5 steps to help reduce hand flapping in autistic children

Scribbled Underline

Hand flapping is a self-stimulatory behavior often observed in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It involves repetitive and rhythmic movements of the hands or fingers, such as waving, clapping, or tapping.

The goal should never be to completely eliminate hand-flapping behaviors' because flapping provides an important sensory input and self-regulation.  Hand-flapping should only be reduced if it is affecting learning. Keeping this in mind, here are some steps you can follow for your child

Observe when the hand flapping occurs to determine if there are certain triggers like stress, excitement, or sensory overload. This can help you anticipate flapping.

Identify the triggers

Give the child squeeze balls, fidget toys, or other items to meet sensory needs in a more subtle way. Having an acceptable outlet can reduce flapping.

Provide sensory tools

Teach and positively reinforce stims like clapping or finger tapping that serve the same purpose but are less disruptive.

Use replacement behaviors

Deep breathing, and mindfulness can help calm the child and reduce excited flapping. Build these skills during calm times.

Practice relaxation techniques

Free Consultation

Scribbled Underline

To know more about early autism services, hit the learn more button