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Hand licking autistic 3 year old

(9 Posts)
Marmitepasta Thu 09-Jun-16 19:18:36

Hi all.

Just wondering if anyone would have any advice for me.

My 3 year old son who has autism is always licking the palms of his hands. It's been going on for a few weeks now. He does it all the time, I don't think it is stress triggered. Initially I have just ignored it, thinking he'd stop doing it but he hasn't. Today I just started removing his hands when he started doing it but he obviously started up again after. I know it's not that bad as a thing to do but I think it would be good to discourage before it becomes a long term thing. Any advice?

PolterGoose Thu 09-Jun-16 19:44:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marmitepasta Thu 09-Jun-16 20:11:05

Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

Yes I think it is that he likes the feel, think both oral and tactile! He likes feeling things with his mouth and loves having the palms of his hands scratched.

Maybe if I got him a chew and whenever he starts the hand licking, give him the chew and say 'lick this'??? Think he'll prefer his hands though!

PolterGoose Thu 09-Jun-16 20:18:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Marmitepasta Thu 09-Jun-16 20:29:37

Ok thank you will have a look!

Marshmallow09er Thu 09-Jun-16 20:31:43

I second the fiddle toys idea - my DS is a big hand licker, especially when he's sitting watching the tv, for example. Having something in his hands definitely reduces the licking (he also does it when he feels they are 'unclean' which is so counter-intuitive but there you go!).
If I try and stop him / draw attention to it then the compulsion grows stronger imho, better to just subtlety keep his hands busy if you can.
(DS is also a massive t shirt sucker, but I don't mind that so much. His hands got so sore last winter from the licking - I prefer soggy collars!)

zzzzz Thu 09-Jun-16 21:01:59

I find that telling them to go and wash their hands whenever it happens is a deterrent because it's SO boring but also because soap, then water, then rough towel scratches the palm itch iykwim. The MS answer to mouthing is chewing gum, bubble gum, toothpick or cigarette (obviously not!). Straws in drinks and pens are also common. wink. Avoid tooth rotting stuff but introducing "acceptable" ms alternatives is, I think, helpful.

Fairylea Thu 09-Jun-16 21:36:24

I have a sucker grin My son aged 4 sucks everything and anything including edges of sofas and t shirts and even the steps on play equipment (!) He is also obsessed with his nostrils at the moment and when he is stressed he sticks fingers up both nostrils and flicks at them...! It's a bit grim but all I can do is laugh (to myself, not at him) and try to distract him with something else. I guess it's all sensory seeking or soothing.

Marmitepasta Fri 10-Jun-16 19:13:26

Ok great thanks everyone, some great ideas and nice to know its not just us!
Fairylea, the nostril thing made me laugh too! Well if you don't laugh, you cry I often find so the former is better!!!
Mine went through a bad biting stage a couple of weeks ago, kept getting excited about something and literally launching himself at me at great speed, mouth open to go in for the bite. My mum was staying at the time and we got quite hysterical about it, but it was probably a coping mechanism!! He's stopped now luckily!

I'm gonna buy a chew thing and a fidgit thing tonight

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