Doctor insights on:
Causes Of Hand Flapping In Children
It depends: on the rest of the picture. In an otherwise healthy infant with normal development and muscle tone, hand flapping is likely a transient expression of excitement. Abnormal hand movements that persist for months, worse, occur during sleep or are associated with other developmental problems is always a cause for concern until proven otherwise. ...Read more
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
Needs eye exam: Your question has very little information. Nevertheless, crossing of the eyes is not normal. It is more worrisome in a child since their brain is developing so i suggest a pediatric ophthalmologist exam. Arm flapping is non-specific so i suggest a neurologist exam. ...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
They can work with a: Behavioral therapist to substitute à more social-acceptable, less noticeable movement. Depending on their intellectual ability, they may also learn self-calming techniques. Very low doses of anti-anxiety medication prescribed by a psychiatrist or a developmental/behavioral pediatrician can help even those who have intellectual disability, as may a reminder to have " quiet hands.". ...Read more
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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