One of the more noticeable traits our son has becomes more apparent when he gets excited. When he gets excited he flaps his hands. It’s something he has always done. Flapping is seen as one of the potential early Autism signs. Technically it’s classed as Stimming. Stimming is short for Self-Stimulatory behaviour. In people with autism it often manifest itself as flapping, spinning, rocking or repetition of words. The exact reasons for it occurring is still not completely agreed upon. Could sometimes be about self calming, sometimes could be self regulation, could be something else. In our son’s case his Paediatrician thought it was helping control sensory overload.
Whatever the reason for the flapping the most important thing is our son’s view. He sees it as just part of his personality – who he is. As a result it happens and we accept it. For what’s it’s worth the Paediatrician has said that it’s best to view it as just one of those things and just leave it alone. He did say that if our son specifically wanted to try to stop it then he could try to arrange some specific therapy.
Over the years it’s never been an issue.
Now we come to school.
During a lesson, something happened which was really funny. As a result our son got excited and flapped a bit. The teacher went up to our son and told him sternly to stop that immediately. I wonder if the same teacher would have sternly told someone to stop biting their fingernails. Or twiddling a pencil.
When will people start embracing rather than trying to remove human differences.
I have told our son he didn’t do anything wrong at all. Hopefully he now thinks that it just shows the low level of training teachers receive currently in autism. Conversations have been had with the school. I have been assured that this won’t occur again – I’m not convinced. We move on.