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Stereotypic Movement Disorder

Stereotypic movement is involuntary movement that is rhythmic, repeated continuously in the same fashion, and purposeful in its appearance but appearing to serve no purpose, and stops with distraction. For example, a child repetitively flapping his or her arms, wiggling his or her fingers in front of the face, nodding his or her head, or rocking back and forth is performing a stereotypic movement. Motor stereotypies typically begin before 3 years of age. Episodes last for seconds to minutes, occur many times a day, and have a fixed pattern. These are exacerbated by excitement, stress, being engrossed, or feeling bored. Each child tends to have his or her own repertoire that may evolve over time. Movements can be readily suppressed by touching the child or ...

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