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Doctor insights on: Autism Hand Flapping What Does It Mean

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Autism and hand flapping?

Autism and hand flapping?

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 more

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Dr. Johanna Fricke
623 doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

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


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Can "hand flapping" be from something besides autism?

Yes: I am not clear what you are seeing. The impt.Thing is to do is speak with your doctor and clear this up. ...Read more

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Can hand flapping be a symptom of anything besides autism?

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 more

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Do people with asperger's or autism do hand flapping?

Do people with  asperger's or autism do hand flapping?

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 more

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Is this normal for trisomy 21. Hand flapping?

Is this normal for trisomy 21. Hand flapping?

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

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Why does an autistic child headbangs, rocking, twirling, spinning and hand flapping?

Why does an autistic child headbangs, rocking, twirling, spinning and hand flapping?

Typical symptoms: Autism is a biochemical disorder and these symptoms are typical of a sick brain. You need to see a physician who has been trained by "defeat autism now". The headquarters of the organizaion is in san diego and they cangive you directions. ...Read more

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Is hand flapping normal?

No: It is not normal. May be neurotic or OCD mannerism, but may be organic. ...Read more

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Hand flapping continue in autistic adults?

Hand flapping continue in autistic adults?

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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3 year old son does hand flapping when excited.

3 year old son does hand flapping when excited.

Normal Behavior: Not to worry. As long as his growth and development, behavior are age appropriate, he is fine. ...Read more

Dr. Adam Lewis
14 doctors shared insights

Hand Flapping (Definition)

Hand flapping is a clinical finding in which a person outstretches their arms and raises their hands as if to stop traffic and they are unable to maintain this position, with the hand instead flapping downward. This can occur with a liver disease complication ...Read more


Dr. Johanna Fricke
516 doctors shared insights

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Definition)

Autism spectrum disorder, also called pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), is a type of condition that includes life-long impairment in the ability to communicate and to have normal social interactions. These include ...Read more