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Stimming : Self Stimulatory Behaviors

Repetitive physical movements:

Rocking back and forth, spinning, jumping, Observing fans, organizing things, hand flapping, rubbing or scratching the skin and wounds, repetitive sounds, words, and phrases. We all stim in some or the other way and it’s completely a normal thing. Stimming becomes socially unacceptable when someone is not able to self-regulate their body like “when to stop” Stimming behavior arises when children are not able to regulate themselves and their emotions due to their sensory issues. Stimming is not necessarily a bad thing that needs to be stopped but it should be addressed when it’s disruptive. Stimming needs to be addressed when it affects learning, and community inclusion and is harmful or dangerous for the child.

Verbal Stimming/ Self Talk/ Echolalia :

Repetition of words, phrases, and sentences. Mostly occurs when children are too happy or too stressed and not able to regulate their bodies. Children start self-talk mostly in unfamiliar environments.

Effect of Verbal Stimming on Kids

Affects learning
Affects interpersonal relationships
Children are not able to focus
Non-engagement in activities
Poor registration of information

Tips to reduce verbal stimming:

Finger on lip: Do not give any verbal command. Just put a finger on the child’s lips to indicate that it is not allowed at this time
Massage around the lips
Vibratory brush
Make a fixed routine
Fulfill the underlying sensory needs of the child
Address child’s emotions and react appropriately

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