My 5 year old son flaps his hands and makes noises when excited. He was a little developmentally delayed and in school is getting speech, gross motor skill and sensory skill training, We are told that he controls the hand flapping in class. He is age appropreiate academically. He knows how people are feeling by voice tone and expression and acts appropreiate to a persons feelings. He is a very happy kid and loves playing with his friends. There are times when he likes to play on his own but would rather be with other children. While he hand flaps he has never tried to hurt himself or anyone else and is very caring towards other people. Showing affection has never been a problem for him. He looks at you when expressing himself and points to show you things, He has never been a great eater but it has gotten better with age. He also enjoys afterschool activieties(Swimming lessons, gymnastics, soccer and this winter will be learning to play basketball). Since he has had the extra help, which started at age 3 he has made outstanding progress. We have had him to see a child psycholgist twice since age 3 and was told that he may have some Autistic tendencies was not thought to be Autistic. We were that the hand flapping was his way of releasing energy when excited. The school feels the same way. Both visits were just hour long sessions and not a formal evaluation.
Is it true that children can have Autistic tendencies and not be somewhere on th Autism spectrum? We were also told that if the stimming does not get in the way of him doing things at home we should let him do so, is that true? But also cautioned to watch that it does get worse as time goes on
I have a friend in a similar situations. They seem to think this is a coping mechanism for when he has to transition quickly (ie- in school going from reading and structure to PE). If it is not disrutptive I would just watch it. My friend's child has a bit of sensory integration issues but NOTHING bad. I would focus on all those wonderful, positive attributes you've mentioned...
My Son is 4 1/2 & also has some hand flapping. I've asked the same question, does this mean Autism? My Son was evaluated by the school district & they suggested Autism which floored me. My Son has many of the same qualities you mention in your Son. I absolutely don't believe he has Autism, but we will have him formally tested in the next few months to be sure. & I've decided that even if he has some Autistic tendencies that he's a wonderful little boy & I can see no reason why he should not be successful in school & life.
I would feel encouraged that you've had some visits & nothing ever came of them. I've also had a couple & was told that the Spectrum is so broad that it's hard to tell & I've also been told that they don't really see anything. Like you I've always thought that the flapping was just his way of releasing energy & trying to get it out when he was excited. I've tried to help him learn to curb that behavior & I feel guilty about it. Like I'm trying to change who he is. For now since this is the only thing I see I'm not going to worry about it. As far as Autistic tendencies, if you have looked at the list of signs & traits of Autism Spectrum disorder most of us probably exhibit at least one of those traits :-)
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