What Is Stimming Behaviour?
Stimming behaviour more commonly known as self-stimulatory behaviour is found in children who make repetitive or unusual movements or noises.
Stimming might include hand and finger mannerisms like finger-flicking and hand-flapping. unusual body movements like rocking back and forth while sitting or standing. These movements are used solely to stimulate one’s own senses.
This behaviour is common in many individuals with developmental disabilities; it appears to be most common in children and adults with autism. It is important to note that not all self-injurious behaviours are considered to be self-stimulatory. Self-injurious behaviour can also be communicative.
Stimming seems to help autistic children manage emotions like anxiety, anger, fear and excitement. For example, stimming might help them to calm down because it focuses their attention on the stim or produces a calming change in their bodies.
Stimming might also help children manage overwhelming sensory information. For autistic children who are oversensitive to sensory information, stimming can reduce sensory overload because it focuses their attention on just one thing. For autistic children who are under sensitive, stimming can stimulate ‘underactive’ senses.
Some of the common stimming behaviours are
- Biting your fingernails
- Twirling your hair around your fingers
- Cracking your knuckles or other joints
- Drumming your fingers
- Tapping your pencil
- Jiggling your foot
In an autistic person, stimming might involve:
- Flapping hands or flicking or snapping fingers
- Bouncing, jumping, or twirling
- Pacing or walking on tiptoes
- Pulling hair
- Repeating words or phrases
- Rubbing the skin or scratching
- Repetitive blinking
- Staring at lights or rotating objects such as ceiling fans
- Licking, rubbing, or stroking particular types of objects
- Sniffing at people or objects
- Rearranging objects
Other repetitive behaviours can cause physical harm. These behaviours include:
- Head banging
- Punching or biting
- Excessive rubbing or scratching at skin
- Picking at scabs or sores
- Swallowing dangerous items
Stimming actions can vary in intensity and can occur due to various emotions. Autistic people of any age may stim occasionally or constantly in response to excitement, happiness, boredom, stress, fear, and anxiety. They may also stim during times when they are feeling overwhelmed.
At Jeevaniyam, we do manage these conditions for children with autism if, it is physically harming them. Our experts manage this using specified management protocols and trained professionals.