Stimming is a common autistic behavior characterized by repetitive body movements or vocalizations used to calm down and focus. While it can be a difficult habit to break, the following strategies will help reduce stimming in children with autism spectrum disorders.
The “supplements to reduce stimming” are a few different strategies that have been shown to be effective in reducing the amount of stimming in autistic children.
People with autism often engage in so-called stimming, or self-soothing practices. They’re often beneficial. The exercise seems to soothe youngsters who are overwhelmed or distressed.
However, they may be damaging or even deadly at times. Stimming may include striking, kicking, and biting. This may easily lead to an injury.
If your kid stimms, there are six ways you may employ to help him or her stop.
Keep in mind that certain types of stimming might be beneficial. Rather than attempting to stop your kid from doing something, it’s sometimes better to assist others understand what he or she is doing.
What Exactly Is Stimming?
From time to time, we all indulge in some type of stimming. We self-soothe using our body when we wiggle our feet during a lengthy meeting or suck our teeth in between meals. Autism stimming is similar, but the actions are distinctive and severe, making them difficult to ignore by outsiders.
These are frequent autism stimming activities, according to experts:
Back and forth rocking
Repeatedly jumping up and down
On swings or while standing erect, spinning around and around.
Hands flapping at the wrist
Sound, phrase, or word repetition
This kind of behavior isn’t always harmful. Waving their hands or bouncing about won’t hurt your youngster. Some stimming behaviors, on the other hand, are harmful to your child’s health.
Autism Speaks, for example, claims that certain youngsters participate in sensory-seeking stimming. This kind of child finds it difficult to remain motionless or keep their hands to themselves. They may chew on non-food objects like as dirt, sticks, or hair. These things may get lodged in the body, necessitating surgical surgery.
Self-harm is used by some youngsters as a sort of stimming, according to specialists. Pulling their hair, biting their fingers or arms, or hitting oneself in the head and neck are all possibilities. The youngster is so engrossed in the pastime that the discomfort isn’t a deterrent throughout the episode. If the youngster is allowed to continue, he or she may inflict serious harm.
Even youngsters who do not put their safety in jeopardy might be injured as a result of the practice. Some youngsters are teased, while others are penalized for their choices. A youngster that jumps up and down in class, for example, may be chastised for disrupting the learning process.
6 Techniques for Dealing with Stimming
Whether you want your kid to do better in school or you’re worried that he or she may damage themselves or others, you can assist them stop stimming. Here are six recommendations to get you started.
1. Seek the advice of a medical professional.
Some activities that seem to be stimming are really triggered by serious health issues. For example, a family was concerned that their autistic kid was snorting excessively. That conduct, according to doctors, might be triggered by a sinus condition.
Take the youngster to their physician for guidance before assuming that a child’s regular behavior is due to autism. Explain your observations and request tests to rule out any underlying sickness. This should be done before you take any additional steps to deal with stimming.
2. Locate and redirect the source
Stimming is common among autistic people in reaction to a stimulus. If you can see it, you can intervene with a non-stimming alternative.
The following are some of the most common stimming triggers:
There are loud sounds.
There are a lot of lights.
Excitement, fear, grief, or happiness are all examples of strong emotions.
Start a chat with your kid when you detect them beginning to stim. “What are you experiencing right now?” inquire the youngster. Some youngsters may respond immediately, while others may lack advanced linguistic abilities. If your kid is unable to communicate with you, it is vital that you use your senses to determine what is going on.
Remove any potentially damaging triggers (such as a loud noise). During these instances, experts say you should avoid taking a confrontational stance. You’re attempting to alleviate rather than increase the child’s tension.
Use no physical restraints or punishments on your youngster. Instead, entice the youngster to leave the trigger by promising a snack, a present, or a reward if he or she does. Maintain a quiet voice and a kind expression on your face.
3. Consider Speech Therapy.
Stimming, according to experts, is a kind of communication. Some persons with autism have family members who can decipher each stim and utilize it to determine how the person is feeling. A speech therapist could assist a person with autism in learning to communicate using words rather than stims.
For example, during speech therapy, a child could learn to say, “Too noisy!” That phrase could replace Back and forth rocking or screaming. Outsiders know what the person needs, and stimming behaviors are no longer required.
Physical activity keeps your child occupied with something enjoyable, and experts say that children with autism often have a better sense of focus after an exercise session.
Short workouts should be included into your daily routine. Make physical stimming, such as leaping up and down, a part of your fitness program if your kid does it. A simple 10-minute pause to relieve tension may help the need to stim diminish.
5. Encourage Stimming in a Safe Environment
Stimming is very relaxing for many persons with autism. They can’t image what life would be like without it. Look for methods to include stimming into your child’s everyday routine if this is the case.
You may want to try:
Scheduling stimming is a term that refers to the act of planning ahead of time. Allow your kid to take multiple stim breaks throughout the day, and encourage him or her to think of them as private self-care visits.
Considering stimming as a personal hobby. Encourage your youngster to conceive of stimming as something that only a few individuals do since it might bring harm or concern to others.
I’m on the lookout for a successor. Try using headphones with loud music if your toddler produces loud grunting sounds. If your peers are concerned about your snapping and tapping, try stress balls or tennis balls. Look for strategies to assist your kid in participating in the activities without causing injury to themselves or others. Allow your youngster to tell you if your substitutes are effective or whether you should continue looking for solutions.
6. Arrange for ABA Therapy Sessions.
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment is the source of many of the strategies we’ve discussed here. It takes time to put them in place, and the more youngsters who can practice the better. If you’re having trouble stimming, it’s a good idea to get professional aid.
Professionals study your child’s behavior during an ABA treatment session to discover when the stimming begins. Then they recommend changes to assist eliminate stimming triggers. They may also be able to recommend stim options that are less noticeable and won’t hurt your kid or others.
ABA treatment is intense, with sessions occurring many times each week. These sessions may seem to youngsters as games or play. Therapists strive to maintain a light tone and significant incentives. Your youngster is learning strategies that might improve his or her life at the same time.
Should you put an end to all of your stimming?
Stimming is explained differently by people with autism than it is by their parents and peers. Stimming is an integral aspect of who certain activists are and how they survive during the day. They argue that removing it would compel them to hide their true selves.
According to experts, some individuals use stimming to:
Others stim just because it feels wonderful. It’s tiring for them to keep their urges buried all day, so they look forward to quiet times when they can make sounds, move their bodies, and be themselves without being judged.
Researchers have heard from autistic individuals who believe that stims may become acceptable behavior if the outside world knew what the movement meant to them. If you’ve received concerns from instructors or classmates about your kid’s apparently innocent conduct, start a discussion about why your child behaves this way and what it implies. Perhaps your conversation can help your community have a better understanding while also helping your kid to feel welcomed and loved.
Take action if your kid is stimming in a detrimental manner. The lessons you teach now may help your kid have the greatest chance of growing up to be a healthy and happy adult.
Stimming is a repetitive movement that can be seen in autistic children. It can be an attempt to communicate, self-calm, or just a habit that the child has developed. There are many different strategies for reducing stimming in autistic children. Reference: stimming in autism.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you stop an autistic child from stimming?
A: If you are at the preschool or school that your child attends, a teacher may be able to help them stop stimming by providing some alternative ways of engaging with their environment. Otherwise, there is not much you can do about this behavior on your own.
Should I stop my autistic child from stimming?
A: I do not have an opinion on what the best course of action is to stop your child from stimming.
What are some coping strategies for autism?
A: The best thing to do is find a therapist that specializes in autism. If you have the means, it can be helpful to get some intensive therapy at an early age; this will help prevent any lifelong effects of having an ASD. Its also good to seek out support groups or internet communities and try and make friends with adults on the spectrum so as not feel isolated.
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Janice is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Special Education. She also holds a Master of Science in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Queen’s University, Belfast. She has worked with and case managed children and youth with autism and other intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in home and residential setting since 2013.