Is there anything that I can do to control my daughter’s banging, tapping and stomping? She has exhibited no really self-injurious behavior. But, she has shown what I think is called stereotyped behavior (from Chris Oliver’s article on behavior). She constantly opens and closes (sometimes slams) doors, but I control that by putting a towel at the top, and that discourages that behavior. But, she constantly bangs or taps with her upper limbs, and she constantly stomps. I wonder if she really has any control over it. Then, I read the article by Oliver and Hyman that said some children with CdLS may not be able to control certain obsessive-type actions. So, I don’t know how to respond: should I just let her continue, and just focus on other things, or should I continue to try to redirect her behavior as much as I can?
Obsessive-Compulsive behavior is not entirely under an individual’s control, and it is appropriate to let some of it continue, if it is harmless, and if it serves a function — e.g., to reduce tension. But it is also good to try to control it or to redirect it into more productive or pro-social areas, insofar as you can do that, gently, and consistently, over time. It is good for kids to develop as much control over it as they can, and redirection can help them do that.
TG/ TK 7-13-10
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