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Autism Hand Flapping What Does It Mean
Self-stim: "hand-flapping" is a prominent form of self-stimulation. It is not clear why it is common in autism, but may have to do with anxiety, an inability to "connect" meaningfully outside of oneself (which seems to be what autistics have in common with blind or deaf persons, who also hand-flap and "stim" a lot), and/or difficulty with effective communication (like retarded persons, who often also "stim"). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting three areas: abnormal socialization, communication, and restricted interests with repetitive patterns of behavior. It is usually detected in the first two years of life. Cause is unknown but strong evidence points to an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Patients with autism may display significant delays in certain developmental areas while having normal or superior strengths in other developmental or learning domains. The severity of the disorder is highly variable ...Read more
Just flapping: Not all children with "stereotypies, "repetitive motor movements that seem to have no function, have autism. A two-year old who hand-flaps when excited, but has normal social communication and no other signs of autism. May be developing typically. Less commonly, stereotypies persist into school-age. Tics and compulsions can look like stereotypies. Video it for your pediatrician to check it out. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Sometimes: This movement can be common, can be present all the time or can only be there a little bit, or sometimes not at all. Each individual with autism is an individual. If it is present, i consider it significant. If it is absent it doesn't mean autism is not present. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Yes: Hand flapping can occur with a variey of conditions, including trisomy 21 and many forms of intellectual disability. It typically occurs as "overflow, " when the child is excited or frustrated. It is not dangerous, per se; if it occurs so persistently that it interferes with more desirable activities, antipsychotics sometimes are used to diminish the frequency; behavioral approaches may work too. ...Read more
It certainly can: Hand flapping sometime fades over time, but it is not at all uncommon for it to continue throughout the life of an autistic individual. It is not harmful, per se; but, when excessive, it can interfere with other more productive behaviors. When severe, it sometimes is treated with antipsychotics, which typically reduce both frequency and duration of the hand flapping. ...Read more
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