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Doctor insights on: Strange Toddler Hand Movements Autism

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Can a child have autism if they don't express repetitive movements?

Can a child have autism if they don't express repetitive movements?

Yes: Repetitive or stereotyped movements are frequently seen in autism, but it is possible for a child to be autistic without such movements. ...Read more

Dr. Johanna Fricke
532 Doctors shared insights

Autism Spectrum Disorder (Definition)

ASD are a spectrum of disorders of varying degrees that are characterized by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify around 1 in 68 American children as ...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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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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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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Can "hand flapping" be from something besides autism?

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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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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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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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

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How big of a red flag for autism is asymmetrical crawling. My baby is 8 months old and also will twirl her arm and wave left hand up and down on occas?

How big of a red flag for autism is asymmetrical crawling. My baby is 8 months old and also will twirl her arm and wave left hand up and down on occas?

It's more of a red: Flag that she needs a neurological exam by her pediatrician. Depending on prenatal, perinatal & post-natal history, there may have been changes in development of the white matter of her brain on the side opposite the extremities she disregards or doesn't use as well. If deep tendon reflexes & muscle tone/strength are asymmetrical, an MRI & pediatric neurology consult are warranted. ...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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My 11 month old is walking, babbling, and smiling/making eye contact. My only concern is that he doesn't do hand gestures. Is this an autism concern?

My 11 month old is walking, babbling, and smiling/making eye contact. My only concern is that he doesn't do hand gestures. Is this an autism concern?

Not at all: In fact, the babbling is far more important, and many children develop pointing and gesturing skills closer to 13-15 mos of age. ...Read more

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Is my toddler losing balance linked to autism?

Is my toddler losing balance linked to autism?

Not necessarily: Refined cruising, walking and running are part of the progression to normal motor skills of kids. The early toddler period is marked by occasional falls as the kid tries to master the new skills. Autistic children may have problems in movement and balance like other kids but it is not a defining feature. ...Read more

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If my toddler won't potty train or talk, could he have autism?

Depends on age: Children vary a lot in when they develop these skills. Many toddlers don't do either for a long time. If the child is emotionally relating to you it probably is not autism but you should review his or her development with you pediatrician if you are worried. ...Read more

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Anyone heard of natural way to clear fluid for child ears. I tried cupping ear w my hands to create pressure/movement and it seemed to clear fluid. ?

Anyone heard of natural way to clear fluid for child ears. I tried cupping ear w my hands to create pressure/movement and it seemed to clear fluid. ?

Prevention is best: Prevention is best. One easy manner is to not feed the child while the child is laying flat. Always feed while upright if possible. Chronic fluid that accumulates doesn't cause significant problems - often will resolve (but does need to be followed to make sure that it does or doesn't cause significant hearing loss). I generally don't recommend maneuvers such as you describe. ...Read more

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Athetoid wrist movements with in six month child with odd color eyes (dark brown (l) and bright blue (r). Concern? Thank you-- from birth to about six months, my granddaughter had writhing movements in her wrists. At times she also seemed to extend her to

Athetoid wrist movements with in six month child with odd color eyes (dark brown (l) and bright blue (r). Concern? Thank you-- from birth to about six months, my granddaughter had writhing movements in her wrists. At times she also seemed to extend her to

Heterochromia: Heterochromia is the scientific name for someone with 2 different colored eyes. It can be genetic (like in your granddaughter's case) or acquired. There are a few syndromes or diseases associated with heterochromia such as sturge-weber, waardenburg's syndrome, or parry-romberg syndrome, but they have many other obvious physical abnormalities which it does not appear that your granddaughter has. Most people with heterochromia are completely healthy and normal. Some famous folks with it are actresses kate bosworth, mila kunis and jane seymour or actors keifer sutherland and christopher walken. I am not sure what to make of her abnormal movements, but it is very reassuring that she is progressing well developmentally. You should continue to keep an eye on her development, and discuss any concerns with her pediatrician. Good luck! ...Read more

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Does cycling with hand movement can help in reducing belly?

Does cycling with hand movement can help in reducing belly?

Exercise: I am stumped as to what you mean by 'hand movement' but this does not in any way sound like a valid exercise that would increase metabolism of excess calories. ...Read more

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Have I possibly broken a bone in my hand? Pain with every movement

Have I possibly broken a bone in my hand? Pain with every movement

Possible but how?: It is certainly possible to have a broken bone if you you had any significant injury. Without injury, broken bone is not likely and more possible a tendinitis of some type. If a joint is suddenly became swollen, mild redness, and very painful to move, then possibly gout etc...If the pain is that bad, check with your doc. In the meantime. Motrin/aleve may help with pain. Good luck. ...Read more

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Hi. Fell on ice 2 weeks ago. Landed on hand. Possible to have fractured it? Hand is cold. Hurts with certain movements. Thank you

Hi. Fell on ice 2 weeks ago. Landed on hand. Possible to have fractured it? Hand is cold. Hurts with certain movements. Thank you

Sprain vs fracture: Without bruising, a frequent sign of a broken bone, a fracture is doubtful but not proven to be absent. Consider your hand is broken at the sorest spot until an x-ray proves that it is not. X-rays now-a-days are cheap, fast and accurate. I hope the x-rays are negative. ...Read more

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Bodyheavy sensation/almost paralyse triggered by hand movements subside w/rest 1-2min. Periodic paralysis/lakeofsleep? Vanishes for months sometimes

Bodyheavy sensation/almost paralyse triggered by hand movements subside w/rest 1-2min. Periodic paralysis/lakeofsleep? Vanishes for months sometimes

Worrisome: Paralysis is always a concerning symptom. I would recommend an examination by a primary care physician to do a full neurologic exam including deep tendon reflexes, grip strength, gait, muscle symmetry, etc. Given your age and no other history, I would want to rule out myasthenia gravis, among other common neuromuscular disorders possibly include blood work, imaging and EMG testing. ...Read more

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I was a goalkeeper and stopped a read fast ball with my hand. My hand fold all the way back and since then my hand hurts when I fold it to the back. Every other movement is ok. What can it be?

I was a goalkeeper and stopped a read fast ball with my hand. My hand fold all the way back and since then my hand hurts when I fold it to the back. Every other movement is ok. What can it be?

Sprain/strain: How long ago was injury? It sounds like you strained/strained your wrist (well, more correctly, a ligament/tendon/muscle). Cold packs are useful immediately after an injury. Since all other movements are ok, I'm less suspicious for fractures & dislocations. But if pain persists or gets worse or prevents you from doing your normal daily activities, I'd recommend seeing your Family Doc or Sports Med ...Read more

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What causes constent hand movement with some older patients?

What causes constent hand movement with some older patients?

Neurological issues: Different reason could cause peripheral tremors. More information is needed, and the patient needs to be evaluated to determine what will be the most adequate treatment. ...Read more

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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

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For over 2 years now I have had a terrible pain in my dominate hand when I do certain movements and when I put pressure on it. What is this?

For over 2 years now I have had a terrible pain in my dominate hand when I do certain movements and when I put pressure on it. What is this?

Pain Hand: This could be due to various causes. Involving joints, bone, muscles, nerves, spasm of blood vessels. Be examined to determine the cause. All the best. ...Read more

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3 times random wrist pain Left only. Hurts with use & movement on back of hand side of wrist. What could cause this & what to do w/o paying for appt?

3 times random wrist pain Left only. Hurts with use & movement on back of hand side of wrist. What could cause this & what to do w/o paying for appt?

Wrist: If you have no fevers and no swelling in the area or redness the most appropriate thing to do initially would be to take Motrin over-the-counter if you do not have any problems with your kidneys and utilize ice rest and elevation. You can also obtain a wrist splint from your local pharmacy to immobilize the wrist to see if this helps ...Read more

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Problem in movement of finger of right hand. What to do with momentarily clicking/locking?

Problem in movement of finger of right hand. What to do with momentarily clicking/locking?

Trigger finger: This is due to contracture of a fibrous pulley for the finger muscle and occasionally a swelling of the tendon. It can be minimized by elevating the limb which allows gravity to drain the fluid. But sometimes needs treatment with steroid injection or surgical release. See your hand surgeon for evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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I woke up this morning and my left hand is numb and I can't control the movement. What could it be?

I woke up this morning and my left hand is numb and I can't control the movement. What could it be?

Possibly serious: See a doctor there are possibly serious things but without the opportunity to do an examination I cannot say for sure. ...Read more

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I have a swollen area om my hand after a blood test. It has restricted movement and is painful. Should I be worried about it?

I have a swollen area om my hand after a blood test. It has restricted movement and is painful. Should I be worried about it?

Phlebitis: Painful hand after blood from your elbow might be an infection. Keep the hand elevated and have it checked - might need medication for antibiotic and clotting. ...Read more

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If I like to pace and wring my hands in response to movement or when I'm just bored does that mean bipolar? It helps me feel better and sleep.

If I like to pace and wring my hands in response to movement or when I'm just bored does that mean bipolar? It helps me feel better and sleep.

Anxiety: Compulsive types of behaviors are very different from Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar is genetic, and includes long periods of staying awake (in mania), sometimes promiscuous behavior, excess spending or other excesses. We wouldn't normally make that dx unless we see you in a manic or hypo-manic state and there are no other factors that explain it. Please check back with your prescribing doctor. ...Read more

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I broke a fall with my hand. Thenar area is painful to touch and movement, with slight bruise. I type all day for work. How best to help heal?

I broke a fall with my hand. Thenar area is painful to touch and movement, with slight bruise. I type all day for work. How best to help heal?

Hand injury: A fall like this can break a hand bone with particular worries about the scaphoid bone. Be examined. Sometimes these need to be casted. You would be unable to type until it recovers. All the best. ...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