Saturday, January 8, 2011

Self Stimulating Behaviours And The Autistic Child - Your Annoyance, Their Sanity

Self stimulating behaviours otherwise known as stimming is a major part of an autistic child's coping method. Though these behaviour can be difficult for the parent and others to deal with, they serve a very important purpose for the child. Stimming behaviours help them to cope with the world around them, and should be allowed unless they cause a danger to the child or those around them.

How can you keep your sanity, while allowing your little one to keep theirs with their self stimulation behaviors?

You can always try and replace their current method of self stimulation with one that is more socially acceptable (to increase their ability to socialize with peers and not be ridiculed for their behaviours) of more health appropriate.

For example, if their behaviour is to suck on things, you could try giving them a sucker, or a chew toy to suck on instead so that they are not sucking on random items that can cause a risk to their health.

Now remember this may not work, and you need to be patient with the child when trying to move them from one stimming behaviour to another. But with a little persistance and understanding you should be able to transfer the behaviour from the one that is problematic, to one that is more acceptable. Replacement behaviours tend to work better with younger children, as other children at that age level are not as judgemental of "strange" behaviours, but that doesn't mean this tip cannot work for the older child as well.

As a parent, you need to remember no matter how much the behavior bothers you, that stimming is a very important part of their behavior and day because it helps the autistic child to cope and organize the world around them. You never want to try and completely take away their self stimulation methods as it can be quite detrimental to the child. Fact is the downside of stimming, will very rarely outweigh that of the upside of allowing the child to find his or her way to cope with the world around them. Simple replacements can work, just don't expect the behaviour to go away all together.

Living with and raising an autistic child can be difficult at times, but it can also be very rewarding. With a little extra tender love and care, your little one can be quite well adjusted and able to cope with everyday life, even if it means a little odd behaviour here or there.

Being the parent of an autistic child can be difficult but with support and knowledge you can help your child, and come out just fine yourself. For more tips and tricks, click here!

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