Question from Michelle for Elizabeth:

I just got your book and absolutely love it. I have recommended it to all of our therapists and friends. To be honest, I have purchased many books about the same subject, but have become bogged down when the authors spent more time trying to determine the cause, or trying to promote their agenda than actually dealing with the fallout of autism: the day to day trials, the emotional struggles, etc. I love the fact that you spoke on the spiritual journey. There are days I wonder how people who don’t believe in God survive their trials of life. Thank you for your transparency. I am grateful for people like you who are fighting the good fight and helping others to do the same.

Question for Elizabeth: We have redirected our daughter to the point of no hand flapping, but I wonder if we have taken away a coping tool and given her nothing in return. She will even catch herself and say, “No hand flapping”. We want her to have ways to satify her need to move and don’t want to make a robot out of her by making her conform to “normal, acceptable” behaviors. At the same time, we want to help her function in society and in her own environment effectively and safely. When you are flapping, spinning, or rocking does it help for someone to touch you or talk to you to get your body to stop moving? Is it frustrating to you when others try to redirect your behaviors?

Elizabeth’s answer: “No, I control myself” to first question and “Yes, I have to flap all the time” to second question. She also typed: “I need an outlet. Stims are not wrong. Stims are helpful for stress.”

Virginia’s answer: I respect Elizabeth’s need to stim to help her with stress. We have also tried to temper disruptive stims (like jumping up and down) so she is not a distraction to her classmates. It is a delicate balance.