Jumping — Scope | Disability forum
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Leisa Community member Posts: 3 Listener
edited March 2019 in Autism and neurodiversity
Hi, my son has autism and although it is very mild, he does do a lot of jumping and rather than walking,he prefers to skip.  I have suggested that he saves his jumps for home but notice that he is jumping more and more.  My son will be going to secondary school in 18 months.  What should I do 're his jumping?  Am I doing more harm than good trying to get him to stop?  I know that he likes to think whilst he jumps.


  • Antonia_Alumni
    Antonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,780 Pioneering
    Hi @Leisa

    Thank you for sharing this with us. When was your son diagnosed, please?  

    If it was within the past 12 months you may be able to access Navigate, where they provide a six week programme of online and telephone support to parents who have a child going through diagnosis, or who have a child who has recently been diagnosed with a disability.  

  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 0 Courageous
    Hi @Leisa

    Just to add to @Antonia_Scope 's comment you can also call us on 0808 8010510 if you'd like to find out more.

    Best Wishes
  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,671 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2019
    Hi @leisa
    Thanks so much for sharing! 
    The National Autistic Society talks about some autistic people being undersensitive to balance and a need to rock, swing or spin to get some sensory input. They say:

    Many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty processing everyday sensory information. Any of the senses may be over- or under-sensitive, or both, at different times. These sensory differences can affect behaviour, and can have a profound effect on a person’s life. Here we help you to understand autism, the person and how to help. You can also find out about synaesthesiatherapies and equipment.

    I also read this week about stimming or self stimulatory behaviour, in this article from VeryWellHealth they say:

    In a person with autism, stimming usually refers to specific behaviors that include hand- flapping, rocking, spinning, or repetition of words.

    In general, behaviors are described as "stims" when they go beyond what is culturally tolerated. In other words, a "stim" is a behavior that is culturally unacceptable.

    While it's at least moderately acceptable in the United States to bite one's nails or twirl one's hair, for example, it's considered unacceptable to wander around flapping one's hands.

    Why Do Autistic People Stim?

    It's not completely clear why stimming almost always goes along with autism, though most experts say that it's a tool for "self-regulation" and self-calming. As such, it may well be an outgrowth of the sensory processing dysfunction that often goes along with autism.

    People with autism stim to help themselves to manage anxiety, fear, anger, excitement, anticipation, and other strong emotions. They also stim to help themselves handle overwhelming sensory input (too much noise, light, heat, etc.). There are also times when people stim out of habit, just as neurotypical people bite their nails, twirl their hair, or tap their feet out of habit.

    At times, stimming can be useful, making it possible for the autistic person to manage challenging situations. When it becomes a distraction, creates social problems, or causes physical harm to self or others, though, it can get in the way of daily life.

    Tips for Managing Stims
    Should stimming behavior be forbidden or "extinguished" through therapy? In general, unless the behavior is dangerous, there is no reason to forbid it.

    It goes on to talk about management but of course, you should always speak to a medical professional before taking on different treatments or management programmes and we could never suggest these things. 

    If you'd like to speak to someone at the National Autistic Society, they have a helpline on 0808 800 4104

    Senior online community officer


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