What is Stimming?

Published by: Medical News Today

Written by: Lori Smith

Repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects is referred to as self-stimulatory behavior, abbreviated to stimming. Stimming can occur in people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Some people will stim when nervous, employing behaviors such as pacing, biting their nails, hair twirling, or tapping their feet or fingers.

In this article, we will examine why stimming occurs and the different types that occur. We will also look at what can be done if someone’s stimming behaviors are causing them problems in day-to-day life. Click here to read the rest of the story

Advertisements

Reducing Stress In Kids


Published by: Stress-Free Kids
Written by: Lori Lite

Children are vulnerable to stress. Thirteen out of one hundred children experience some kind of anxiety disorder and many more are just stressed out! Living a balanced life and reducing stress in kids is a challenge for most families.
With very little effort you can offer your children the tools they need to maintain emotional balance. Consider filling your child’s emotional backpack with solutions and techniques they can use for stress management and relaxation. Kids can be active participants in creating their own healthy, calm lives. Click here to read the rest of the story

 

Surfing as therapy for autism: Ocean Heroes charity helps children find connection


Published by: ABC News
Written by: Eliza Laschon

Learning to surf is proving to be a tonic for children with autism, helping them become calmer and more confident after a morning in the swell on Perth’s coastline with volunteers from a surfing charity.

The organisation was set up by a group of surfing mates last year and parents of children who have participated have been blown away by the positive results.

Judi Barrett-Lennard said her son William had “very low-functioning autism”.

“There’s a huge improvement once he has been in the water,” Mrs Barrett-Lennard said. Click here to read the rest of the story

Autism and Post-Secondary Education

According to the U.S. census, over a half million autistic students will turn 18 over the next decade/ Further studies show that many students diagnosed with autism are not prepared for the transition. Some and their families are opting towards a college education. More colleges are offering support services to autistic students including social, academic, and life skills.

The following resources provide information and articles on autism and college preparation:

11 tips for students with autism who are going to college (KFM)

20 great scholarship for students on the autism spectrum

College Autism Network (CAN)

College planning for autistic students (USC Marshall)

College students with autism need support to succeed on campus (Spectrum)

Families: Learn how to find autism-friendly colleges (U.S. News)

Going to college with autism (Child Mind Institute)

Helping students with autism thrive: College life on the spectrum (Madison House Autism Foundation)

Neurodiversity and autism in college (Psychology Today)

The transition to college can be tough, even more so if you have autism (Washington Post)

New report shows slight uptick in autism prevalence

Published by: Spectrum
Written by: Jessica Wright

About 1 in 59 children in the United States has autism, according to data released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Four times as many boys as girls have the condition, according to the report1.

The data are based on a 2014 survey of 325,483 children across 11 states. The data were collected by the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM).

These numbers show an increase of nearly 16 percent from the previous prevalence of 1 in 68 children. That estimate was based on data collected in 2012 and had a gender ratio of 4.5 to 1. Click here to read the rest of the story.

 

27 Facts On Stimming You Should Know

  1. “Stimming” is short for self-stimulatory behavior. (or stereotypical).
  2. It is common among people with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and Fragile X Syndrome.
  3. It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
  4. In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
  5. Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
  6. The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
  7. It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
  8. One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain casuing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
  9. Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
  10. Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.
  11. It is observed in 10% of non-autistic children.
  12. common forms of stimming include spinning, hand-flapping and body rocking
  13. Benefits of stimming include the increased ability to remain calm, reduce meltdowns, and increased focus and time management skills.
  14. Love ones and society may consider stimming socially inappropriate
  15. Autistic people should be allowed to stim as much as needed
  16. Autistic people may bebefit from stress balls, fidget toys, and chewy jewelry.
  17. Stimming helps to relieve anxiety.
  18. Most people in the autistic community oppose attempts to reduce or eliminate stimming
  19. This is due to understanding that stimming is an important tool for self-regulation.
  20. Stimming can help block out excess sensory input
  21. Stimming helps provide extra sensory when needed
  22. repeated banging of the head actually reduces the overall sensation of pain.
  23. Visual. Repetitive movements such as fluorescent lights which tend to flicker.
  24. Smell (Olfactory) Includes repetitive behavior in licking, tasting objects,
  25. Tactile. Skin-rubbing, hand movement, and repeatedly grind teeth
  26. Vestibular. Moving body, rocking back to front, spinning, jumping and pacing.
  27. Vigorous exercise reduces the need to stim.

Picture

 

Reference

Autism Asperger’s Digest

Child Mind Institute

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (2013). APA 5th Edition

Science Daily

The Importance of Hearing Young People With Autism

Published by: U.K. Youth
Written by: Maya Hattenstone

There are around 700,000  people on the autism spectrum in the UK, many of these are young people and I am one of them. And you don’t hear from us often enough!

Being a young person with autism you can get lost in anxiety; worrying that people are judging you, that you are not accepted, that you sound strange when you talk. Too often we end up silencing ourselves with our self-consciousness.

I was diagnosed with Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome (a condition on the autism spectrum) when I was seven years old.  People with PDA have communication and social interaction difficulties. I found school life and academic work hard. In fact I found a lot of life hard.

For a long time I didn’t know how to be a voice and didn’t want to be a voice. So, like many autistic people my instinct was to withdraw – into silence in social situations, or simply avoid those awkward situations in the first place. Click here to read the rest of the story

Anxiety On The Spectrum

Anxiety is one of the co-occurring  disorders that affect autistic children. A study published by the Journal of Child and Family Studies found that autistic children had higher anxiety levels compared to neurotypical children. It is estimated that 40% of autistic teens display signs and symptoms of anxiety.

Why Autism and Anxiety?

There are many reasons anxiety affects autistic children in large numbers. Bill Nason, moderator of the Facebook page, Autism Discussion Page and psychologist, explains that daily experiences that impact their nervous system including sensory, cognitive, social, and emotional vulnerabilities leave autistic children and teens with daily high levels of stress. He explains what comes naturally for neurotypicals, is hard work for them placing their nervous system on high alert even during its resting state. High levels of anxiety make take the form of mood swings, rigid and inflexible thinking and obsessive compulsive behavior.

What are the signs of anxiety?
Physical Signs

Complains about feeling sick

Complains about headaches

Difficulty sleeping

Fidgets and spins

Worrying

Worries about making a mistake

Difficulty in performing in exams

Is afraid of being placed in a new situation

Social

Apprehensive of meeting new people

Displays difficulty in joining new groups

Avoids interacting with peers

Worried about being laughed at.

Types of Anxieties

Anxiety of uncertainty- fear of anything new and unfamiliar
Social anxiety- difficulty interacting with others during social events
Sensory overload- Becomes anxious in settings that present strong sensory stimulation
Generalized  anxiety- non-specific ongoing pervasive anxiety

Strategies for Reducing Anxiety
  1. Rest
  2. Exercise or physical activity
  3. Allow time to participate in a favorite activity
  4. Self-stimulation can be used for calming purpose
  5. Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness and meditation
  6. Build structure into daily routines
  7. Review the day including what is expected of them
Additional Resources

Anxiety in autistic adults

Classroom ideas to reduce anxiety

Managing anxiety in children with autism

 

 

The Exhaustion Of My Life As An Autistic Person

Website: The Mighty

Written by: Violet Haze

One of the hardest things for me to deal with as an autistic person is people not understanding what life is like on a daily basis. Nobody has any idea how much energy goes into ensuring I don’t mess up too badly or that I “get things done” when they need doing. Well, they might, but many people in my life didn’t until I received my diagnosis, and even then, it’s hard for them to understand sometimes.

Ever been so tired after a busy day that you sit down and before you know it, you’re waking up out of nowhere and it’s the next day already… when you weren’t even finished with the day before? This has been my reality since I was young. A few hours of an activity that didn’t involve being at home, and for the next day or even two, I’m so tired I can’t do anything except lay around and sleep. The exhaustion of autism is real and tangible in my everyday life. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Classroom Accommodations for Austistic Students


A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a parent who voiced her frustration with her daughter’s school. Although her daughter is diagnosed with autism, she falls on the mild range of the spectrum meaning her deficits are ignored. This becomes challenging for a teacher who may not recognize the signs and symptoms of an autistic child.

Girls, in particular, often develop the ability to disappear in a large group. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to pretend you hold the same characteristics of others.  This leads to both depression and anxiety in children with autism. There are also sensory challenges a student with autism may face including auditory, visual and tactile.

Reading non-verbal cues forces a child and even some autistic adults to work harder everyday which causes exhaustion and can possibly lead to anxiety.

There are a number of ways to accommodate  a student with autism. If you are a teacher, read as much information as you can on autism. each child is different so it will help to get feedback from parents who can help provide the right accommodations.

The following articles provide great information on both modifications and accommodations  which can be put into the child’s IEP:

10 tips for making middle-school work for kids with autism

14 possible IEP accommodations for children with autism/ADHD

20 classroom modifications for students with autism

23 classroom accommodation suggestions for kids with autism and Asperger’s syndrome

Accommodations and supports for school-age students with autism

Asperger syndrome/HFA and the classroom

Common modifications and accommodations

IEP considerations for students with autism spectrum disorder

Recommendations for students with high-functioning autism

Supporting learning in the student with autism