Toddlers: 24 Months+

Hand flapping when mad/upset

Anyone else's LO do this?  DS will flap his hands for a few seconds when we take away toy or say no to paci etc.  Its like the start of a tantrum but tantrums don't always follow if we can redirect him in time...I google hand flapping and all that comes up is autism signs.  DS is developing normally I believe in all areas.  Anyone else experience this, probably just a phase...

Re: Hand flapping when mad/upset

  • DS does it when he's super-excited (think birthday present-opening!) but is beyond normal in everything else--downright brilliant, actually. ;) No signs of autism. 

     

  • jc&catjc&cat
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    DS does it when he's super-excited (think birthday present-opening!) but is beyond normal in everything else--downright brilliant, actually. ;) No signs of autism. 

     

    Same here. Just his way of communicating in our house.

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  • My dd does this sometimes when she is mad. She doesn't have autism. My ds, hand flaps all the time, only when he is really excited, and he does have autism. Hand flapping when excited is a sign of autism, but when "mad" not so much. It also has to be combined with other un-"typical" behaviors, such as a delay in speech, limited eye contact, social unawareness or obssession with a particular topic/toy/character/etc.
  • And just to clarify, my ds is brilliant too. Some autistic kids can be brilliant. He is totally mainstreamed and most strangers have no clue he has autism.
  • 1 thing on the autism red-flag list does not make a diagnosis. Stop stressing! If there are other red flags, then yes, talk to your pedi or other specialists.. but hand-flapping alone is a normal development in 'neurotypical' children. DS did it for a time. We just redirected him to a more appropriate way to 'vent'!
  • My DD used to when she got excited.  I have worked with many kids with autism and now have 3 "neurotypical" kids (as far as I know).  I have decided that I think most physical and even some behavioral issues in autism are perfectly normal.  They are typically filling an appropriate sensory need or are trying to communicate something they aren't yet equipped to communicate.  THe only difference is kiddos with autism don't always naturally progress to different sensory needs and kinda get stuck.  By the time DD started handflapping I realized this and didn't worry.  I don't even remember when she stopped.  I wouldn't stress unless other areas are concerning you.
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  • don't stress.  most autism characteristics are normal things that all kids do... it's just when a child does many of them that you need to worry.

    my nephew has asperger's - he flaps his hands (well, not anymore, he's 18, but he did for many years)... but he also has 100 other things that make him different than an average kid -- and it was very obvious that he was different before he was even 1 y/o.

     

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