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ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder): To Repress, Allow, or Replace Flapping, Spinning, & Other Stim

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I've had a couple dozen comments and questions about what to do when kids with autism, ASD, in school demonstrate behaviors like flapping, spinning, etc. This seems to be a debated topic among those in the ASD community, professionals and parents alike. I think it is accepted by all sides that the behaviors serve to self soothe, cope, self stimulate, etc, which is a good thing. However, while many feel this should be allowed, there is a significant number who feel these behaviors should be stopped or replaced. Part of the rationale seems to be that to function in the world, one must learn alternate coping and self soothing strategies. I thought I'd bring this topic up on the PBIS World Forum to see what input you all may have. Thoughts, comments?

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http://community.babycenter.com/post/a30724133/do_you_stop_your_childs_hand_flapping\n\nQuiet hands is a simple way to teach the student to recognize and use an alternative behavior to hand flapping. When the student hears \"quiet hands\", they are to put their hands in their lap and breath deeply. \n\nFor those that do choose to address flapping, arm weights can be effective. This stimulus on the arms, like tight fitting vests, can help to decrease stereotypical behaviors like arm flapping. These are amateur videos but will help demonstrate the point I think. Take a look at both and read the captions typed below the videos:Another strategy is to teach the student to clap rather than flap, which can be somewhat more socially acceptable. But clapping may be more disruptive than flapping if it is constant. Clapping is a better replacement behavior when the student only flaps when excited. clapping when excited can be viewed as more \"normal\" and socially appropriate. \n\nAdditionally, here are some links that may have some helpful thoughts for those debating/considering the issue:\n http://www.sensationalbrain.com/162/question-how-to-decrease-hand-flapping/\nhttp://autism.lovetoknow.com/Autism_and_Flapping\nhttp://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/obsessions-repetitive-behaviours-and-routines.aspx\nhttp://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants/altering-motivational-variables-treat-stereotyped-behavior" }" data-sheets-userformat="{"2":1049537,"3":{"1":0},"9":0,"10":1,"11":4,"12":0,"23":1}" data-sheets-textstyleruns="{"1":0}{"1":1776,"2":{"2":{"1":2,"2":1136076},"9":1}}" data-sheets-hyperlinkruns="{"1":1776,"2":" http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants/altering-motivational-variables-treat-stereotyped-behavior"}{"1":1877 }">Take a look at these parent comments on the topic, specifically relating to schools and whether to stop flapping or not. This will give you a good synopsis of the parent perspective as well as what some parents have tried. Read at leas the first page of comments. Some parents are all for strategies to reduce flapping while others are very opposed. I think on the first page of comments one of the parents brings up the "quiet hands" strategy. http://community.babycenter.com/post/a30724133/do_you_stop_your_childs_hand_flapping

Quiet hands is a simple way to teach the student to recognize and use an alternative behavior to hand flapping. When the student hears "quiet hands", they are to put their hands in their lap and breath deeply.

For those that do choose to address flapping, arm weights can be effective. This stimulus on the arms, like tight fitting vests, can help to decrease stereotypical behaviors like arm flapping. These are amateur videos but will help demonstrate the point I think. Take a look at both and read the captions typed below the videos:Another strategy is to teach the student to clap rather than flap, which can be somewhat more socially acceptable. But clapping may be more disruptive than flapping if it is constant. Clapping is a better replacement behavior when the student only flaps when excited. clapping when excited can be viewed as more "normal" and socially appropriate.

Additionally, here are some links that may have some helpful thoughts for those debating/considering the issue:
http://www.sensationalbrain.com/162/question-how-to-decrease-hand-flapping/
http://autism.lovetoknow.com/Autism_and_Flapping
http://www.autism.org.uk/living-with-autism/understanding-behaviour/obsessions-repetitive-behaviours-and-routines.aspx
http://www.autismspeaks.org/science/grants/altering-motivational-variables-treat-stereotyped-behavior

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