We have been doing a lot of research on the subject of harmful stims. Chef Justin has started pulling the skin around his fingers and can’t tell us why. At first I thought it was just an hang nail but it kept happening. When he was small he suffered with alopecia and would have complete bald spots on the back of his head. I thought we were past harmful behaviors. This is a new one for us.

Autistic individuals may engage in self-injurious behaviors such as skin picking, hair pulling, and other stims that can be harmful. It’s important to understand the underlying reasons for these behaviors and find effective alternatives to ensure their well-being. Here are a few good alternatives to consider:

1. Provide sensory tools: Offering sensory tools like fidget toys, stress balls, or textured objects can help channel sensory needs in a more positive way. Justin loves spinners.

2. Encourage relaxation techniques: Teaching relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness, or yoga can help reduce anxiety and stress that may contribute to self-injurious behaviors. We are introducing him to massage.

3. Redirect with preferred activities: Encouraging engagement in preferred activities or hobbies can distract from harmful stims and provide a healthier outlet for self-expression. This works if we are in the room. I can distract him.

4. Seek professional help: Consulting with healthcare providers, therapists, or behavioral specialists can provide additional support and guidance in managing self-injurious behaviors effectively. We have talked to his Dr and of course they suggest anti depressants. We are still not sure we want to go that route.

It’s crucial to approach these behaviors with compassion, understanding, and patience while exploring alternative strategies to promote positive outcomes for autistic individuals. We are trying our best if you have any ideas please let us know.