I think you are right that it is hard to know when stimming crosses the line. I twirl my hair and pick at my cuticles. Those are forms of stimming. And, most folks have similar “bad habits.” Flapping hands, and repeatedly banging your head against the wall are extremes, but what about everything in between? I haven’t seen good guidelines.
So, I have a boy with PWS and I treated him like he had autism. I threw every single autism therapy at him and I took everything seriously like it was the beginning of autism. Perhaps that was overkill, but that is just my nature. I did heavy sensory integration, and heavy floor time and the whole family learned and did American Sign Language (ASL). I think those were the basic autism therapies, that I did, but my suggestion would be that you are asking the wrong questions. Instead of asking: Is this an early sign of autism? Ask: How do we make sure that this early sign of autism doesn’t develop any further?
One reason I think this approach works is that all of the early therapies for autism would be great for any child. They are multi-sensorial and highly interactive – stuff we should strive for with all of our kids. I told all of Kian’s therapists that I wanted them to treat him with everything that they had for autism. I think that they thought I was a bit crazy, but they indulged me.
Now, at age 3, my son’s language skills are above average, he probably has a 1,000 word vocabulary in ASL, and his social skills are way above average. What’s not to like?
Visit http://autism.healingthresholds.com for more information on autism therapies.