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Sorta Spinoff: Your thoughts on stimming-Do you stop it or let it go?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am aware that this is a highly sensitive issue and that many people feel differently about it, so try not to be too harsh.

DS1 has both verbal and physical stims, both of which are mostly harmless. He's tripped over the rug and fallen into the endtable a few times, and when his baby sister was younger he stepped on her. Thankfully she's old enough now to avoid him when he's flying around the room.

However, I am not afraid to admit that all his stimming drives me up the wall. It especially irritates me when he would rather stay indoors on a sunny day just spinning around in his own little world when DS2 repeatedly asks him to come outside and play, and DS2 ends up just sitting in the backyard playing by himself.

DS1 has not recieved any diagnosis yet. If he is indeed on the spectrum, it is on the high functioning end. In my mind, DS1 might have some issues but he is not at a point where he is totally incapable of understanding what is acceptable behavior and what is not. I believe he is capable of stopping these behaviors-and I have solid proof of this because his teachers report that he rarely stims at school. There are only so many times I can redirect DS1 into another activity before I just end up yelling "Would you STOP THAT ALREADY!"

I feel that putting the damper on this kind of stuff will only help him in the long run. I don't want him to be the singled-out, picked-on child and I feel that it is my duty as a parent to help him be as "normal" as possible and have a happy childhood.

DH is more relaxed and says "just ignore it, he'll outgrow it". Sigh. Maybe I'm just a bad parent. I only want what is best for my son and have only positive intentions.
post #2 of 4
DS has SPD and I only have one child so I don't need to separate my attentions between multiple kids... but I just let it be. I figure it's not something he does to annoy me or to get attention, it's something he does because he needs to do it. It's a form of food for him - it feeds his basic needs on a neurological level). Only time I've stopped him is when he was chewing on my finger at a movie and then chomped down.
post #3 of 4
My brother, who has Down and is 17, does both verbal and physical stemming, and my dd verbally stems. We have always told both to stop. It's not a shaming thing at all, and neither get embarrassed because we're not mean about it. It's more like we remind them that they're doing it, and when they realize it, they stop. Yeah, they may start again shortly, but we just lather rinse repeat, which can be, in and of itself, tiring.

I agree with you that it's important to instill in them the awareness of their behavior and, to the extent that they are able, encourage them to control it. If VeeGee wants to go into her room and stem, I'm not as likely to complain (unless I'm just tired, or she gets really loud), but I think I'm kind of giving her a gift by making her aware of socially acceptable, and unacceptable (or, at the least, unappreciated ) behavior.
post #4 of 4
I asked a behavioral therapist about stimming and he said that if you re-direct they often return to it right away. He also said that some children do outgrow it a bit due to peer pressure. My own son is only 4, not ASD, and seems to stim when tired /overwhelmed/trying hard to do a task such as speech therapy. Sometimes I re-direct him, sometimes I just let it be. Brushing helps a bit at night when he is winding down, trying to go to sleep. We try to work in sensory diet things throughout the day as well - heavy lifting, pushing on hands, etc But many times it just seems like he needs to scratch the itch, kwim?

I totally understand the desire to direct him away from socially stigmatising behavior- we get the odd looks and peer comments too. I dread the school-age years.
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