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my 2 yr. old little girl has started "stimming"
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my 2 yr. old little girl has started "stimming"

I'm lost, I truly have no idea...My little girl has really started stimming with her hands. She takes her fingers and just starts moving them really fast over and over again. She does this and sometimes makes this tense facial expression and opens her mouth really wide...best I can describe it. I see her do it most times when she is excited;however, there are times when she just starts doing it for no apparent reason. OMG! I just don't know! I wonder if maybe it's Asperger's Syndrome, but my heart is telling me no. I'm by no means a parent in denial. I have my degree in special education. I have studied all sorts of disabilities, and I'm telling you this child just does not fit the label of Asperger's, much less, autism. She makes eye contact. I mean if she is talking to you and you don't look at her, she will make it a point to not only get your attention, but to make sure you are looking at her. She is a social butterfly. The child will talk to ANYONE just about! She has no obsessive compulsive issues at all. She just starts flipping her fingers really fast. What scares me is she has really started doing it more and more. Sometimes she can't get a sentence out because she is stimming with her hands! She also makes this croak sound throughout the day. At first I just thought it was something she learned how to do, but now I'm putting the hands and the croaking together. I'm driving myself crazy!
I asked her pediatrician yesterday. He said it could possibly be Asperger's but he doesn't want to really pursue anything right now. He says the most important thing we have on our hands is time. I'm hoping that it's just built up energy. My daughter isn't in daycare. I have my children watched in my home. They don't get to go out as much as daycare would, so I'm wondering if possibly built up energy is causing her to act this way??? I'm putting her in daycare starting August. I just wanted my children in their home setting for the first couple years of their life...not to mention I have to be at work at 6:55 and getting my babies up at around 5:30 every morning is way too early!
Also, I'll throw in that I was diagnosed with A.D.D. when I was in grade school. My mom says I used to open and close my fists really fast when I was the same age as her. Could it possible be my child may have A.D.D.??? Now to those that are all of a sudden going, "omg! she is trying to diagnose her daughter with A.D.D. at the age of two?!?!?" NO I'M NOT. I'm trying to figure out if maybe what she is doing now might be similar to what I did when I was younger. Make sense???
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Avatar_f_tn
You are doing a wonderful job mom. You are already keeping an eye on her to see if something is wrong...I would listen to my doctor, get a second opinion.  Give it time...and every child likes to play outside at least once a day.  You sound like a very compitant (sp) educator and like you have a lot of experience.  The next thing that I would do is take her to a specialty doc, one that really studies these kind of things....if you are truly convinced that she is having a problem.  Your doing the right things...keep up the good work!  
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there,
I agree with the comment above that you are doing a great job watching and keeping an eye on her progress and talking to the doctor about concerns.
  It is entirely possible that this is not to do with asbergers/asd and could be something sensory. Or possibly being so young, she may be copying behaviour and finds it stimulating so it has increased to a point which causes concern.
I'm not sure if it is common for people with add to stim, maybe check in an add forum, it could help to find that out.
What i can tell you though is that my son at the age of two was flourishing in all social situations, he was at nursery part-time and all his reports were glowing about his progress and his milestones were all hit early. He talked a great deal and communicated very well, he maintained eye contact and loved to play with others.
Then when he got to about two and a half things just changed, not overnight, but quickly. He stopped talking, stopped playing with toys, dissappeared into his own world, stopped even hugging us, had huge tantrums which at first we though were terrible two's. At first we attributed most of his behaviour to terrible two's we just couldn't understand what wa happening, although i had a feeling something just wasn't right. It was like we lost our son, it was devastating at the time and very confusing as we had little experience/knowledge. It took us until Louis was three and a half to get a diagnosis and it was a huge relief to know what it was. What i am saying is that it is not uncommon for children to be developing "normally" and then at around the age of two to develop/exibit asd, there have been many cases like this, it's one of the mains forms which asd takes/shows. I have also heard of cases where children have dipped in and out of the autistic spectrum and this is also a possibility. What ever the case may be, i think the only thing you can do is give it time as your doctor has said. It's only really time that will tell as your child is very young. I think by the age of three there should be a much clearer picture. Good luck with everything
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you all of your kind words!!

gemmamisty
-My daughter does have tantrums that are quite horrific at times. She can get so mad that her whole body tenses as she screams. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it still worries me. Also with her stimming, my mom and I have noticed that when she is doing it and we tell her to put her hands down, she does without a problem. She just stops...no tantrums. Kind  of strange...all of it really. I just don't know, and that to me is the worst part. :(
I am just hoping that it's not enough energy released from not being in a "normal" daycare setting...who knows.  Either way, I'm going to love my daughter and be there with her every step of the way.

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Avatar_n_tn
Well it could just pass on it's own, and i really am not saying that it could only be asd. The important thing as that you are recognising signs that may mean something else early on and with asd (and other things such as sensory impairments) the earlier it's diagnosed the better. The reason being is that you can start to work with it early on and the earlier the better because statistics do show that the sooner you recognise and help then the easier it will be for your child to progress.
The strangessness i can totally identify with, i had myself a feeling that something was just a bit odd, a bit peculiar in my sons behaviour, it didn't compute. I do think that stimming would be an odd way to let off excess energy, if thats the only reason for stimming. My son does stim but not that often, he tenses his body a lot and pulls funny muscle tensing faces, sometimes he tenses so much it's like his body is rigid and i think thats why he has very developed muscles for a child.
Obviously you do have to wait some time to see how it develops but you really seem like you have your head screwed on with all this so i honestly believe what ever the case you will deal with it in the best possible way. Keep us updated :-)
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Avatar_f_tn
I teach medically fragile children. My classroom consists of children with all sorts of disabilities. My class is in between two autistic pre-k's, and also close to 2 ebd (emotionally and behaviorally disabled) classrooms. I can tell you the hardest thing is to be around so many different disabilities and behaviors and to also be a first time mom. The disability doesn't ruin the child, I'll be the first to tell you that. However, no matter how much I love my students and the students in the other classrooms, I can't help but compare my own child's behavior to theirs, and it has a way of keeping me almost paranoid.
My mom tells me that I am looking to find something wrong with my daughter, but I keep telling her I'm not. My daughter is my oldest, and she is only 2! This just shows I have a lot to learn with her growing up! It's just a need for closure. When my son was only 4 months, the doctors thought he might have had cranialsynostosis (cranial plates fused prematurely). That scared me to death, because if he did he would have had to have surgery on his skull! I had to go through xrays and ct-scans (that all were not scheduled close together). I learned that waiting for the result or diagnosis was harder than actually receiving the news of the diagnosis. When you have a diagnosis...you work on a plan. When there is none, your mind wonders and you have no set plan. It's true when they say, "waiting is the hardest part."
ahhh!!! ;)
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171768_tn?1324233699
i worked with a similar child last year.
He did not appear to have any autistic tendancies to me, nor did aspergers seem likely. He did begin stimming while in class, especially when excited. He did have many sensory problems however. These are what caused many of his extreme behaviors and tantrums.
His parents were in complete denial, so unfortunately, we were unable to get him the help he needed. We did find some things that helped him cope and that helped us manage his behaviors.
First, we learned to anticipate when he might have rough days. He had several cues, especially when he would be more sensitive to sounds and smells. In response to these cues, we made sure to give him as many sensory activities as possible. They seemed to calm him.
Another method I found to be very helpful was to give him a "squish" when he was a bit overwhelmed. Something like a weighted vest would have benefitted him. Since we didn't have parent cooperation, we had to find alternative ways to give him the sensory feedback. The squish consisted of him sitting between my legs and he grabbed my arms and wrapped them around him tightly. He controlled the strength and length of the squish. We would do this if we noticed a lot of stimming, or if we sensed he was off that day. The results were quite impressive. He was a different, calm child for quite a while afterwards. After a while, he learned to recognize when he might need a squish.  

I encourage you to look into sensory integration disorders. I think you are right- it doesn't really sound like aspergers. Therapy and a sensory diet can help children with sensory problems live normal lives. I also wanted to say that I did a lot of research when he started the stimming behaviors. I did find many sources that said it can be a part of normal development- just a quirk that the child outgrows. If your child wasn't prone to terrible tantrums, I would suggest that. However, I have seen for myself the tantrums that a child with sensory problems can throw. They are horrific and often a result of the child simply being overwhelmed and not realizing why.
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter's tantrums are mostly when she wants something, and I don't give it to her...normal tantrums. She may just be a strong willed child, because her tantrums are loud and crazy; however, she is still able to make sense during them. It's not a bunch of screaming and kicking. For example. Last week she wouldn't sit in her big girl booster or the chair for dinner. With my husband being a deputy and his shifts always changing, we make it a point to eat together as a family whenever we can. So, when i gave her many opportunities to sit with the family and she refused, I then put her in her brother's highchair. THIS IS WHEN THE MELTDOWN BEGAN! She flipped out, but instead of just screaming and screaming and hitting. She was shouting as well, and making complete sense. She would tense up, but it was as if she was so frustrated this was the only thing left for her to do. She kept screaming, no this isn't my chair, this is my brother's. This is the baby seat. I want down!!!
I have made a big discovery this weekend, and I'm sad to admit (but atleast I d) that my child watches too much t.v. She has a t.v. in her room and we have noggin (24 hrs of nick jr) always on. Not to mention, she has a dvd player in my car. So, this weekend I told my husband to take the t.v. out of her room, and we weren't to turn the t.v at all. i also took my dvd player out of the car. i want my child to find other ways to entertain herself. We went outside more as well. It's sad that at the end of a hard day at work, I turn to the t.v. to "babysit" my child. I hate that I did that. I never really even realized it. However, I am going to work on this, and I'm going to make it a point to do more things with her outside of the house as well. I'm hoping this may help with her hands, but we'll see.
thanks guys, i appreciate all of you input! I don't feel so down about things now. I really appreciate your time and support!
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Avatar_f_tn
I read your initial question from April of 2009.  My grandson, who is 2, has similar actions, as when your daughter was 2, with moving his fingers really fast, having a tense facial expression with the mouth opened wide, seemingly when he is excited and happy.  No other out-of-the -ordinary behavior except occasionally looking at lines in the flooring, while leaning over in the stroller, such as shopping malls or anywhere there is ceramic tile.  He appears to be very bright,a delightful personality and very affectionate.  He seems to get bored easily with toys and loves to watch DVD's over and over.  His language seems appropriate for his age.

If you are still in this forum a year later, I am wondering how your daughter is doing and if you have any other information as to why this behavior occured.  Any updated information would be appreciated.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a daughter who has had a stimming behavior since 9 months old. She tenses her fist and squishes her face when excited, but doesn't seem to have any other issues. Very smart, hit all milestones. I'm wondering if it's a neurological issue. Will a behavioral specialist be able to help her deal with this behavior? I can't find a ton of info on this. Please help!
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Avatar_n_tn
My son started this stimming behavior when he was 9 months old and is now 2 yr 8 mos. He tenses his fingers and 'fidgets' them in a rapid motion when excited. Also, his face tenses with his mouth open wide as well.
He's super smart, and very social - hit all milestones.
His pediatrician thought this behaviour would stop once he started speaking, but it didn't.  This chat forum is the first time I've actually seen a name/term for the behaviour.  But, what causes stimming? Does it go away eventually?  
Any updates from the posts from last year? If anyone has any info, I would be extremely grateful!
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Avatar_f_tn
my 4 yr old daughter has been doing silmilar type of stimming since she was about 2.   She opens her mouth really wide, crosses her eyes, and her hand/fingers get rigid. She first puts her hand out then pull it into her chest for a few seconds, then out again. She will do this behaviour for a few seconds, several times (like every 30 or 40 seconds when she is excited or really focused. Only when she is happy. never when she is upset. She does not have bad tantrus. she is very intelligent and also a social butterfly. I definitely don t think is any type of autism.   I had mentioned it over the year w/ a few doc, but usually she didn't do it when she was in the clinic. The other day I brought her to the ped doc and she did it alot.  * She did have viral meningitis as an infant, so the doc is concerned if the could be a neuro issue related to her meninges in her brain swelling when she was an infant.  The doc has ordered an EEG (test for seizure activity) and an MRI of her head.    I will keep you all posted.  PLEASE let me know if you all find anything out about your children !
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi there.  Well, I'm so glad when I see a mom who persists in trying to figure out what is going on with their child.  She absolutely does NOT sound autistic but I am glad that the doctor is going to look into seizures or other neuro problems.  My son stims but he has sensory integration disorder which is a developmental delay of the nervous system.  He does it to calm himself or to wake himself up (I guess-----  he just says it feels good.  His stim is spinning primarily)  Anyway, good luck with the doctor and let us know what they say.  
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