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What is Shadowing and Stemming?

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Old 10-06-2003, 03:38 PM   #1
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hfa1998 HB User
Post What is Shadowing and Stemming?

I am new here and a father of 5 yr old HFA son. He is attending Special Ed. public Kindergarten class.
We found him to be autistic at the age of 3 and put him in Special Ed class. Except some behavior problems invloving tantrum, he looks normal kid.
At the age of 3, we noticed language delay and took him Children's Hospital to evaluate and found him autistic. At that time, he is non-verbal and full of Echolelia, not knowing You and I concept.

Now they are all-gone and he is good at Math and Pattern. Still he does not speak voluntarily. But some how he talks when he play with other kids and his non-autistic younger brother.

Recently we took him to Awana Church meeting. On firstday, he was busy blocking his ear due to children's yelling ( I know it is from Sensory Overloading). But from 2nd meeting, he did not block his ear any more and join the game. Does anyone have similar experience? I am curious about his sensory adaptibility.

Also can anyone explain what is "Stemming" and "Shadowing"? Maybe I have obeserved but may not notice his behaviour problem.


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Old 10-06-2003, 05:04 PM   #2
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I've heard "stemming" referred to as "stimming", as in self-stimulation. It's repetitive actions or movements, like rocking, spinning (themselves or objects), waving their fingers in front of their eyes, sounds (humming, droning, repetitive babbling) made to help soothe or cover other sounds, etc.
I've heard shadowing refer to a form of imitation, something that kids with ASD are not always too good at. Or it can be an educational aide "shadowing" the child throughout the day. It has different meanings in different situations.

Old 10-07-2003, 03:42 PM   #3
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above definitions are correct. a Behavioral Shadow is a teachers aide who guides child as when to say what or redirects improper behavior. Shadowing might mean mimicking which is a GOOD thing in children! You cannot be non-verbal AND echolic. If your sons only behavior is tantrums (very typical manipulation tactic in normal children) i have to question how he is called autistic. Does he make NO eye contact? and not attend? is he ADAMENT about following a SPECIFIC ROUTINE? if he plays with other children and speaks with them normally thats not autism. not speaking properly with a certain group (not children) is called Elective Mutism. I am an ABA Therapist and would advice you that your son is not autistic. He may be manipulating adults, because he can, or he might have had a traumatic experience in his past which hinders his relationships with adults. i would bring him to several psychitrists specialized in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; but do not mention the word "Autism" to them and get a few unbiased diagnosis. God Bless

Old 10-08-2003, 09:42 AM   #4
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hfa1998 HB User

In response to previous reply:

Thanks for your kind replies.

First of all, we took him to children's hospital for speech evaluation and audiologist. Based on their recommendation, we contacted school district for further eval. A team of school psychologists/language specialist/ sp. ed. teacher classified him as autistic when he is 3 yr old.

Initally, my son does not make eye contact. Often his eyes focus on void, making me thought "is he in deep thought?" Now he has improved to make an eye contact at the onset of talk but often avoid contact during longer talk.

He insists on certain thing such as line-up to make train-- Chairs, boxes, laundary baske; if someone break a line of "train", he fixes with mechanical precision. If I attempted to took them away, there will be an incontrollable tantrum. BTW, train used to be his favorite toys-- Thomas, James, Percies...
Maybe for last 1 years, all of his drawing were trains.
I helped to modify his train drawing to add crane , add circus train( make him to draw animal), add more bus like train etc to deviate from his"regular" train.
I noticed that his frequency odf drawing train is much less.

The way I understand autism is a spectrum disorder and every one is different. You cannot say one should have definite characteristics to classify as autism.
Think of rainbow. We know it is made of 7 colors. But between each color, there are also another color mixed from adjacent colors.

Other characteristics I observed is "roaming" during class which he is not interested in. But I often saw him playing computer games he likes for 2 hours straight. Roaming was quite frequent during Toddler and Pre-K. Now kindergaten teacher says he does not do roaming anymore.

My son, who recently classified as high function autism by school district psychiatris, does PE and many other school activities together with normal kids. There are 5 kids in his class, all with HFA.

Maybe, initial autistic classification may not right because he is very mild. But I never regret his being classified as autistic; it is never too early to reprogram his behavour and teach him new things.

Our main goal for him is "mainstreaming". Probably common goals for parents with autistic kids.

Old 10-09-2003, 02:33 PM   #5
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cymomtx HB User

Your son's behaviors and manuerisms (sp?) are very much like my son and daughter who are both diagnosed with AS.

And yes, I believe that each of them is very different but have very similar characterists too.

Old 10-10-2003, 08:24 PM   #6
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I have read so much about how wide the autism spectrum is. My 7yo was diagnosed with autism last year. He just had a neuropsych evaluation yesterday. I will get the full report in a couple of weeks, but he did say, "he does have some autistic traits, but he isn't autistic" because he cooperated during testing until very end, and because he talked with him. My son decides if he likes someone as soon as he sees them and he just happened to like this psychologist. My son doesn't do any rocking, spinning, or flapping the hands, but he doesn't like ANY change, has daily tantrums, congnative funtioning is very low for his age, speech is delayed, doesn't care for other kids. Anyway, he has all the signs of autism except the stimming. My nephew has autism and he plays well with other kids, you'd never know by looking at him if he didn't walk on his toes with his arms bent forward and hands hanging down. They are all different and am so frustrated with people saying, " he doesn't fit the "typical" autistic child"

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