Stimming babies?

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Hi ,

Has anyone seen or experience to share please.

Very young baby wrist twirling, flapping hands, patting legs, flapping toys, clock watching, repetitive threat noises, examining toys closely intensely, doesnt point or gesticulate, dislikes physical cuddles but comes to you wantingpick up when upset, pushes face into your face as if for kiss but just face pushing.


Very good eye contact, babbling, turns to name 75% of time, follows a pointed finger. Can anticipate next move in fans like round and round the garden played on palm of hand.

Generally very delayed development for known reasons. Removed at birth. Now just over a year old.

Other than autism any other suggestions? Would severe learning disability have similar stimming? Do neurotypical kids stim?

Can ASD be diagnosed this age? What early intervention can be started if ASD likely and where to find help? Would you assume severe ASD with symptoms so young?

All and any thoughts, advice , experience or words of wisdom most welcome!!

Thanks so much

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*throat noises (like self soothing when falling asleep)

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Our LO started stimming at 4 months old. It's an 'O' face while extending all limbs and opening and closing hands. She is almost 3 and does it more than a hundred times a day. She also has a vocal stim of making a continuous humming noise when she has something in her mouth, especially food.

ASD is a spectrum disorder and children can present very differently. It's difficult to diagnose children so young as the social difficulties may only become apparent as they get closer to school age.

There are neurotypical children who stim but it is not well known in the U.K. Here is some information on CMS.

Our LO came to us at 14 months and is on the ASD pathway. Her dr thinks he has enough evidence to diagnose her later this year. I wouldn't say she is severe although she can be challenging at times.

Your starter point would probably be your health visitor or GP. Take a video of the movements and I would start noting down any unusual things you see xxx

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Hi thanks for the fast reply. Have taken videos as this info wasn't in CPR and I was never told about it ! Spotted it in intros (had to miss!!) foster carer had never told anyone. Baby is delayed for other reasons making it even harder to assess I'm sure but does the fact little one has beautiful eye contact and babbles, smiles, is very sociable mean much do you think?

Thank you so much!

Already said to SWs I want baby seeing and assessing. They say they had no idea all this was going on !

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Our story is similar to yours in that we noticed the stim at intros and it wasn't in cpr. FC had told us in our meet up she was very different to babies she'd had before and that she seemed very anxious and sensitive. Some of the things she said made us wonder if it was early signs of ASD so when I saw the stim it kinda confirmed it. When I told SW's I thought she may have ASD they just wouldn't accept my concerns at all. Our LO has a significant genetic risk of developing a serious disorder later in life and they'd found it difficult to find a match. I think they were worried we would disrupt if she had ASD, which was def not the case. Later down the line when we met up with FC's, they told us they'd flagged concerns about her anxiety and the stimming repeatedly but were not listened to. They'd fostered older children with ASD previously and suspected this themselves.

I would say ASD is a strong possibility for your LO if they are delayed and have an obvious stim. Our LO made fairly good eye contact and with attachment games this improved even more. As she's got older it's not so good and she won't look at strangers at all now. We managed to get her to wave to people and say hi too when we were out and about and that disappeared too as she got older. Her social anxiety is pretty severe and despite being able to walk and talk very well, in public places she won't do either. At nursery she's had to have support to integrate and it's still not brilliant.

Having said all this negative stuff I feel I have to say that even though she can be difficult, she is an absolute joy too and I know she'll be okay with us. We have been very proactive with interventions and seen huge improvements with sleep and sensory issues which were massive problems. We love her to bits and her quirks and sensitivities are just part of who she is.

The ASD pathway is the most annoying pathway ever. I don't think I've ever met a more useless set of people! I found other parents to have been the most supportive and they have the best tips too xxx

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I personally think that most children with severe cognitive delays will have some level of autistic behaviour even if they are not diagnosed as such .

Our 11 yr old has always had what i call soothing behaviours rather than stimming and as he has gotten older he is increasingly struggling to deal with change and complying with things he doesnt want to do. He is only the developmental age of a toddler mostly though so puberty is becoming good fun as we have toddler / teenage tantrums most days at the moment .

In my experience this is common with children with learning delays who seem to do much better with strong , predictable routines even if not diagnosed asd.

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Thank so for your helpful comments ! Little one is continuing the same behaviours but attachment and acceptance of physical comfort is better and gross motor skills improving. Comprehension is hard to assess but doesn't seem to be very great currently.

I'm very keen to start early intervention as I've read it can massively improve children with ASDs functioning years down the line.

Does anyone know much about ABA?

Costs? Effectiveness? Locations? Anything ?

Thank you x

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Hi MummyDream.

I wondered if this 16 gestures by 16 months guide would be useful http://firstwordsproject.com/about-16by16/ if you are concerned about social communication, which should be considered in context of other developmental /attachment factors.

I have not heard of any children so little having ABA but hope you are able to access local SLT services for assessement and support.

Good luck xx

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