Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Is stimming always related to autism?
About This Forum:

Questions in the Autism & Asperger's Syndrome forum are answered by researchers at the New England Center for Children. Topics covered include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Antisocial Personality Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Autism, blindness, bullying, clinical depression, deafness, dyslexia, mental retardation, and social alienation.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Is stimming always related to autism?

Hi, I'm a very worried mother about her son and I would really appreciate if anyone can help me figure out if my son is on the autism spectrum. My biggest concerne about my son is the fact that he is so obsessed with everything that spins, If he sees a fan or anything that spins he would leave us and run towards the spinning thing. He also sometimes likes to walk very close to walls and follow vertical lines by the corner of his eye. I believe these weird bahavor of him are called "stimming". So my question is Does all kids who stim at an early age end up diagnosed with autism?

My son on the other hand is very interactive with the ppl he knows, and smiles back when ppl smile to him, he hates kids his age but smiles to older or younger age, he answers when we call him unless he is busy with something, he enjoys being tickled and loves to chase us to to be chased. He runs to me and hug me when he sees me.doesn't point much but moves his hands forward like he wants to reach for something, says around 20 to 30 words but at home we speak 2 languages.He calls me Mami and calls his dad by his name, he also can ask for water and milk and cake. lately he is been giving me things when I ask him to. for example if he hs a phone and i tell him ""give me the phone"" he would come to me and give it to me and smile"" he does pretend play.he pretends he's cooking and talking on the phone.and lately he is been immitating us alot.

I'm really worried about him, I can't stop wondering if there is something wrong with him, all this wait and see till he gets older thing is driving me crazy. Does anyone have an idea of what is my son's case?
Related Discussions
702031_tn?1260479881
Diagnostic criteria for Pervasive Developmental Disorders (including Autism, Aspergers, and others) include delays in social interaction skills, communication skills, and the presence of stereotyped or restricted behavior and interests.  Based on your description, it’s hard to know which, if any of these, diagnosis fits, and direct evaluation by a qualified professional is necessary for any diagnosis.  If you haven’t already brought this to the attention of your pediatrician, I’d recommend doing so now. Be sure to discuss both the behaviors that you are concerned about (“stimming” is more formally referred to as “stereotypy” in the literature), as well as developmental milestones that he is (or is not) meeting.  As to your main question: Engaging in stereotypy does not mean that your child will end up with a diagnosis of developmental delay – plenty of typically-developing infants and children engage in forms of stereotypy.
Regardless of his diagnosis, childhood behavior problems like stereotypy can typically be addressed through consultation with a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).  If you feel that the behavior is stigmatizing or interfering with more adaptive behaviors, you may want to consult with a BCBA.  This professional will want to spend time directly observing your child as well as interviewing your family, so that they can provide recommendations on how to best address the issue. A local BCBA can be found at the following site: http://www.bacb.com/consum_frame.html
Best of luck to you and your family
8 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hi,
I totally understand your concerns.  You didn't mention his age? As you have probably have read, autism spectrum disorders involve more than just stimming (repetitive behavior).  It sounds like you read up on how to diagnosis and he sounds social, and he is communicating and imitating which is great.  Hard to tell how delayed in communication since we don't know his age.  

My son who just turned 2 likes to follow vertical lines from the corner of his eyes while running past things and is speech delayed- with 15 words.  He is in early intervention because of this weird behavior and delay and speech.  The EI team came and they were saying no to autism but i was not so sure.  I actually video taped it and took him to a neurologist.  Since my son was easily distracted from the activity and he didn't do it alot, she wasn't too concerned.  Actually i can't remember when he did it last and it appears it comes and goes.  She asked me a lot of questions about his "social" abilities, had him do some activities, watched his eye contact which was good and said b/c he doesn't do that activity alot meaning --what is his normal play activity?  Does he play with toys appropriately and engage in other play activites?  Is the stimming your son does alot, obsessive, can you interrupt him without a tantrum?

To ease your mind i would contact your doctor for a referral to the early intervention team (if he is under 3 yrs old). In NY you don't need a referral from your pediatrician but they can give you the number.   They are absolutely wonderful.  They see alot of kids and they can guide you with your concerns.

Hope this helps.  Everything with your son will be ok just seek out some help from the professionals and you will feel better.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
well my son will turn 2 next month. the thing he does with his eye has incraesed lately but can be distracted easily. He doesn't throw tantrums when I take away his wheel while he is spinning, would cry though alot and will stop as soons as I carry him and bounce him or engage in another activity. But If i don't make an attempt to stop he would spin the wheel for a long time. He seems so obsessed with wheels and fans and washing machines and everything that spins that's y I'm so concerned.

What about you, are you worried that much about ur son? and if not what helped ease ur mind?
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I was worried as well so i understand. My worries have subsided a lot because in 4 wks he is improving with speech, he's added 5 words and more word approximations,is using sign language to communicate, and has increased his pointing and labeling of objects tremendously.  This was all possible with Early intervention coming to my home.  In addition the neurologist said, "at this point she would say he is expressive speech delayed not ASD.  She told me to only come back if he didn't improve with speech or his behavior became obsessive or intensified.  Well his speech improved and that"running-eye" behavior has really decreased, if not gone and he is v.social, the youngest of 5.  I still am concerned and i am watching him but i am sleeping better. My son never obsessed with spinning things.  He would drop one object or line them up, run by them with his eyes and drop his head right when he got to the object.  He would also ocassionally follow the line of the kitchen table with his eyes.  This is what i video-taped for the neurologist.

What eased my worries was getting help.  Trust me, go to your pediatrician and explain your concerns.  The spinning thing is a red flag as well as the stimming and you can only ease your mind and move forward with the help of professionals who are experts in child development or autistic spectrum disorders.  I know it is scary but there are great people out their willing and able to help you.  I hope this helped.

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
well I forgot to mention to u that I got him checked by a specialist, we did a test called(ADOS) where they tested his activity level and eye contact and many other things. But to be honest , the test didn't help me put my mind at ease.I was told that there's nothing much we can do now but start speech therapy and see if he progresses verbally.They couldn't give a diagnose now since My son is still young and I had to do the test again in 6 months. So basically I have to go for the wait and see approach which is the hardest thing to do. I'm always watching him and everytime he acts weird or does that thing with his eye I really get so upset. He is my only son and i just can't take that there could possibly be soemthing wrong with him. It's the hardest thing that i've ever been through and I can't wait to get over with all that.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Hang in there!  I too didn't get relief from the neurologist.  I thought i would have answers but i didn't, they felt he was too young to go further in testing and since he was improving with regard to communication it was a good sign- I still have my doubts but having EI involved makes the world of difference.

Has your soon improved since you saw the specialist?  Is he getting speech therapy right now and is showing slow progress, slow and steady?  Is his behavior increased or become more obsessive ?You got a pretty extensive test (ADOS) what were the results?  If you really have a gut feeling you can always get a 2nd opinion or go back and tell them your concerns.  You have to focus on getting the RIGHT therapy for your precious son.  It is so hard to wait and trust what the professionals are telling you when you see him everyday and everytime he does that quirky thing you are reminded of AUTISM, but trust me, try to focus on doing all you can do for him to help him achieve his goals.  

I had to ask myself what I was really looking for with my son, and i finally realized that waiting was ok for me because (1) I accept him and love him no matter what quirky or delays he has- he is a gift from God and (2) As long as he was getting the right services for his age at the recommendation of the specialists & improving i didn't focus on the diagnosis as much. If it turns out in 3 mths that he doesn't improve as much as they would like or things change than we will reassess services.  

Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi again, i can't find the right words to thank u. U've helped so much in the past few days and u seems a very kind person so i would very happy if we keep in touch. My ekail is ***@****

As for my son's progress we on;y saw the speech therapist three times fo far and Hady my son already started saying new words. verbally he is progressing but the quirky thing with he does with his eyes has increased. now he does it all the time while he is walking.
sometimes I feel that he doea it out of bordom. He's starting daycare in like 20 days so i was hoping maybe he will forget about it in daycare since he'll be dancing and painting and engaging in so much activities.

soemtimes I feel its a bit my fault coz i used to put him in front of the tv for a long time and do whatever i want to do.Plus he is a  first child so hasn't been around kids so much and at home we speak 2 languages.

Thanks again so much
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Well good luck and all the best to you and your son.  Don't blame yourself for his eye thing, i am not a doctor, but i am confident the TV didn't cause it nor did being an only child.  You are a good mom, you are doing great things for Hady,

Keep in touch and good luck to Hady as he starts daycare soon.  
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
340676_tn?1383325484
Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank