Saturday, August 20, 2016

Autism and snorting: Parents seek help with new ‘stim’ behavior

We’re having difficulties with a new stim [sensory stimulating behavior] that our seven-year-old has developed. He’s snorting. It’s deep and from the back of his throat. It started when he had some sinus drainage. That’s gone, but he still snorts constantly both at home and at school. I suspect he enjoys the vibration it makes. But it sounds terrible, and we’re getting complaints. We have no idea how to curtail or replace this behavior.

The kind of snorting you describe is both common and particularly challenging to manage. So while I hope my tips are helpful, I want to make clear that they’re no substitute for a personalized therapy program with your son working one-on-one with an occupational, speech or behavioral therapist.
Also please keep in mind that sensory-stimulating behaviors serve an important purpose. From your question, I see you understand the need to find a replacement behavior to meet your son’s sensory needs.
Here are some strategies that may help reduce the frequency and intensity of the snorting: