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Doctor insights on: Hand Flapping Seven Year Old Boy

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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. Shari Jackson
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


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Is hand flapping in 6 month old any cause of concern?

Is hand flapping in 6 month old any cause of concern?

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

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My almost 4 yr old son does strange spasms and noises when excited. Grunting - hand flapping - tensing up and all of a sudden shouting/grunting. Why?

My almost 4 yr old son does strange spasms and noises when excited. Grunting - hand flapping - tensing up and all of a sudden shouting/grunting. Why?

Hard to say?: This could be normal behavior, would be helpful to see a video and understand the context of the rest of his developmental history. Does he have speech delay? Is he smiling? What is his face doing? Do you have other concerns about his development? Was his birth history uneventful? Is there a family history of delay, autism, or seizure disorder? See a pediatrician for advice! ...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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What can autistic people do to hide their hand flapping?

What can autistic people do to hide their hand flapping?

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

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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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Do people with ADHD have hand flapping?

Do people with ADHD have  hand flapping?

No: Hand flapping is not an expected behavior in children with adhd. When excited, they may briefly jump up and down and possibly flap their hands, but extended hand flapping is suggestinve of some other condition, among them, autism spectrum disorder and stereotypic movement disorder. Persistent hand flapping is not an expected normal behavior at any age. ...Read more

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Hand flapping and crossing eyes. Part of trisomy?

Hand flapping and crossing eyes. Part of trisomy?

Not necessarily.: Trisomies are generally severe genetic syndromes comprising many effects from the nervous and psychiatric sphere. What you describe may be seen in trisomy 18, but is not sensitive nor specific for trisomies. ...Read more

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Hand flapping in adults?

Hand flapping in adults?

Tremor: This sounds like a tremor, which could be neurological and needs evaluation. ...Read more

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Is hand flapping normal?

Is hand flapping normal?

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