Join Date: Aug 2005
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I am also a believer in only redirecting stims when they're destructive, and many people on this board are, as well. Hand-flapping is just a way that many autistic people show that they are excited or anxious. I hand-flap sometimes (I have Asperger syndrome) and it's not really a big deal. The only stims I would seek to redirect are ones like headbanging (move to a softer surface), intense biting, and cutting. Just the ones that can draw blood and hurt themself or someone else. Stims are used primarily to either calm oneself or to show emotion. It's a form of expression that I don't believe should be repressed. Repressing stims can make those who preform them even more anxious and it can be really frustrating, and even make people become angry and violent.
Rachelle, mommy to 8 year old boys!
My Blog-free homeschooling finds and my lesson plans and link to the new User Agreement
Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.
There are some stims that we do try to find alternatives to or discourage (harming self or others). Hand flapping isn't one that you would generally discourage because there is no harm to self, others, or property. At least that has been our track.
However, how old is your child? Lots of young kids hand flap when excited especially or upset. They outgrow it with age. If that is the child's only thing and he is young I bet it's not going to stick anyway.
But assessments when they are your first ones and you don't know what to expect are nerve wracking. I remember that. It will be ok.
If hand flapping is going to stay around for him I think he'll probably figure out when to do it and/or how to do alternative things as he gets older if it bothers him socially speaking.