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Doctor insights on: How To Stop Hand Flapping In Autistic Children

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Can you tell me how I could stop autistic type hand flapping/motor movements?

Can you tell me how I could stop autistic type hand flapping/motor movements?

Movements: These repetitive hand movements seen both in autistic and Rett syndrome is at times considered " self stimulating" if, it also involve increase masturbation. No particular specific medication helpful, however worth mentioning would be Beta Blockers (Inderal)
Another med Tegretol may help (Temporal lobe connection).
Paxil, SSRI may decrease the obsessive intensity. Small dose Haldol (haloperidol) ...Read more

Dr. Johanna Fricke
643 Doctors shared insights

Autism (Definition)

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 ...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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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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Autism causes hand flapping?

Autism causes hand flapping?

Repetitive...: ...Activities are one of several diagnostic criteria for autism. ...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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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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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 hand flapping/kicking legs and hitting out when over-excited normal for an adult without autistic spectrum disorder?

Is hand flapping/kicking legs and hitting out when over-excited normal for an adult without autistic spectrum disorder?

NO: Obviously this is not "normal" behavior for any adult. There may be other psychiatric issues causing this but autistic spectrum disorder seems the most likely cause by far. Kids on the autistic spectrum tend to turn into adults on the spectrum, though often symptoms can become less severe over time, especially with proper treatment, which can include dietary changes, supplements and homeopathy. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: Hand flapping?

What is the definition or description of: Hand flapping?

Hand flapping: Movement involving flapping one or both hands. It is a stimming behavior. Although often associated with autism - this behavior can also occur with people who don't have autism. ...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

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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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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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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?

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

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Hand flapping and crossing eyes?

Hand flapping and crossing eyes?

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

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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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Do people with ADHD have the symptom of hand flapping?

Do people with ADHD have the symptom of 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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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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6 month babyboy. Sleeps less hand flapping attimes head banging last few days. Shows toungueout when playing. Rest normal. Anglefreman syndrome?

6 month babyboy. Sleeps less hand flapping attimes head banging last few days. Shows toungueout when playing. Rest normal. Anglefreman syndrome?

Oh No!: If you are worried that your 6 month old may have Angelman's syndrome, pl rest in peace as most cases have significant developmental delays that your infant is not showing. The best thing would be to let your baby's pediatrician assess him during his 6 month visit. If your worries have started after a recent normal visit, the likelihood then would be even less. ...Read more

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Ndrit is almost 5y and can say only 100 words. He uses both hands same. Not diagnosed with autism. Mentally and physically is ok without hearing problems. Plays with children and is very friendly. Why isn't he talking yet?

Ndrit is almost 5y and can say only 100 words. He uses both hands same. Not diagnosed with autism. Mentally and physically is ok without hearing problems. Plays with children and is very friendly. Why isn't he talking yet?

Hard to say: This is something that a developmental pediatrician and/or a speech and language specialist should evaluate. In the US this is routinely done as part of the "Chile Find" program operated by public schools for kids as young as 3. ...Read more

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Is a single transverse palmarcrease in both hands correlated to autism or disorders in the spectrum?

Not necessarily: There are people who have single palmar creases who are absolutely normal individuals. ...Read more

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My two year old hand flaps, but does not have any other signs of autism. What could be happening?

Hand-flapping when: Excited, head-banging ; insistence on night-time rituals are all seen in neurotypical 2-year-olds. Use the developmental screens on firstsigns. Org, then talk to your pediatrician if there are developmental delays or signs of autism. Customize healthychildren. Org or the app for your child's age for useful tips on development ; behavior. ...Read more

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Does every baby that flaps his hands have autism or some other brain problem?

Does every baby that flaps his hands have autism or some other brain problem?

No: Hand flapping could be a passing stage. It does not always indicate autism or brain disorder. It should likely be monitored for a period of time to see if it continues. Also, I would be more concerned if other symptoms were present at the same. For example, speech delay, lack of eye contact, lack of interest in their surroundings. Insistence on nonfunctional routines, etc. ...Read more

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My autistic son got a sliver in his hand. I thought I got it all but now he has a hard blister thing. He is scared of Dr. Can I treat at home?

Chancy: Sounds like part of the sliver remains and that there is an inflammatory reaction around it. It may be infected. You should consult your doctor about what you are dealing with and how best to manage. ...Read more

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A 14 month old raises his hands around bright lights, gruntsand exhales. He is delayed, has curved pinky finger, eats non-food items and has a short neck. Autism?

A 14 month old raises his hands around bright lights, gruntsand exhales. He is delayed, has curved pinky finger, eats non-food items and has a short neck. Autism?

Neurodevelopmental: Disorders of genetic origin can present with dysmorphism (unusual physical features), developmental delays & autistic behaviors. The asq & the m-chat screening tests are at firstsigns. Org. A pediatric visit with the results may lead to referral to a developmental/ behavioral pediatrician. Also, your state's early intervention program can assess development & provide therapy without a diagnosis. ...Read more

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My 14 month old sits on his knees raises his hands (usually around bright lights), grunts, shakes, and exhales. He is delayed. Is this autism?

My 14 month old sits on his knees raises his hands (usually around bright lights), grunts, shakes, and exhales. He is delayed. Is this autism?

Only 1 symptom: The diagnosis of autism requires your child to have a certain number of criteria to make the diagnosis. While the movement you are describing sounds like it might meet be one of the criteria, there must be a constellation of criteria to actually diagnose. You need to see a professional who is skilled in this area so appropriate diagnosis can be made and the right treatment initiated. ...Read more

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15 mth old crosses her middle and index fingers on 1 hand. She's advanced mentally. She can bear weight on legs but isn't walking. Could it be autism?

15 mth old crosses her middle and index fingers on 1 hand. She's advanced mentally. She can bear weight on legs but isn't walking. Could it be autism?

Gross motor delays &: Involuntary posturing may be signs of Cerebral Palsy or genetic neuromuscular diseases like congenital myopathies & mitochondrial diseases, not Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Upper limits of normal for walking = 16 mos. If her muscle tone/strength & deep tendon reflexes are abnormal & she has fine &/or gross motor delays on screening (firstsigns. Org), she needs to see a pediatric neurologist. ...Read more

Dr. Abraham Jaskiel
14 Doctors shared insights

Hand Flapping (Definition)

Movement involving flapping one or both hands. It is a stimming behavior. Although often associated with autism - this behavior can also occur with people ...Read more