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Self-Stimulatory Behaviors

Self-stimulatory behaviors (SSB), sometimes called stereotypy or stereotypic behaviors, refer to repetitive movements of the body that do not appear to be communicative. Instead, the person engaging in SSB seems to enjoy doing the same behavior over and over, regardless of whether anyone else is paying attention. Examples of SSB include lining up objects, moving fingers in front of the eyes, body rocking, and mouthing or smelling objects. Although all typically developing individuals display SSB, such as humming or body rocking, some people with developmental disabilities engage in these behaviors for extended periods of time and in exaggerated ways that might not be socially appropriate. For example, a child with autism might enjoy lining up cars for several hours despite many other activities being available. ...

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