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What Is ADHD Stimming and How Can You Manage It?

Blog 12According to Very Well Health, “ADHD stimming, or self-stimulatory behavior, is when a person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) repeats certain movements or sounds. The reasons for stimming may vary depending on the person and their environment.

Stimming becomes troublesome when it begins disrupting everyday functioning or results in self-harm or injury. Coping with stimming may involve medication, teaching self-control techniques, and changing the person’s environmental settings.”

Types of Stimming

“Stimming is part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but it’s not unique to people with ASD. You may notice some of these behaviors in yourself or loved ones who have ADHD and even when there’s no diagnosis of ADHD. That’s because, to some extent, many of us engage in self-stimulatory behaviors from time to time.

Consider twirling hair while talking, tapping your foot while studying, or rubbing your fingers together while nervous. The difference is that when you have ADHD, these behaviors are more severe, occur more often, and interfere with or reduce the quality of how you function socially, at school, or in a job.”

Play Attention Can Help:

Many times you may be unaware of the behaviors you exhibit. You may not realize how these behaviors affect your attention. And finally, you may not think you can control them.

Play Attention has a powerful behavior shaping program that allows you to get a 1:1 correlation between your behavior and your attention. Our artificial intelligence, Sheer Genius, will then set mini goals to help you learn how to control those behaviors not conducive to good attention.

Click here to schedule an appointment with one of our attention experts. We will discuss your particular needs and plan a customized program that will not only help with self distracting behaviors but also improve executive function.

Types of stimming examples:

Visual: Flipping pages without looking at pictures, watching water, excessive drawing, pacing, spinning objects like coins or toys
Verbal or auditory: Inappropriate or excessive giggling, humming, constantly singing, repetition of odd sounds and noises, compulsive throat clearing, or making throat noises
Tactile or touch: Rubbing fingers, chewing inside cheeks, excessive skin scratching, hair pulling, teeth grinding, biting or chewing fingernails
Vestibular or balance-based: Spinning, rocking, swinging
Other: Excessive game play or pretending, acting out a movie scene repeatedly, excessively sharpening pencils, writing numbers or days of the week over and over.”

Things That Trigger Stimming Behaviors

“There is no single reason why people with ADHD stim, but there are several theories. For example, people living with ADHD are said to have differences in brain development and brain activity that affect attention, the ability to sit still, and self-control. Stimming may be a product of these brain differences.
An environment that’s either over- or under-stimulating may trigger stimming. Depending on the person and their environment, stimming may be calming and self-soothing or it may be done to increase stimulation and attention.

Stimming Can Be a Habit

It’s been said that over time stimming behaviors may be perceived as pleasurable in and of themselves and repeated for that reason alone.

While this refers to stimming in people with autism, it may also be true for people with ADHD who engage in stimming when there is no obvious or apparent trigger. Stimming at this point may be more habitual than intentional.”

ADHD Stimming Management

“Not all stimming behaviors require management. It will be up to you and your medical care team to discuss the level at which stimming is interfering with your life. If the behavior has become particularly time-consuming or results in self-injury, such as bleeding from skin picking, it may be time to talk to a professional.

If stimming is a problem in children, avoid using punishment as a method of trying to control their behavior. Experts discussing stimming behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder have said this punishment technique doesn’t work.”

Call us at 828-676-2240 to discuss your customized Play Attention program that will not only help with self distracting behaviors but also improve executive function.