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Luann, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 158
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist, 24 years experience working with children, adolescents, families and adults.
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my 11 year old flaps his hands and has since he was a baby

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my 11 year old flaps his hands and has since he was a baby his legs move also and rubs his feet on the ground, carpet. he says it feels good, but lately he is wishing it would stop at school. i have discussed this with his pedi for 8 years now and the same response it will eventually go away, and it continues to wax and wan in severity. he is a healthy child, definetly anxious overachiever first child, shy but as of late really come out of his shell. straight A student. His pedi his great and recently gave me the go to see a behavioral doctor, but we have held off because my husband feels strongly it may make it worse. leave him alone and let him be, feeling it will get better in time as so many articles state it will. My husband and I shower our kids with love, it is a very loving supportive home where one of us is ALW#AYS here for them, especially my husband.
is there a way i can work with him on some level myself and help him out without seeking actual mds. i am a nurse and have read alot about this...just looking for ways to help him.


I applaud your approach to your son's behavior. It is good to take a wait and see stance with children's behavior and not get too worried about things. When his behaviors and/or anxiety start to impact areas of his life, it is time to intervene. If his hand flapping is affecting him socially or his anxiety is effecting him academically, then it is important to do something before other difficulties start to develop. You stated that he is an anxious, over achiever, this is part of his personality that he will carry all of his life. Skills he learns now will help him all of his life. I would not jump to medication, I would look for a therapist/psychologist who works with children. Your son can work with this person to learn skills that will help him manage his anxiety. You and your husband can learn how best to support this skill building. Like you said, telling him to stop only makes it worse. It makes him more anxious and the best way he knows to manage his anxiety is to flap his hands. Seek professional help, anxiety is very treatable.

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