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SALT - social story for stimming

(5 Posts)
debs40 Tue 13-Oct-09 08:14:30

One of the things SALT mentioned yesterday was DS's constant licking of his hands and fingers which is basically stimming.

She suggested a social story for this. Does anyone have any idea if they are effective for stimming behaviours?

streakybacon Tue 13-Oct-09 08:19:17

You'd probably have to start off with finding an acceptable (to him) alternative to licking that serves the same purpose for him. That means working out why he licks, whether it's for comfort, reassurance, habit or whatever. Then introduce an alternative and encourage him (through rewards or whatever works best for him) to use that instead.

Any social story you use would emphasise the benefits of using the alternative instead of licking. It's hard to stop stims altogether because it's the child's self management strategy. You can't take it away altogether without giving something else that they can use to cope instead.

debs40 Tue 13-Oct-09 08:38:25

That's what I was thinking. The social story suggested went along the lines of 'it's not appropriate to lick as other people will think it's odd' hmm

Homsa Tue 13-Oct-09 09:28:02

Same thing was suggested by my DS's school and I'm also v hmm about this - seems to imply a value judgement of what is usually an involuntary behaviour! I don't want my DS to made to feel bad about doing something he hasn't got much control over. It also implies that the child is actually bothered about what people think...
Prefer to redirect the behaviour every time it occurs without drawing any attention to it, i.e. quickly remove fingers from mouth and give him a squeeze ball / fidget toy or similar.

debs40 Tue 13-Oct-09 12:31:39

I agree. I also think that if they're not bothered, then one of the worst things to do is to say 'well it looks weird so you should be'. It's like a psychological slap on the hand!

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