Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Hand flapping, speech delayed in a 4 yr old
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Hand flapping, speech delayed in a 4 yr old

I have a 4 yr old grandson who has delayed speech. He also makes these weird  movements with his hands but normally only during times when everyone is being still ( like in church). He is affectionate and interacts well with others but plays by himself well also.  Sometimes he will close one eye and run down the edge of a table, wall or an object with one hand. I asked my son about his behavior and his response was, "He's just different." I just want to be sure that there isn't something going on that early intervention could help with.  
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I appreciate that you took the time to write regarding your grandson.  Obviously, I cannot make any definitive statements based upon the information you provided.  It will be important to keep the lines of communication open between you and your son, because if any action was to be taken, it would have to begin with a discussion with the child's pediatrician (and obviously, your son would have to initiate this first step).  The pediatrician should be made aware of the issue you describe, and it would likekly be helpful if your son asked about getting an outside evaluation with a professional who specializes in the assessment of yopung children.  It is possible that intervention may assist with his delayed speech.  

To address the hand movements, your son might consider giving your grandson a small toy or object to play with during times when he is expected to sit quietly, such as during church services.  It is difficult for most 4-year-olds to sit quietly for relatively long periods of time, so giving him something subtle to play with may compete with the hand flapping.

Best of luck with your family!
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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