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Presley's Hand Flapping...I am so concerned!

Forum: 2009 Playroom


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  • 1 Post By maryslittlelambs

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June 7th, 2012, 03:53 AM
MayBTheresHope's Avatar MayBTheresHope
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Location: East Tennessee, USA
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I know I haven't been on here in a while....mostly b/c I am so busy all of the time. But I am really concerned about Presley and had to come over here and get thoughts and advice. First off, I would like to say that I have NEVER suspected her to have any developmental issues. She is, according to her pedi, "very smart and way ahead of the curve" both physically and socially. She is a social butterfly most of the time, and on the occasions that she has acted shy or stand-offish, it has never taken long for her to warm up. She is a snuggle bug and loves to be held and cuddled. She is very imaginative and empathetic to people, animals and dolls alike. HOWEVER...

Presley sort of does a hand flap thing when she gets excited or is concentrating. Not really flapping like a bird...more of a wrist and hand clench where she tenses up and either dances around with her head down or she stares at whatever toy or object that she has been focussing on as if she is trying to control it with her mind. If I physically stop her or call her name, she immediately stops and responds to me. She does it mostly in the evenings when she is playing alone with dolls or her dollhouse.

I have never thought much about it until recently when my SIL, who is a school counselor, was talking about Preston's brother having a problem with flapping since childhood. I never really noticed it before b/c he controls it by slapping his legs like he is excited about something, but it looks totally normal. She asked a counselor that specializes in nervous disorders about him and the counselor said that it sounds like he has a high functioning form of Aspergers. Alarm bells went off in my head about Presley doing the exact same thing, although her Uncle Casey hides it well.

We are on vacation with them in Myrtle Beach, so we started talking more about it. I have noticed Presley doing it A LOT during our trip, especially when she is excited or when we are in a large crowd, which she seems to love. So maybe it just seems worse because we are surrounded by lots of new and exciting things right now.

I am worried sick. I always just thought that it was something that she would outgrow. Could she have Autism or Aspergers with no other symptoms to speak of? And will this just progress and get worse over time? My SIL didn't seem too concerned about it, but I have been researching on the internet and scaring myself to death. I did not sleep at all last night.

PLEASE tell me that I am over-reacting!

P.S. ALot of the stuff that I read about Aspergers sounded more like me when I was a child than it does Presley. I am a bit in my own little world much of the time. She doesn't seem to fit any if the dx criteria, except for the hand flapping/clenching thing. If you made it this far, thanks fot listening!

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June 7th, 2012, 05:43 AM
maryslittlelambs's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have a friend who's child did the same thing (I babysat him). He is fine. Ben, my Asperger's child, did not do the flapping, and he's not fine. I really think it CAN be a symptom of something, but by itself really doesn't signal anything other than it's their coping mechanism for high excitement times. My dad slaps his hands together and rubs them really fast. IF and IF she had other symptoms then I think it could signal autism, but usually hand flapping associated with autism is more of a sensory seeking type of behavior or sensory avoiding. For example, kids I've worked with in the autism programs flap when they are bored or can't handle the stimulus around them. It sounds like Presley is the opposite which is more likely an outlet during excitement or heavy concentration.

Hope that helps!
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June 7th, 2012, 06:52 AM
ForestJenn's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I think Mary gave you some good information. You can mention it to your pediatrician, but if you're not seeing any other signs, I don't think you should be losing sleep over it. (Hard not to do, I know!)

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June 7th, 2012, 07:19 AM
Hesperleigh's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I don't think you should stress about it since it is the only "symptom" she has. Easier said than done, I know.

My sister had a little tic growing up where she would stretch her mouth when she got nervous or excited... but she outgrew it. In fact, I had completely forgotten about it until my mom brought it up recently. It could just be something like that, too.
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June 7th, 2012, 09:36 AM
LadyBugMommyof1's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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It doesn't sound like Asperger's with the only one symptom. It sounds to me from what you describe that she may have a Sensory Processing Disorder (only because of what you say she does this more when she's super stimulated in big groups...). It does sound like she is able to refocus and "snap" out of it...of her behaviors aren't negatively affecting others or herself, I honestly would not worry!!! (harder said than done...I know!).
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June 7th, 2012, 10:55 AM
MayBTheresHope's Avatar MayBTheresHope
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Maybe you guys are right... But do you think i should make a pedi appt anyway? I completely forgot to bring it up at her 3 year appointment. Even if it is only a sensory thing, could she get therepy for it? Should I stop her whrn she does it and redirect her? I am just afraid that it will get worse and that she will be picked on as she gets older.

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June 7th, 2012, 07:18 PM
LadyBugMommyof1's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I'd email him or just call IF it gets worse...Otherwise, I'd wait until the next well-child visit to further discuss. Most insurances do not cover therapy for SPD...
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June 7th, 2012, 09:04 PM
Fist Pumping Champ
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I don't think it's anything since it's the only symptom you've noticed. I think that she just does it subconsciously. That being said - because I freak out over stuff like this also - I'd call her pedi or send him an email saying that it's something you've noticed. Just so he can calm your nerves. With everything else you've said though I'm sure she's fine

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June 8th, 2012, 09:49 AM
MommaTrish's Avatar bless your heart
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Could she have OCD? Growing up I was best friends with a brother/sister set who lived a few houses down from me and he was very OCD. Went to a doctor and everything for it. Anyway, one of his things was twitches. He would do something over and over and over and the two he did most often (and drove us all the most crazy with) was a flapping/hitting hand on leg and snapping. He did lots of other things (and some super weird things) but those were his most noticeable.
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June 8th, 2012, 06:53 PM
MayBTheresHope's Avatar MayBTheresHope
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I will call her pedi on Monday. She could have slight OCD. I think that i am OCD sometimes. She is quite particular about certain things, but the classic symptom of OCD, handwashing, she HATES...lol.

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