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Talk to me about hand flapping...

(16 Posts)
tethersend Sun 31-Jul-11 20:03:05

DD is 2.8 and has done this since she was a baby. It has lessened as she gets older, but when excited she sort of shifts from one foot to the other and makes jerky circular movements with her hands, as if she is conducting a very fast orchestra grin

The thing is, I used to teach children with ASD and I am hyper vigilant for any signs of it. Probably too much so; I know how ASD can present, but I have no idea how a typically developing toddler can present IYSWIM.

She has very good language skills, can generalise and (as far as I can tell) has theory of mind; it's just the flapping which worries me.

Has anyone got a child who does/did this? Should I be concerned or will she grow out of it?

AuntieMonica Sun 31-Jul-11 20:04:15

watching this thread very carefully as DD is a hand-flapper also.

Chundle Sun 31-Jul-11 20:34:47

My dd is 2 on a few weeks when she gets excited she runs on her toes and wiggled her hands about like she's about to take off. She has slight speech delay and some sensory issues, she isn't keen on contact with other children but she points and is communicative. Her OT told me it can be linked to sensory integration issues as well as asd

tethersend Sun 31-Jul-11 21:57:40

Bump

tethersend Mon 01-Aug-11 08:48:16

Morning bump

countrysidemummy Mon 01-Aug-11 10:23:09

My dd has had a best friend since birth (they are now 7) who has always done this when ever she is excited or distressed. It has lessened in the last couple of years but it is still there. She is a lovely little girl, bright as a button and above average in all her milestones. I really wouldn't worry about your dd she sounds very similar smile

deaconblue Mon 01-Aug-11 21:13:48

Ds does this and the running on his toes thing when he's excited. He has been diagnosed with aspergers traits. He also has some sensory integration problems and some retained reflexes.

bruffin Mon 01-Aug-11 21:28:34

My niece used to the hand thing and the same with her feet when was little. It was always when she got excited.
She grew out of it and is 20 now.

ensure Mon 01-Aug-11 22:13:55

I think.... if I remember properly... they're called stereotype movements (?).

When adults have stereotype movements, it's considered a disorder, but with toddlers if there are no other issues it's just considered normal and they grow out of it, like tooth grinding.

rockinhippy Tue 02-Aug-11 00:19:05

My DD is now 8 -

She had excellent language skills etc at that age - but couldn't stand still for a second - she bounced & flapped so much we thought she might take off - ended up with the nickname "Tigga" grin - there were times I wondered as you now do too

but she's fine - in fact she's more than fine in that she's considered very bright & gifted, she probably does have some very mild AS traits, such occasional noise/light sensitivity when she's tired, but she has sailed through a school very used to picking up & coping well with AS DCs - she still bounces & flaps if excited too smile

She has 1 friend, since nursery who I've noticed is very like her in this - the 2 together are quite scary shock - they are both build like whippets - built for speed comes to mind - the only 2 in her group of friends & I've been involved in discussions on here in the past where others who are that sort of build are slightly hyper - they are both extremely creative too - so I do wonder if that also plays apart - IYSWIM - they are very creative, so express themselves with more creative gestures IYSWIM confused

casawasa Tue 02-Aug-11 00:24:30

What an interesting thread! my ds, now 7, is a "flapper"! it is a bit of a family joke now but it hadn't occurred to us that it might have a wider meaning. He is very full of energy and very creative. I will watch this thread closely!

twolittlekittens Tue 02-Aug-11 06:51:18

DD is a flapper too. When she gets anxious or excited, she looks like Tommy Cooper. Nowt wrong with her apart from that though and the hand movements are lessening as she grows.

happymole Tue 02-Aug-11 07:18:27

AFAIK Hand flapping can be one of the 'symptoms' of ASD, but it is one of a lot of behaviour traits which are taken as a whole.

NT children can handflap
SN children may not handflap

My dd -who is autistic- handflaps and spins but she has a lot of other traits, and doesn't always handflap.

Hope this makes sense, not sleeping is another trait she has <zombie eyes>

grin

LeCielEstBleu Tue 02-Aug-11 07:43:46

My DS (9) is also a hand flapper when excited (also family joke here)he says it's like a buzz too at the top of his legs- must be like some kind of adrenaline rush. He's very bright, sociable and a great little sportsman, so I have no worries about it now. I would say the flapping has only started to reduce over the past year or two.

fargate Tue 02-Aug-11 11:04:39

My DS did this and the toe-walking too to my alarm but they are part of normal toddler development and only indicate problems if they persist.

zen1 Tue 02-Aug-11 14:40:52

DS3 (also 2.8), does this loads when he is excited. It happens a lot when he is sitting down focusing on something he finds amusing and he hand flaps, does the twirly movements and kicks his legs. However he does have other developmental issues and I have been concerned about ASD. When I mentioned it to the pead though (and she observed him doing it), she dismissed it and said "lots of people do that", even stating some of her Dr colleagues did it or that you could see them trying to surpress doing it hmm.

DS1 (8) cannot walk down the street without skipping, jumping, flapping his hands or clicking his fingers. He has always done this too (and did hours of spinning wheels when a toddler!), but I just thought it was normal kid behaviour. I have no other concerns about him, and he's doing fine at school, socially etc

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