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asperger's syndrome information and features

         

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Dyspraxia

Self stimulation, Stims and Stimming

Dyspraxia

10% of the population are thought to have a degree of dyspraxia... 2% of them severely.

Some of the symptoms of dyspraxia can also fall under the description of sensory integration dysfunction, but because it is also treated as a condition in it's own right I am describing it separately here.

Vestibular System

The vestibular system refers to a collection of structures within the inner ear that detect movement and changes in the position of the head. It can be hypersensitive or hypo-reactive, that is the child can either be very sensitive and have trouble with movement and balance and appear clumsy or they may actively seek out intense sensory experiences to try and stimulate their vestibular system like jumping and spinning (stims). This is often interpreted as clumsiness, laziness or hyperactivity.

Proprioceptive System

The proprioceptive system provides feedback from the muscles, joint and tendons to provide a person with a subconscious awareness of their body position. It is necessary for fine motor movements such as writing and fastening buttons as well as the automatic repositioning of the body during tasks like sitting or climbing stairs.

When it's not working properly there can be a tendency to fall, odd posture, and problems with fine motor skills, for example eating can be sloppy. There can be a resistance to learning new motor activities. This is often interpreted as clumsiness or laziness.

Praxis / Motor Planning

This is the ability to plan and carry out motor tasks. It depends on accurate feedback and processing by the sensory systems. Without effective motor planning movements can be poorly timed and misjudged. This is often interpreted as clumsiness.

Self Stimulation, Stims and Stimming

Self stimulation is a response to times of high or low arousal as well as being related to various emotional states such as feeling frustrated, nervous, anxious, bored, etc. and it can be either calming or arousing.

A stim is an activity that serves this purpose, usually a repetitive mannerism. Examples would be rocking, spinning, arm/hand movements, head movements, head hitting, pacing, humming, making noises, banging things, thumb sucking, hair chewing, hair or finger sniffing, staring etc.

While stimming can be self injurious or appear that way, not all self injurious behaviour is stimming. Hurting yourself can be a form of displaced aggression towards oneself and could be a sign of depression.

Further reading available from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk

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