Going Around in Circles

My child has started to spin. We have had the toe-walking, the hand-flapping, the no-eye-contact, but we never had spinning. Now John is compelled to spin and spin and spin. He spins until he’s giddy and falling down, dizzy. How do I shake the terrible fear that grips me when he gets going? The fear that he’s disappearing, and that I can’t follow. He still responds to tickles, to the physicality of being held by his mommy — but soon, too soon, wiggles and bucks to escape my embrace to return to his spin, spin, spinning. So happy, smiling at something I can’t see. Will I see it one day?


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  • Keep tickling! Keep engaging as much as you can and he will keep coming to his mom. Maybe not always. Somedays the spinning will be more motivating for him, but the key is to keep trying to make yourself more motivating. Not so easy and yes, very exhausting most of the time, but tickles are always a good way to get Roo back to focusing on me.

  • According my floortime mentors, what mamaroo says is right, and as long as you keep engaging him, it’s alright that he’s spinning some of the time.
    One mom called it “self-OT” .
    I am having the same feelings about Brendan. He is in a running in circles phase (along with a hysterical laughter in the middle of the night phase), and sometimes I feel terrified about it.
    I’m still coming to grips with the whole PDD thing, so any increase in unusual behaviors throws me for a loop.
    Someone told me that the more they learn to engage with others, the less they need to “stim”.

  • Yup, get in there…..

    Hold hands and try a little “Ring around the Rosey”

    Spin, spin, spin on that tire swing at the park

    Help spin him on the sit-n-spin (mom can always make it go faster than he can go himself!)

    My daughter was into spinning for about 4 months – she hasn’t done it in at least a year (she’s 4). These were fun things to do when she was into it – hope your guy enjoys as well.

  • Lots of kids, including NT ones, spin when they are that age. Almost no adults spin very much, how matter how autistic they are.

    It’s all development.

    As the others say, I would jump in there. Remember to choose two fixed object and snap your gaze from one to the other as you spin, if you don’t want to get too dizzy.


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