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Help with Inappropriate Stimming

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    Help with Inappropriate Stimming

    Hi everyone! Long time no see! I've missed you all! I know I haven't been around here in a long while. Life just gets away sometimes, doesn't it?

    Well, I'm here because I have a serious issue with Aaron. Aaron is now almost 9 years old and is still severe but is making progress. We are currently dealing with a stim he's had for quite some time. He likes to basically grab his genitals and sometimes punch them and more recently, and alarmingly-- he's grabbed a couple of kids at school and rubbed himself against them.

    He's had this stim for a long time and I have NO idea how to get rid of it.

    When we do see him touching himself, we tell him "hands up" and so does the staff at school.

    I don't want this to escalate to the point of him 'getting off' on this, if you know what I mean. He's getting to be that age, too.

    Aaron's ability to understand is still a mystery. There are some times where he's compliant as well as times where he's totally oblivious, and other times where we know he's not listening on purpose.

    I'm at a total loss at what to do.




    Hi, I used to frequent this forum but it's been several years since I've been here. I am coming back for very similar problems to what you described. My son is 11 and also acting out sexually inappropriately. It is constant daily both vocal and gestures. He will say some pretty lewd things, and we just don't know where it's coming from. If anyone on the outside saw his behavior, they would think he was sexually abused. But he is with us almost 24/7 minus when he is in school, so I know that not to be the case. And I know for certain it is not happening in the home. He really tries to curb this behavior at school and thus far we haven't heard from any school faculty about this.

    Have you been able to talk to a behavioral specialist or anyone about your son's problems and how to curb it? It is a great stressor for the family and is extremely disruptive. We are racking our brains trying to figure out if this is autism related or something comorbid that is yet to be diagnosed. He is also having tics...clearing of throat and nose constantly, so we are not dismissing the possibility that these could all be tics, or even bipolar disorder with hypersexuality. He is also very hyperactive when he gets like this. It has been getting increasingly worse over the past year. We are going to get a complete neuro workup to rule out anything biological, and then go to a psychologist or behavioral health specialist from there.
    Please let me know what you find out, or if you have found a solution to this problem. It is very severe and nerve wracking and I completely sympathize with you!

    Last edited by rhyanenrose; 11-12-2011, 02:36 PM.


      hi rhyanenrose ,

      i'm not a part of this forum, but i was reading your post and i'd like to offer something else for you to consider.

      a lot of children with autism also have tourette syndrome. the tics and the lewd gestures and language all fit under the ts symptoms of copropraxia (lewd gesturing at any time without any reason) and coprolalia (inappropriate language at any time without any reason).

      i think bipolar is a pretty heavy diagnosis. when i think of people with bipolar, i remember mania and then depression swings. i'm not saying it couldn't be bipolar, just saying to me it sounds more like tourette syndrome with copropraxia and coprolalia.

      junglewoman, your son's gestures sound like copropraxia also, but if you've been told they are stimming, trust your doctor. i know a bit about stimming, but not enough to make a diagnosis .

      I've had tourette syndrome about 48 years and i've been reading about it for over 25 years.

      i hope i've given you a new direction to look into.

      my heartfelt best wishes for the both of you ,
      Last edited by Moderator #7; 11-17-2011, 07:23 PM.
      WE ARE BT!
      "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
      "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
      "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney


        tic chick,

        I too am leaning toward tics or tourette's because his behavior really seems compulsive and almost uncontrollable. I guess I was thinking of bipolar as being a possibility because my husband is bipolar. I read that it can present as hypersexuality during the manic phases in children.

        What kind of specialist would you recommend taking my son to for an evaluation? His ped told us a neuropsychologist, but would a ped neurologist be better? Thanks



          hey rhyanenrose!

          well, i went to a neurologist that specialized in movement disorders, cause thats what ts is. he also saw patients with parkinson's disease.

          if you go to a pediatric neurologist, ask if they can put you in a room where they can observe your son without his knowledge. a lot of children are able to control their tics and behaviors in front of a doctor ( i was quite good at that).

          i think a pediatric neuropsychologist would probably put your son through a battery of tests and go by the answers to those tests to diagnose him. neuropsychologists don't usually prescribe drugs and they can't order mri's or pet scan's.

          a pediatric neurologist would do physical tests, like balance tests, walking tests, coordination tests. his eyes would observe your child and he would ask you or your son questions about his tics and behaviors.
          i think the kind of doctor you choose depends what you want to do. are you trying to see if any meds would help your son? maybe see if an mri or pet scan would show any indications of these disease processes? or do you just want a diagnosis?

          your son is 11, so he's entering puberty probably. his sexual hormones are kicking into high gear. if you go to a pediatric neurologist, you DON'T have to put your son on meds. i'm always reluctant to see children on meds unless they have very severe cases of a problem. you can have the neurologist just monitor him and continue whatever system you are using at home to manage his behavior. whatever doctor you choose, i think it's important that you're both on the same wavelength and you can talk to them easily about your son and your son can also relate to the doctor. if you see a doctor and they want to use drugs to help every single co-morbid behavior and you're not interested in drugs, then you're not going to feel at ease with that doctor. remember, this relationship will last until your son is 18. but also consider just a regular neurologist that specializes in movement disorders. or has experience with children that have ts and it's spectrum disorders plus autism. i'm suggesting that because a pediatric neuro would only see your son up to age 18. if he's going to have issues his whole life, maybe it's better to find someone you both can relate to when he is age 11 now and into the future, when he's older

          here is a site where you can find a specialist in your state for movement disorders: Only registered and activated users can see links., Click Here To Register...
          the site mentions "tardive dyskinesia" a lot, but that's only one movement disorder.

          another very good site is: Only registered and activated users can see links., Click Here To Register... the list that's on the above website to find movement disorders is taken from the site. this site is worth reading though as it covers more movement disorders.

          i hope this helps and i hope you find a doctor your really click with.

          please keep posting. i do like to hear about children and their problems facing these baffling disorders. i used to feel "odd" or "abnormal" until i made "there is no such thing as normal" my personal mantra . i think children do get better as adults, it's the childhood and teenage years that are so frustrating. i think acceptance and love are the most important things we can give any of our children while they are growing up. if you don't see all of this as a "problem" you will not have a "problem child"...just my humble opinion as a wise adult now.

          WE ARE BT!
          "The world is a better place when you're barefoot." Mark
          "Don't go there unless you know the way back." TC
          "...there will be an answer. Let it be." Paul McCartney



            Thank you for the reply and providing the infomation...very helpful. It may take awhile before we can get in with a neurologist. I will keep you updated on our progress. Fingers crossed!



              Amanda, how do you (or anyone) distinguish between a stimm and a compulsion or tic?