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SN children

Spinning in circles

7 replies

angpat · 16/01/2024 14:02

Do children with ASD spin in circles for ages with their eyes to the corner or looking down because they don’t feel dizzy and want to spin to get this sensation? and if they do feel dizzy and fall over after a few spins what does this mean - that they are not sensory seeking and it is just a repetitive behaviour or they like the sensation of feeling dizzy? Just wondering what the difference in the reason between a child with ASD spinning and a NT toddler doing it ? Thank you !

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MinnieTruck · 16/01/2024 14:10

My DD is 2 years old and will spin all day, everyday. When you look at her, her eyes are in the inside corner but I think that’s because she spins so fast that her eyes start to become ever so slightly delayed (if that makes sense).

DD will spin and spin and spin until she gets dizzy and falls onto the floor. She’ll laugh and then start doing it all over again. For her, I think she’s sensory seeking as she enjoys the movement AND it’s repetitive behaviour. I’m sure it’s one of the main ways that she stims too.

I‘m thinking about my friend who has a DS the same age as my DD, he’s NT. He only ever spins around sometimes and when he does, he says it’s because he likes to feel dizzy and fall to the floor. Whereas my DD is spinning up to 20+ times a day. I don’t think she does so that she can feel dizzy. I think she does it as it’s something that she finds calming and she enjoys how it feels.

Not sure if any of that makes sense or even answers your question!

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angpat · 16/01/2024 14:57

That’s interesting as your daughter seems to not feel dizzy until she spins for ages then ? Whereas the boy feels dizzy and likes that sensation so does it for that ?
is th at because children with ASD have problems with their vestibular system where they don’t feel dizzy in the same way someone with an intact vestibular system would ?

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MinnieTruck · 16/01/2024 16:24

Oh no, she definitely does get dizzy but she knows her limit. For example, she can spin slowly for a good 5 minutes before getting dizzy. Or she’ll spin around quicker for 2 or so mins before she gets dizzy. Once she’s dizzy, she laughs, takes a second to calm down and goes again!

I’m not sure in regards to her vestibular system tbh. Wheras with my son who’s 20 months old and has a rare genetic disorder (suspected Autism as well as all of his other struggles), he spins in a different kind of way where he will stand still but swing his head round and round and also twist his torso. He can do that due to his vestibular system and the fact that it’s somewhat underdeveloped. I’m not sure if that’s the same with my daughter though!

One thing I do know is she definitely doesn’t spin with the aim of getting dizzy. She does it as it’s a repetitive moment that she enjoys. Kind of like walking on her tip toes. Did you have some concerns with your own DC?

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angpat · 16/01/2024 16:50

Ok that makes sense thanks for explaining that! My 21 month old son spins sometimes , not always but sometimes looking to the corner , and he seems to fall over after a few spins but he has been doing it more regularly and for up to 1 minute but usually less than this. He also has some other sensory seeking behaviour like running , crossing his fingers , and flapping very occasionally. I was wondering if it could be linked to ASD or just a delay in sensory processing. However he has been seen by SALT and OT and they don’t have any concerns regarding ASD as his social communication is fine. However he does have a speech delay too (they thinks this is because of previous hearing loss) so was just wondering if I need to do anything further or just watch and wait! He doesn’t get annoyed if I distract him or stop the spinning don’t know if that means anything ? but I guess it is a repetitive behaviour as he has been doing it on and off for months , and not sure if it’s something I should be worried about. However I know for autism you need to have problems in social communication as well as repetitive and rigid behaviour. He points to things and gestures etc and good eye contact and notices other people and interacts well!

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KeepGoingThomas · 16/01/2024 19:19

The hearing loss could contribute to sensory seeking behaviour. It can also affect balance.

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angpat · 16/01/2024 20:18

The hearing loss is sorted now though !

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KeepGoingThomas · 16/01/2024 20:31

It doesn’t mean it hasn’t affected or still affects DS though.

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