stims

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gingernlw
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:44 pm

stims

Postby gingernlw » Sat May 02, 2015 1:43 pm

I tried doing a search but I couldn't find what I'm looking for. I'm wondering if some of you can give me some examples of stims that aren't on all the web sites. I mean, I know that arm flapping and head banging are examples, but I'm wondering what else are considered stimming.

Thanks!

Winnie
Posts: 4204
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:48 pm

Re: stims

Postby Winnie » Sat May 02, 2015 8:53 pm

Stims (self-stimulating behaviors) are generally behaviors (often repetitive) that your daughter might engage in that (are thought to) serve some sensory purpose. The specific stim behaviors vary among individuals. Self-stimulating behaviors are a category of stereotypies -- so you might try searching "stereotypies autism" also.

Here is a paper, Stereotypy in Autism: The Importance of Function, that discusses stereotypies and stims, the difference between the two, and why these should be categorized according to function. I haven't read the entire paper, but it does give some additional examples of these behaviors:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598746/
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

gingernlw
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:44 pm

Re: stims

Postby gingernlw » Sat May 02, 2015 8:59 pm

Thanks. I've searched the web and even read part of the link you provided. I just wondered if any one could give me some examples that they have personal experience with. I think my daughter has a few. She used to bang her head a lot although that seems to have fallen out of favor. She shakes her head and there's a distinct difference between that and when she shakes it to mean no. She doesn't flap like what I've seen on YouTube but she raises her arms and hits her thighs. She chews her nails and scratches things and people. She does something else but it's hard to explain. She puts one or both hands behind her back and sometimes will play with her clothes or diaper or just scratch her lower back if she's naked. She also paces and is very difficult to redirect. Do those sound like stims?

Winnie
Posts: 4204
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:48 pm

Re: stims

Postby Winnie » Sat May 02, 2015 9:36 pm

It would really depend on the function I guess -- my son also banged his head, but this was a result of anger and utter frustration (usually over not being able to make his needs known), so this would not be considered a stim. He also flapped his hands, but when delighted, so I'm not sure this would be considered a self-stim behavior in his case. He also paced which seemed to be a calming when he felt anxious - so this would probably be considered a stim. Later he became obsessed with shapes, numbers, and letters -- playing with and constantly holding the currently favored puzzle pieces -- these seemed to serve as visual stims for him.

Sometimes it can be tricky to figure out the function of a behavior -- take head-banging for instance. A child could be frustrated or stressed out, or have a chronic sinus or ear infection (be in pain of some type). Head-banging could also develop into a SIB (self-injurious behavior) when these conditions are not longer present.

The development of behaviors and their functions is very individual -- many stims wax and wane and are sometimes replaced with a new stim behavior. These are considered in the diagnostic process, but I wouldn't worry too much about stim behaviors right now (unless a behavior causes injury).
Winnie
"Make it a powerful memory, the happiest you can remember."

gingernlw
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:44 pm

Re: stims

Postby gingernlw » Sun May 03, 2015 7:54 am

Thanks for that. Bella wasn't banging her head due to frustration, she seemed to do it for fun. She never did it hard enough to hurt herself. I've only seen her so it three times in the last 2 months. The behaviors I listed above she seems to do just during the course of play or when we're out and about. When she's frustrated due to her lack of communication or because I won't let her focus all her attention where she wants it she throws a temper tantrum. I have been able to predict her bad tantrums pretty well because her head shaking and specific vocalizations pick up a great deal. That usually happens when she's tired or when we've tested her patience too long. She's a very active baby. She doesn't know how to just sit down. Other than when she's sleeping I don't think I've seen her stop moving for now than about 2 minutes lol

JustinsDad
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: stims

Postby JustinsDad » Sun May 03, 2015 10:32 am

In my experience, there are stims that are self-soothing and other stims that are obsessive/compulsive that can lead to overstimulation. It's up to you to identify which is which and how you can distract them from them or whatever is triggering them.

For example, my son loves running water. When I provide water play in the yard in the summertime he seems to be satisfied and refrains from other undesirable stims like elopement, stripping, etc. but I can tell that he's nearly hypnotized by it and will become overstimulated if left with it for too long. Still, if I tell him about the activity without actually showing him the water or pool or whatever it seems to be a good motivator. I just need to figure out how to get him to behave appropriately around water since many non water compatible items (like iPhones, etc.) have been tossed into the drink.
Neil

Father to Justin, age 12,'dx of ASD and ID and Joseph, age 9', dx of ADHD

dragondad
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: stims

Postby dragondad » Wed May 06, 2015 5:21 pm

My son's biggest stim is looking at lights. He will walk around the room looking at the lights in the ceiling until he has "mapped" every one. Sometime he will repeat. He especially does this in an unfamiliar location.

He also seeks power lines and other linear things like fences to follow. He will follow them into the road even if not stopped.

When he does these activities he is shutting out all other stimulus, it is very hard to get his attention and bring him back.


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