Foot-banging and hand-knocking: Why do people know?

Close-up of a child biting their nail.Self-stimulating behavior, better known as arousal, is a type of sensation that can ease feelings of anxiety, frustration, and boredom. Some people find irritation pleasurable and entertaining. Although stimulation is usually associated with autism, almost everyone is biting from time to time. Stimulation is particularly prevalent in children.

Thin forms of stimulation, such as hair twist, may go unnoticed. More dramatic forms of excitement, such as facial slap, may be worrying to become witnesses. Stimulating forms that cause physical damage can be considered as self-deceleration behavior (SIB).

What does it encourage?

Stimulation refers to a wide range of repetitive sensory behaviors. Some examples include:

  • Verbal stimulation, such as the repetition of a phrase or the hum seemingly random.
  • Heads-hits and face-slapping.
  • Biting the nails and sucking the thumb.
  • Repeated coverage and then discovery of the ears, eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Repeated movements, such as rotation or pacing.
  • Shaking objects.
  • Looking at stimulating objects.
  • Turn on or off lighting or radio.
  • Scratching or rubbing the skin.
  • Rotate the hair.
  • Picking up objects.
  • Pulling feet, fingers or other parts of the body.

The excitation exists in a continuous. Most people know at least a few times. For example, chewing on a pencil while in deep concentration is a form of stimulation. Stimulation does not necessarily mean that a person has autism, ADHD or other neurological difference. However, frequent or extreme arousal, such as headache, occurs more often with neurological and developmental differences.

Why do people know?

Stimulation helps people deal with emotions such as frustration and boredom. It can also help them concentrate, especially on difficult or boring tasks. Over time, toning can become a habit. A person may come to associate the bite of the nails or chew his hair with deep concentration, making it more difficult to concentrate without these strict behaviors.

Autistic people often feel overwhelmed by sensory inputs, such as flickering lights or loud noises. Stimulation can help them regain a sense of control, reassure them, and make management easier for the senses. Stimulation is often a sign that an autistic person is overwhelmed and struggles to cope with his feelings.

Excitement can also be enjoyable, especially when people are associated with stimulation with relaxation or concentration.

Are the ally people aware?

Many forms of ribbing, such as hair twisting or fingers, are also a type of excitation. These forms of excitement are so common that they often go unnoticed.

Toddlers and preschool children may also feel overwhelming and have little control over their lives. Some parents worry that this irritation behavior is an early warning sign for autism, but when stimulation is the only symptom, autism is unlikely. According to the United Cerebral Parse, about 20% of the neurotype infant beats their heads.

Neurotypical people know for the same reasons that autistic people do – to cope with boredom, to relieve feelings of sensory overload, to manage frustration and anxiety, and because stimulation can become a pleasant habit. Fidget crackers, a recent toy craze, are a thrust tool that is popular for both neurotype and neurotransmitter children.

Why punishment for stimulating behaviors can be harmful

In generations past, some experts have recommended punishing behavioral arousal – either with dissuasive corrections (such as slaps, scuds or vibrations) or by receiving or withholding rewards.

The autistic self-supporting community strongly opposes any kind of punishment to stimulate. Many adult autism say that punishment has permanently damaged their self-esteem, undermined the sense of physical autonomy, and left them with traumatic feelings. Just as adults are allowed to touch their faces or spin their hair, autistic supporters stress that children must be able to emphasize – especially when they do it is not harmful.

Instead of penalizing stimulation, it is important to examine and address the underlying cause.Stimulation happens for some reason. Punishment of the symptom does not address the underlying cause. Instead, he punishes a person for his efforts to manage his feelings. This can make feelings like anger and anxiety feel more out of control. It also destroys the trust between the carer and the child. Over time, punishment of stimulation can even aggravate the issue, causing stress and fear.

Instead of penalizing stimulation, it is important to examine and address the underlying cause. For example, an autistic child may need a quiet place to do the job or find some irritating fabrics. A young child may need help to cope with the stress of waiting for a meal. A person who feels overwhelming may need support for the development of new stress management strategies.

When excitement is not physically harmful, there is little reason to stop it. Often stimulation is simply annoying for the carer, not something that puts a person at risk. When a person exercises aggressive or violent stimulating behavior, redirection may help.

How treatment can help manage behavioral anxiety

Treatment can help families and individuals manage stimulating behaviors, especially when these irritation behaviors seem dangerous or interfere with everyday life.

Family therapy can help families:

  • Manage and manage overwhelming sensory environments.
  • Develop strategies to manage the emotions and sensations that stimulate.
  • Tackle conflicts between carers about how to best manage push.
  • Determine whether a person is pushing for an underlying neurological or mental health.
  • Help carers differentiate the age-typical stimulus from stimulation that can signal a problem.

Individual therapy can help children and adults involved in arousal find healthy outlets for their feelings. A therapist can:

  • Help a person handle the harmful irritation behavior, such as head injury.
  • You offer different strategies, such as meditation, to manage anxiety.
  • Help a person talk to your loved ones about anxiety and frustration.
  • Offer alternative stimulus options that may be less disturbing or harmful.
  • Help a person with autism to better control their sensory environment by identifying and tackling the stimulating factors.
  • Support a person who supports his or her needs, including disability accommodation, work or school.

A sympathetic therapist can help with the stimulation and feelings that activate it. Find a Consultant Today!

Bibliographical references:

  1. Bennie, M. (2016, February 22). Stimming: The good and bad side of restless behaviors. Retrieved from
  2. Living with children: Shaking his head [PDF]. (n.d.). United cerebral palsy. Retrieved from
  3. Perry, D. M. (2018, November 27). The art of stimulating. Retrieved from
  4. Wang, K. (N.d.). Autism and stimulation. Retrieved from
  5. What is stimulation? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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