Friday, March 9, 2012

"Stimming" and Elliott

"What is stimming? Stimming (short for self-stimulation) is defined as a repetitive body movement that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner.  Psychiatry categorizes it as a “stereotypic behavior” – defined as a continuous, purposeless movement.

Some of the more common forms of stimming among autistic people include hand flapping, body spinning or rocking, lining up or spinning toys or other objects, echolalia, perseveration, and repeating rote phrases.  It may also include pacing, tapping or drumming fingers, clapping, grunting, humming, mouthing, and a variety of other repetitive behaviors."

We have noticed Elliott's stimming behavior getting so much worse.  He thrusts and flaps his hands, pulls his fingers inward, claps a few times meanwhile making grunting and barking noises (like a seal) that are quite loud. He can't control the stimming and seems to do it much more when his brain is on overload. (we see it get much worse when he is playing a game on my phone or on the computer) We have started taking video of his stimming, along with video of his outbursts and OCD traits so when we take him to the Neurologist, the doctor can see, first hand, what his behaviors are. He truly lives in his own world, his little eyes looking right through me. I always wonder what is happening inside his brain and what he is thinking.

When I tucked him into bed tonight (which is right next to mine) I said "I love you" and he said, "shhh, my brain needs to rest"...No kidding!!!! That brain needs a LONG, relaxing vacation! I love my Elliott!

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