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Head banging & hand twizzling

(9 Posts)
Ellaroo Mon 22-Jul-02 08:50:32

Dd is 10 months old and has taken to sitting forward in pushchair/highchair and then throwing her head back really hard so that it hits the back of the chair. It looks like it would be excrutiatingly painful, but when I tell her not to do it she laughs! She seems fairly normal and happy in every other way, so I am hoping it is not a sign that she is unhappy. Has anyone had any experience of this? The other odd thing that she does is whenever she is frustrated/confused/bored/angry/excited she twizzles both hands backwards and forwards. She seems completely unaware that she is doing it and never looks at her hands while she is doing this (had heard that if they look at their hands it can be all about judging distance etc.) Is this common? The HV said it could be some kind of neurological disorder but that she doubted this as dd is very bright, happy and interactive. Any ideas?

jodee Mon 22-Jul-02 09:33:43

Hi Ellaroo, my ds did the hand twizzling thing, I'm trying to remember when he stopped - maybe 18 months? I'm surprised your HV thought it might be a neurological disorder, we never thought of it in that way at all, only that he was excited/concentrating on something. Ds's cousin apparently did the same (he is now nearly 6 and totally normal).

I think ds did the head throwing thing too, I'm not sure if he did it when sitting in the buggy, (probably), but I know when feeding him sitting on my lap he would throw himself backwards and think it was a huge game, very funny indeed.

I'm sure your dd is just as your HV said, just very bright, and wanting to interact with you.

Ellaroo Mon 22-Jul-02 12:42:28

Thanks for replying so quickly, Jodee. It's good to hear that someone else has had the hand twizzling thing and that their child is normal. It is just so worrying as she probably spends about 3 hours a day doing it in total (whilst doing other things - that sounds awful like she is always bored or something, but even while I'm playing with her she does it). I think the reason why I'm so worried about it is because all our friends and family who've visited have commented on it.

AAsmummy Mon 22-Jul-02 13:57:58

My one year old son does the 'throwing the head back really hard' thing. It tends to be when he is really tired too.

Sometimes he is sitting up and throws his whole body back onto the wooden floor...ouch. He has also launched himself backwards off the bottom of the stairs!

Apart from lots of crying, afterwards, he seems OK. I heard somewhere that head banging etc is a comfort thing. Can't quite see it myself!

Bumblelion Mon 22-Jul-02 14:32:44

My eldest DD (now 9) used to twizzle her hands when she was very excited. My DS (now 5) never did any of this. Now my youngest DD (9 months) twizzles her hands when she is agitated, tired, angry, etc.

As I said, my eldest DD used to do it but I can't remember what age she grew out of it.

zebra Mon 22-Jul-02 20:00:23

Ellaroo -- what you describe sounds like normal to me, for the age (my 2nd is now 9.5 months old). I think it's just part of learning what their bodies can do. My 2.7 yo boy laughs and laughs when his sister head bangs... obviously entertaining to him, too. We're just too old to get it

I think you worry if they still do the back-arching/head banging/mindless repetitive behaviour stuff after 18 months. Chris Green may say something about it in his books.

Bozza Tue 23-Jul-02 14:04:23

DS headbangs soemtimes against the wall. Also in a wooden church pew. I'm convinced that he enjoys the noise because when in Church I have carefully selected quiet toys etc and that is obviously not on from his POV!! Having said that he is 17 mo now and I can't remember him doing it recently. Still shakes his head from side to side very rapidly and voilently which he seems to find entertaining.

Art Thu 25-Jul-02 20:30:57

My ds also does the throwing his head back thing and also spends all day crossing his fingers! I have always assumed it is just the feeling he is experimenting with. He went thru a phase at about 6 months of turning his hands in an odd way too.

aloha Thu 25-Jul-02 21:10:42

My ds (10mo) hand twizzles too, and he's just learned to clap and does that a lot. He also sometimes shakes his head as if he's saying no. They are all new things to him and I think he enjoys the dizzy feeling of head shaking. He seems perfectly normal and very happy in all other ways.

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