If a child spins, rocks, etc. to "self stem" is it good to let them do this? Or should I try to get her to do something else? My dd loves her sit and spin. I'm just wondering if it is a helpful thing for her or not?
Oh, I tend to think that a sit-and-spin type thing is very helpful. There are stims that can be self-injurious and some that an older child might choose to be cued not to do for social reasons. This doesn't sound like either of those, though. Some stims can be a sign that sensory overload or anxiety is problematic, and may cue you to look at the environment to see if there's something that should be changed or if a general slowing down is called for, but liking the sit-and-spin doesn't seem like that, either, I mean, many kids like it a lot, but kids with certain sensory issues may crave it.<br><br>
Stemming, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. Everyone stems ( ie bouncing their foot, tapping a pen, twirling their hair etc...) it is a way of coping with stress and sensory overload. NT people just have picked up on social cues and find socially appropriate ways to do this without drawing attention to themselves. As long as the behavior is not self-injurious my vote is to let them do it. Others have stated that they need to be modified to produce a more socially appropriate stem, but that is up to you and whether you think the stemming behavior is totally inappropriate or disruptive to your child and the people around him/her.<br><br>
I agree with other posters, I don't see anything harmful about a sit-n-spin. In fact, it can be a good thing for organizing the sensory system. I only stop ds from stimming if he's hurting himself or someone else, or if it's interfering with his school or therapy. The second almost never happens any more, he's learned he'll get a break to do what he wants/needs to do in between sessions of things we want him to do. If it is happening, it's a cue to check out the environment and see if something can be changed to suit him better.
I don't have a problem with ds self stimming to a point. He does not hurt himself so I let most of go. If it gets to the point of distracting him from task that need to be done and I try to refocus him on what must be done.
As long as their stim doesn't hurt them or anyone else, I think it's best to let them do it. It helps calm them down. I stim myself (now that I'm an adult, I'm able to just rub my fingers firmly instead of doing more obvious things) and I will have a panic attack if anyone points out that I'm doing it and tells me to stop.
I agree with the previous posters. As long as the sit n spin isn't interfering with things that need to happen (eating, sleeping, therapy, going to the grocery store), I don't see any reason to have her stop. If it seems like a response to something stressful (for example, she only does it when the radio is on and the radio bothers her), you might think about reducing the stress.