









6 comments:

  1. You are truly amazing! I can't even imagine what you and your family go through everyday. I hope the boys continue to improve each and everyday! xoxox

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    1. I really am not Melinda - I say everyday how lucky we've been in comparison to so many others who have it a lot harder than us. There are so many kids that have much more severe issues and I seriously don't know how their parents do it. Thank you for your support! xoxo

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  2. I have never heard of this but have had little exposure to autistic children. Life is always a challenge and you seem to deal with your challenges very well and appreciate your amazing sons for the gift that they are. If they like Army things, I brought the grandsons to an outdoor history park in Carlisle Pa last summer that they loved. They get up close and personal with tanks, helicopters and even a French and Indian era fort.

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    1. thanks for the heads up Isabelle - they like anything historical. We actually are participating in the Close-Up program in Washington, DC next month. They are really looking forward to that! xoxo

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  3. So interesting. Now that I've read your vaccine post, I think it's not just that you've been lucky, but you also were very careful about vaccines. If you had taken all the normal recommended vaccines in the normal way, I wonder how your kids would have turned out, especially since one of them seemed to have more autism than the other one when you took the 2nd shot. I did Close-Up in high school. Didn't know they had a program for younger grade levels.

    Maui Jungalow

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    1. You are so right, we were so careful, but as I said in my vaccine post, I missed the RhoGAM and I still have not forgiven myself. I truly believe our situation would have been much worse had we not been diligent with the vaccines. I also did Close-Up in high school. I am having a few nightmares however with this middle school program. Have to see how this one plays out! (I sense a blog post coming on Close Up next month) LOL

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