Please tell me about verbal stimming... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-10-2010, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please tell me your experiences with children and verbal stimming. My son, 4.5 years, has been making lots of repetitive noises and strange/weird sounding vocalizations the last few weeks. This is occuring at the same time he's had his number of daycare hours increased and he's said he doesn't want to go to school this much.

The noises are alienating his classmates, and kids have been making fun of him a little and avoiding him.

My 4.5 year old is ADHD, and also has SPD (diagnosed and treated for two years with speech therapy and OT). He no longer gets SP or OT, due to not qualifying for the free services and insurance not covering it for us.

What is your experience with verbal stimming?

What if the noises and phrases aren't rapid fire repitions? My son's are more or less he says the same weird series of sounds and noises interspersed throughout the day when he gets overstimulated and runs around, maybe 25 to 50 times during a day. The same two sets of noises have been happening for well over a month now. Is this verbal stimming? Or just related to ADHD?
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#2 of 21 Old 07-10-2010, 07:58 PM
 
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My spectrum kid would do that sort of thing. It was verbal stims for him, yes. He still stims verbally and it would still cause issues with peers I'm sure (he stands out/needs protection in those situations not to be picked on and bullied) but the way he does it has changed as he's gotten older. Now when he's uncomfortable he starts talking about imaginary characters/telling "stories" compulsively instead of making the sounds or repeating certain words.

Another thought would be tics. I can't tell from your description and even when you see it it might be hard to tease out without professional evaluation.

I feel really strongly that your son needs out of the environment if at all possible. I feel badly for you that he's not gotten the help he needs despite all the attempts you've made to get that help for him. I'm thinking he certainly should qualify for school help at his age with those delays. If that doesn't come through (or until it does) I'd put him in a small setting (like a private home) where his needs can be met in a sensitive way and he can be protected from negative peer interactions. I want to stress that he does not need peer socialization like this. It's negative and not at all good for him or his development. I feel so badly for your son and for you.

Does anyone know why he has that degree of motor delays? Does he have hypotonia (low muscle tone)? ADHD doesn't cause those delays and so I'm wondering what the underlying issue might be if you know? He needs therapy but I know you're aware of that.

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#3 of 21 Old 07-11-2010, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, hypotonia. That's been diagnosed. And doesn't seem to be improving.

I am also not sure if it is stimming or a tic...it's something...it might just be the ADHD.

Thanks for your thoughts.


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My spectrum kid would do that sort of thing. It was verbal stims for him, yes. He still stims verbally and it would still cause issues with peers I'm sure (he stands out/needs protection in those situations not to be picked on and bullied) but the way he does it has changed as he's gotten older. Now when he's uncomfortable he starts talking about imaginary characters/telling "stories" compulsively instead of making the sounds or repeating certain words.

Another thought would be tics. I can't tell from your description and even when you see it it might be hard to tease out without professional evaluation.

I feel really strongly that your son needs out of the environment if at all possible. I feel badly for you that he's not gotten the help he needs despite all the attempts you've made to get that help for him. I'm thinking he certainly should qualify for school help at his age with those delays. If that doesn't come through (or until it does) I'd put him in a small setting (like a private home) where his needs can be met in a sensitive way and he can be protected from negative peer interactions. I want to stress that he does not need peer socialization like this. It's negative and not at all good for him or his development. I feel so badly for your son and for you.

Does anyone know why he has that degree of motor delays? Does he have hypotonia (low muscle tone)? ADHD doesn't cause those delays and so I'm wondering what the underlying issue might be if you know? He needs therapy but I know you're aware of that.
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#4 of 21 Old 07-11-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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dd does this, although she only does it when she's happy and hyper. Sounds like "gigglegigglegoogle" but it's not what she's saying. She has been doing this since she was 1. Her dx is sensory integration disorder. She is 4 yrs old.

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#5 of 21 Old 07-13-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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my daughter just usualy says the same words in a sentence over and over until it stops feeling good (I guess?) as in...

"I really really really really really really really.............................. want to go to the store". and then she will say the sentence over a couple of times.

to be honest it drove me nuts, but I am now aware it's likely a stim and i try to just ignore it. I think it's her way fo dealing with stress or excitement. sometime we make a silly game of it which gets her even sillier and distracts her so she can move on to the next thing.

of course if it's a tic that wouldn't likely work at all... I'm really not certain what to do about it. my daugter has a few minor tics but they are unnoticable by most other kids so I don't fret over them.

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#6 of 21 Old 07-13-2010, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What's the difference between stimming and a tic (just whether it's repetition or not?)?
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#7 of 21 Old 07-14-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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My son is really into verbal stims. (he's on the spectrum, has SPD, and has ADHD.)

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#8 of 21 Old 07-14-2010, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by DaughterOfKali View Post
My son is really into verbal stims. (he's on the spectrum, has SPD, and has ADHD.)
What form does the stimming take?

How old is your son? Mine is 4.5. He's also SPD (diagnosed) and ADHD (near-diagnosis from a developmental ped). He's also had speech delays (diagnosed) but thankfully we've overcome those and motor delays (both gross and fine) which continue to this day and seem to be getting more and more significant.

My son is extremely sensitive to sugar, and it causes major SPD issues every.single.time. I suspect gluen sensitivities as well.

My son also suffers from childhood asthma and multiple food allergies. He's been diagnosed with hypotonia (cause of the motor skill issues).

I skipped, delayed, and selectively vaxxed single vaccines (no cocktails). I am not sure it's vaccine related. He was quite small when born and had a malfunctioning placenta.

I really think the SPD, ADHD, food allergies, asthma, and sugar/gluten sensitivities are related.

I'm really, really struggling with raising this boy, whom I love deeply, but who gives me such challenges every day. It's very difficult for me anyway to address all the needs above while working and without much support, understanding, and even belief/acknowledgement from family members. Teachers have been much more helpful, much more acknowledging, and much more understanding.

I often envy my friends who have children the same age without these issues, usually at the end of the day when I'm exhausted and we've had an errand or grocery store run that ended in near-tears on my part because of the SPD and ADHD. It's so hard.
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#9 of 21 Old 07-14-2010, 11:10 PM
 
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just wanted to say sorry this is all so hard. i can relate on so many levels, and i just wish we could take this forum and have giant meetup! our kids could all run around and go craaaazy, and we could eat ice cream . hope tomorrow grants you some reprieve...
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#10 of 21 Old 07-14-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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oh crap!! My daughter does this all the time, but I usually tell her to stop.. I thought she was just trying to be annoying on purpose Bad momma award right here ugghh..

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Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
my daughter just usualy says the same words in a sentence over and over until it stops feeling good (I guess?) as in...

"I really really really really really really really.............................. want to go to the store". and then she will say the sentence over a couple of times.

to be honest it drove me nuts, but I am now aware it's likely a stim and i try to just ignore it. I think it's her way fo dealing with stress or excitement. sometime we make a silly game of it which gets her even sillier and distracts her so she can move on to the next thing.

of course if it's a tic that wouldn't likely work at all... I'm really not certain what to do about it. my daugter has a few minor tics but they are unnoticable by most other kids so I don't fret over them.

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#11 of 21 Old 07-15-2010, 12:01 AM
 
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What's the difference between stimming and a tic (just whether it's repetition or not?)?
Someone posted this link for me when I was trying to figure out if ds' behaviors were stims or tics (still haven't figured it out by the way).

http://tourettesyndromenowwhat.yuku....wtopic/id/1554

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#12 of 21 Old 07-16-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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DS1 does this. He will walk, run, spin, twirl around the house, bouncing off the walls and furniture while humming to himself. There's not any clear words that I can tell, just lots of humming. He also hums in the car and flaps his hands, rolls his head around. I've found that giving him something-ANYTHING-else to do makes it stop. It's also worse when he's very tired. Sometimes before his nap he's really whirling around the house, and I'll just casually say "Hey are you tired sweetie?" and he says "Oh yeah-I forgot it's naptime!" and he'll just go lay down in his bed. It's like he gets "stuck" in stimmy-land sometimes.

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#13 of 21 Old 07-16-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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What form does the stimming take?

How old is your son?
He's 7. He repeats sounds, words, and sentences over and over again.
It started with him saying "digga digga digga digga..." constantly. He still does the digga sound on occasion.
It's the higher pitched sounds that make my hair stand on end and makes me want to climb out of my skin.

He'll also repeat the end of words. For example: "Can we go faster..er...er...er..er..?"

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#14 of 21 Old 07-17-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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DS1 (ASD) is a constant verbal stimmer. He never stops. It's been a constant stream of echolalia ever since he was two. Lately, he's started doing this sort of beatboxing/Bobby McFerrin impression -- his favorite refrain goes doo-ch-doo-ch-doo-ch-DEE-DEE-DEE-dee-dee, repeat ad nauseam. Mostly it's just background noise and I tune it out, but I have some sensory difficulties of my own -- I sometimes have a very difficult time when DS1 is loudly chattering away and DH is trying to talk to me. DH has ADHD, so it's hard to get him to stop talking once he starts, so it all just spirals into a whirling vortex of noise in my head. We all have our issues around here. It ain't easy.

But I have to say, the verbal stimming is one of the easiest of DS's behaviors, and most of the time, pretty cute. It's actually one of my best doorways into real social interactions with him, too -- I take one of his phrases, and modify it slightly, make it silly, or just change the beat a little. He loves it, and I love the back-and-forth exchange we get going.

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#15 of 21 Old 07-17-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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He no longer gets SP or OT, due to not qualifying for the free services and insurance not covering it for us.
Not responsive to the question but just compelled to say that, given what you're reporting, it does not make sense that he's not getting services. I wonder if you can appeal this decision. Your son needs help and you need support!
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#16 of 21 Old 07-17-2010, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS1 (ASD) is a constant verbal stimmer. He never stops. It's been a constant stream of echolalia ever since he was two. Lately, he's started doing this sort of beatboxing/Bobby McFerrin impression -- his favorite refrain goes doo-ch-doo-ch-doo-ch-DEE-DEE-DEE-dee-dee, repeat ad nauseam. Mostly it's just background noise and I tune it out, but I have some sensory difficulties of my own -- I sometimes have a very difficult time when DS1 is loudly chattering away and DH is trying to talk to me. DH has ADHD, so it's hard to get him to stop talking once he starts, so it all just spirals into a whirling vortex of noise in my head. We all have our issues around here. It ain't easy.

But I have to say, the verbal stimming is one of the easiest of DS's behaviors, and most of the time, pretty cute. It's actually one of my best doorways into real social interactions with him, too -- I take one of his phrases, and modify it slightly, make it silly, or just change the beat a little. He loves it, and I love the back-and-forth exchange we get going.
Wow, we should talk!

This sounds like my life, so much!!

Your DH sounds like mine, and your child like mine, and your response like mine.

DH and I have really had marriage problems since having our child. Our worst days go like this. DS spins out of control and stims or is literally boucing around the room with SPD and tics galore, I start out trying to be patient and accommodating and respond with the things the OT taught us, it doesn't really have an impact, and I start to get worn down, and the noise and activity just begins to get to me. I start to cry or break down in frustration and feel exhausted, DH then responds out of scale and is too harsh with DS or with me, and his ADHD kicks in and DH loses control. Rinse and repeat.

We all do better during the week when I'm at work with people I relate to, DH is at his desk involved in projects he can relate to, and our child is in school, probably not doing all that well in the enviroment.

My worst days are when I've been around my husband and my son together for too long, with all their tics and mannerisms. I can take each of them individually for longer periods of time without incident or feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. But together? It's so hard.

We should talk about coping. Thanks so much for posting!
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#17 of 21 Old 07-19-2010, 12:03 AM
 
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We all do better during the week when I'm at work with people I relate to, DH is at his desk involved in projects he can relate to, and our child is in school, probably not doing all that well in the enviroment.

My worst days are when I've been around my husband and my son together for too long, with all their tics and mannerisms. I can take each of them individually for longer periods of time without incident or feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. But together? It's so hard.


Wait, are you me? I'll PM you, we'll have a chat about our parallel lives.

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#18 of 21 Old 07-19-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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OK is my kid somehow abnormal? He's 5. I have to *constantly* remind him that we SIT DOWN on the furniture--as opposed to being upside down, bouncing, etc.

And lately I am CONSTANTLY telling him to STOP HUMMING.

he had some language delays when he was little, less verbal delays, more receptive delays. He went to EI Preschool and is now off an IEP going to kindergarten. He does well in school, so I've often wondered if this bouncing around thing at home has to do with me either not being strict enough or not keeping him busy. (I.E. at school they are not sitting watching a cartoon, they are listening to a story, singing with actions, doing an activity at the table, etc etc etc.)

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#19 of 21 Old 07-19-2010, 05:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK is my kid somehow abnormal? He's 5. I have to *constantly* remind him that we SIT DOWN on the furniture--as opposed to being upside down, bouncing, etc.

And lately I am CONSTANTLY telling him to STOP HUMMING.

he had some language delays when he was little, less verbal delays, more receptive delays. He went to EI Preschool and is now off an IEP going to kindergarten. He does well in school, so I've often wondered if this bouncing around thing at home has to do with me either not being strict enough or not keeping him busy. (I.E. at school they are not sitting watching a cartoon, they are listening to a story, singing with actions, doing an activity at the table, etc etc etc.)
It's so hard to tell, sometimes, probably most times.

I go back and forth. On some levels, my kid seems normal. Average. And then most days, when I look at other kids and how they behave, I see such major differences.

The activity level. The noise. The repeated phrases. The delays with motor skills and potty training, speech, pedaling, drawing, writing, there are so many.

The other kids seem to advance so...naturally.

Everything has always seemed so delayed and hard with my kid.

And the hyperactivity wears me out. My kid is either overactive (bouncing off the walls, literally) or lethargic from the hypotonia refusing to move muscles wot walk on his own, asking to go home and lay down to watch tv, and leaning into me for support and for me to carry him.

So, his he "just a boy"? as I hear so often? Just a really active kid, as I hear so often? Will he "grow out of it"?

Or does he need a new school for special kids? OT again?

My kid doesn't act like other kids. He's not doing nor has ever done the things other kids seem to do easily. Nothing "just happens" with my kid.

And, I'm so tired. I'm just so tired. Bone tired. Every day I feel on the verge of tears and breaking down.

My kid won't sit still for any length of time. There is always so much banging, crashing, out of control movements as he moves. We went to a restaurant today for lunch and DH took our child to the bathroom, and you could hear them the whole route to the bathroom and the whole way back, banging, crashing, running, swinging arms...they're so imbalanced together...more so than individually.

DH has always been a little uncoordinated, ever since I met him, but his movements have always been awkward. I'm convinced he has (d) hypotonia as well, but I can't be sure. He also sits in the W position, slumped posture to this day, just as my child does and just like the OT pointed out most people with hypotonia do. DH also has NO flexibility whatsoever. None. He can't sit "Indian style" at all. DH is also very lethargic and awkward, but if you say that he gets pissed.

I definitely don't want my child growing up to be like my husband, with all his quircks and issues, because, well, it's not endearing at all. But maybe it's genetic and I can't do much about it.

Then again, maybe he just needs OT.

Or maybe he's normal.

So, so hard to say at this point. What I can say is having a kid with SPD and ADHD tendancies and behaviors makes my life so awkward and hard. I can't run errands like other moms can. My kid wears my patience out about 5 minutes after picking him up from daycare and I feel so physically exhausted and tapped from chasing him everywhere.

I am so sick of the running off and bolting, and the climbing, jumping, crashing. I feel like I have to be a human shield when we're out in public, dealing with traffic, parking lots, other people, breakable things in stores.

I feel like I'm constantly saying, "sit down." "Put that down." "Don't touch that." "Don't break that." Don't climb on that." "Leave that alone." "Come back here." "Stop running."
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#20 of 21 Old 07-19-2010, 09:33 AM
 
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Wow, OP, you are me. Me a couple of years ago, and apparently you were lucky enough to see a specialist who believed in SPD. But still, the similarities are considerable.

We never did qualify for any free services, although the Child Find lady was kind enough to tell me that I had serious issues to deal with and was right to be concerned about DS and needed to find a way to get him therapy (this is when he was 3.5, IIRC). Insurance paid for OT, speech and some behavioral group for awhile. We were about to pay for some of it ourselves for awhile. After a couple of years, we decided it had reached a point where the improvements being made were not worth the huge drain on our budget, and we stopped therapy.

DS has struggled terribly in three preschool environments so far. I homeschooled him this year for K, and there was a huge global improvement in his behavior and thus, our quality of life. Part of it is probably getting older and dh and I getting better at parenting a kid with his needs, but I really think part of it was removing the stress of being in a crowd of kids. He just can't do it at this stage. Since we removed that stressor, his verbal and physical stims have hugely reduced (as he is not on the spectrum, we don't allow stimming any place but the privacy of his bedroom, and he hardly ever goes into his bedroom, so I'm 100% confident that the stims have reduced). I mean, at school this kid had been known to bang his head against the wall while babbling. I haven't seen or heard of him doing that in over a year. Even in his one regular group situation (weekly Religious School), he's able to meet the standard of behavior with reasonable consistency. He did two weeklong day camps this summer and only lost control once. I'm very proud and very relieved to see this progress, and I don't know if I would have believed it possible the year he was four. So pin your hopes on the future a little bit.

If I were you, I'd be looking into an in-home care solution for the next couple of years - nanny, au pair, etc. If you don't want to be in the house with him all day, then that's the LAST place you should be - and I know whereof I speak, I went back to work for a few months the year my ds was 2 and I absolutely required a respite from parenting him all day and night. If $$ are the issue, one great solution can be to find a caregiver who is willing to work for a reduced rate in exchange for being allowed to bring her own child along. One of my favorite respite caregivers ever was a young mother working on her degree who had lots of experience with kids and was more than happy to deal with a wigged-out toddler if it meant that she didn't have to put her little one in care. Honestly, she did better with him that I did a lot of the time - probably because she wasn't with him for so many hours per day, but also because she had some emotional distance from the situation.

I'm not a doctor and this is not medical advice, but I'd put my money into an at-home caregiver before I'd put it into OT for the kind of symptoms you describe. Institutional care for littles has become so normalized that we forget it's a major physical and psychological stressor, to which some children adapt beautifully, and to which some children cannot adapt at all, and to which some children can adapt eventually, but not when they're 4,5,6,7...
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#21 of 21 Old 07-19-2010, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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(as he is not on the spectrum, we don't allow stimming any place but the privacy of his bedroom, and he hardly ever goes into his bedroom, so I'm 100% confident that the stims have reduced). .
THANK YOU so much for your post! Very, very helpful. Can you elaborate more on this - not allowing stimming in any place but the privacy of his bedroom?

How do you enforce and reinforce that rule? What happens(ed) when / if he stimmed in a public place?

I'm looking for ideas, desperately, to try to contain the behavior or reduce the behavior.

It scares off other kids. Makes running errands so debilitating, and gets under my skin after more than an hour of it, and generally just wears me down.

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If you don't want to be in the house with him all day, then that's the LAST place you should be - and I know whereof I speak, I went back to work for a few months the year my ds was 2 and I absolutely required a respite from parenting him all day and night.
Sigh. I wouldn't mind staying at home with my child. Yes, the days would not always go the best due to the ADHD and SPD but I feel I could deal with it a little better/treat it/go to OT appointments.

My husband does not believe in the value of a stay-at-home parent and is completely and totally against it.
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