Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why Does my Child Stim???

The Cause of Stimming: What’s your stim?
MAR 22, 2012 09:57 AM | KAREN   

The Link to the Friendship Circle Blog Post (Complete Post)

“Why does my child engage in this (Stimming) behavior?” Seeking to understand the motivation for a behavior is always a great place to start. There are several hypotheses and known causes for stimming:

1. Overstimulation
stimming can help block out excess sensory input.

2. Understimulation
stimming helps provide extra sensory input when needed.

3. Pain reduction
repeated banging of the head or body actually reduces the overall sensation of pain. One hypothesis is that stimming causes the release of beta-endorphins in the body, which then causes a feeling of anesthesia or pleasure.

4. Management of emotions
both positive and negative emotions may trigger a burst of stimming. We’ve all seen physical reactions to joy or excitement, such as jumping or hand-flapping. Frustration or anger may intensify a stim to the point that it becomes destructive.

5. Self-regulation
Some stims serve the purpose of soothing or comforting. Many infants learn to suck their thumbs to relax themselves.

I recently read a blog in which a parent asked why her son covered his ears in his sleep. He had learned to cover his ears when his environment was too noisy, and that was soothing to him. So he started covering his ears whenever he needed to comfort himself, especially when falling asleep.

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