Repetitive Behavior, a.k.a. Stimming

See also:    Behavior    Echolalia   

Internet Resources

Our results suggest that the causes of stereotypy for students with autism are complex and that the presumed association between response topography and behavioral function may be less important than previously realized.
C.H. Kenney et al
Instead of trying to punish or simply extinguish the salient, abnormal behavior, perhaps methods of calming an autistic child by limiting sensory input would be more successful and effective.
Jennifer Kuhn
OCD in the Autistic is a hallmark symptom. Coping with it is the challenge for families. This article is written by a physician and suggests some approaches.
Gershon Berkson, Tami Andriacchi
behaviors-referred to as blindisms, mannerisms, or stereotypic behaviors, because of their often bizarre nature, are viewed as barriers to the social acceptance by the general population of persons who are blind.
Anne Haley Estevis
Differential reinforcement procedures are the most commonly used treatment for aberrant behavior...they involve both withholding reinforcement contingent on an aberrant response (extinction) and delivering reinforcement contingent on other behavior
Bethany Marcus et al
Ideal alternative behaviors are those that, like stereotypy, either are immediately or eventually maintained in the absence of reinforcement delivered by parents or therapists.
Gregory Hanley
Because these behaviors (stims) serve such a critical function for the child, the goal is to try and develop more functional and appropriate behaviors rather than to eliminate or extinguish the behavior.
The most common and typical tardive stereotypies are the repetitive oral facial and lingual movements that resemble chewing, lip smacking, tongue protrusion ('fly-catching') or lateral tongue movements in the floor of the mouth (Bon-Bon sign).
The particular challenges that satiation-resistant aberrant behavior presents for behavior analysts are addressed. Specific suggestions for research on intervention strategies for persistent aberrant behavior are also provided.
David Wilder, Karen Kate Kellum, James Carr
Taken together, these studies exploring the links between repetitive behaviors and the brain provide evidence of a similar biobehavioral model in place in both autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Jamie Winter, Laura Schreibman
When viewing the information on this page, remember that every child is an individual and all characteristics will not apply. The following excessive behaviors may be observed in children with autism.
Carol Layton, Robin Lock
A concurrent-operantsdesign was used to analyze the repetitive behavior of observing reflective surfaces while simultaneously engaging in erratic gross-motor body movements (EBMs) exhibited by a young boy diagnosed with autism. The assessment involved an evaluation of preference for controlled (i. e., the participant controlled the visual activity on a TV screen) versus uncontrolled (i. e., the participant viewed a previously recorded tape from the controlled condition) TV footage of his EBMs. The analysis indicated that both observing and EBMs were maintained by the direct correspondence between the body movements and the visual stimulation they produced when controlled by the participant. Thus, the EBMs appeared to be maintained on a conjugate schedule of reinforcement.
John T. Rapp et al
Dr. Rocher's book, the 'notME' book, details a program beginning with introductory stims, such as thorax thumping, to more advanced visual forms such as water-gazing, crystals, kaliedoscopes, and the CRT-finger-waggle.(Parody)
I think my original premise that Arthur's obtrusive stimming could be reduced by increasing his sense of involvement and structuring his participation in group activities has been borne out by the results.
Mike Stanton
Autistic children and adults might find a favored sound, word or phrase and repeat it over and over again. This repetition is called perseveration. How to handle this perseveration depends on the individual
Robin Baraybar
Repetitive questions may serve a variety of functions for the person with ASD. What is confusing is that the same question may serve different functions at different times thereby requiring different strategies.
Beverly Vicker
Because their behaviors appear very different from our own and can interfere with learning or become dangerous, they are viewed negatively by many people. Changing our perception about these behaviors may help us respond to them in a better way.
Kate Moss, Robbie Blaha
Children and adults with autism respond more cooperatively when they feel valued, respected, motivated and encouraged. Learning material is handled more positively by the autistic person when it is presented clearly, concisely and in small chunks.
Wendy Lawson
The most important finding was the high frequency of nervous habits in the preschool years. The behaviors are associated with certain situations or moods. The behavior may be elicited through an interaction of individual and environmental factors.
Laura Gutermuth Foster
It is important to try to understand signs of communication that may appear in their multimodal behaviour, which encompasses speech, gesture, gaze, facial expression etc. In this paper, we review some of the literature on autistic non-verbal behaviour.
Ouriel Grynszpan, Jean-Claude Martin, Nicole Oudin
Mukhopadhyay said the key to her technique is the self-stimulating behavior, such as hand flapping, that is common in autistic children. She matches the pace of her questions to the speed of their repetitive behavior or 'stim.'
Stacey Burling, Philadelphia Inquirer
A person with a developmental disability who has impaired communication skills (or is possibly nonverbal) may at times communicate his pain through dangerous or socially inappropriate behaviors.
Ellen Arcadi
Results suggested that stereotypic behavior was more resistant to disruption following periods of access to preferred stimuli delivered on a variable-time schedule than following periods without access to preferred stimuli.
William Ahearn, Kathy Clark, Nicole Gardenier, Bo In Chung, William V. Dube
Managing your own overload levels begins by trying to become acquainted with how 'full' your sensory load can get before you start to lose the ability to manage it.
Jay Quinones, Malakh Studios
Slide presentation
Kimberly A. Crosland, Jennifer R. Zarcone, Stephen R. Schroeder, R. Matthew Reese
...even NTs 'stim', altho it appears it is called a 'nervous habit' for NTs. But people pace, twirl pencils, wiggle their feet, tap their fingers, chew their fingernails, etc. If it quacks like a duck….
Stereotypy is often referred to as self-stimulatory behavior, because it involves the repeated and persistent presentation of a behavior (e.g., rocking or hand flapping) for no apparent function other than to provide sensory or kinesthetic feedback.
William Frea
Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder engage in simple, repetitive actions such as rocking or spinning objects. What to do about repetitive actions depends on the reason the individual is performing the activity or the function of the behavior.
Cathy Pratt
Parents observing such behaviour experience shame, concern over the physical well-being of their daughter or son, and frustrated helplessness over the seeming inability of caregivers and professionals to do something.
Douglas Biklen et al
The movements you are calling 'stims' are not the input part of the equation. The 'stims' are the output side. The input side is some sensory hunger or need. We need to look at the whole equation: input, processing, output.
Ed Hammer
This class of behaviors is problematic in all of its forms because of the obstacles to learning they present and their socially stigmatizing nature.
Roberta Daversa
Overcorrection is a technique for inadequate behaviours reduction that is considered as "benign punishment", thereby constituting an interesting alternative to extinction, time-out and other punitive procedures, going back to Foxx and Azrin.
Juan Francisco Rodríguez Testal et al
As neurodevelopmentalists we view sensory play as negative, self-perpetuating, self-isolating behavior. High functioning children and adults do not engage in significant amounts of sensory play, but low functioning individuals do.
Samuel Gridley Howe Library, Brandeis University
Direct attempts to prohibit or suppress long standing routines, rituals and stereotyped patterns of behaviour are rarely effective. Instead, a progressively graded introduction of change seems to be the best approach.
Patricia Howlin, Michael Rutter
Stereotypic behaviors interfere with attention and learning. Interestingly, these behaviors are often effective positive reinforcers if a person is allowed to engage in these behaviors after completing a task.
Stephen Edelson
Visual, verbal/auditory, tactile, vestibular, and other stims.
Results indicated that the co-release (coupling) of POMC fragments were stable over time and the profile of POMC fragments in plasma predicted the effectiveness of a CNS acting drug in autistic subjects who self-injure.
Curt Sandman, William Hetrick, Derek Talyor, Sarah Marion, Aleksandra Chicz–DeMet
There are many possible reasons why a person may engage in self-injurious behavior, ranging from biochemical to the social environment
Stephen Edelson
By carefully examining a person's behavior, one can make a reasonable deduction regarding the appropriate intervention. This strategy is much better than relying on 'trial and error.'
Stephen Edelson
The results indicated that a reduction in self-stimulation could be achieved by frequent presentation of alternative olfactory stimulation, and that direct care staff in a group home setting could successfully apply the strategy.
Marcia Datlow Smith
Many children with autism engage in repetitive behavior that does not appear to be a function of social consequence... Stereotypy can be challenging to treat due to both its persistence and its tendency to occur in the absence of adult supervision.
Bridget Taylor

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