min read
August 2, 2023

Autism Hand Posturing

Hand posturing and other forms of stimming can be observed in children with autism as a way to explore and interact with their surroundings. These behaviors may serve a sensory or self-regulatory function and can help the child feel more comfortable and engaged in their environment.

Written by the apricott team

About Autism
Autism Hand Posturing

The sooner children get help with autism, the better tools they may be able to access so that they can better interact in social environments.

Therefore, it can be helpful for parents to keep an eye out for the signs of autism early, and one of the early indicators can include hand posturing, also known as stimming.

Hand flapping is another example of stimming.

Toddler autism hand posturing may suggest the need for further testing.

What Is Posturing in Autism?

Posturing is the act of holding one’s fingers or hands out at an angle.

It is merely one example of stimming or self-stimulatory behavior

It’s also defined as arching the back while sitting.

It is merely one example of stimming or self-stimulatory behavior, and even if your child doesn’t do posturing exactly, there may be other signs of stimming to watch for.

Examples of Other Self-Stimulatory Behavior - or Stimming

Self-stimulatory behavior is the process of committing repetitive or unusual body moves and/or noises. This behavior on its own is not entirely indicative of autism.

That said, stimming can be indicative of autism in children, and there are certain behaviors where this is more likely to be the case.

Some common examples include:


Children with autism may rock their bodies back and forth while they’re sitting or standing. This may be accompanied by finger mannerisms, like flicking fingers.

Visual Stimulation

Stimming can also manifest as trying to look at something sideways. They may also flutter their fingers toward their eyes.

Repetitive Behaviors

Some children with autism will repeat the same action, such as continually opening and closing a door. They may also flick light switches.

Most stimming isn’t inherently harmful. However, certain forms of stimming can be negative, such as if a child takes to biting their hands.

In these instances, medical intervention is essential to prevent further complications.

Why Children with Autism Posture Their Hands

Posturing and other forms of stimming come into play because children with autism often want to be able to manipulate their environment. They want to create stimulation but issues with creativity and imagination may make that difficult. Whereas other children would pretend play, even by themselves, kids with autism perform repetitive movements.

For other children, stimming may help manage emotions. They may feel excitement, anger, or fear and not knowing what to do with those feelings decide to channel it into a movement.

Is Hand Posturing Early Signs of Autism?

Autism may manifest in babies through the stiffening or flaring of fingers.

This behavior on its own is not entirely indicative of autism

They may also move their hands and bodies in unusual manners. However, it is not 100% indicative of autism. Further tests are needed to see if autism is actually present.

Do Toddlers and Babies Finger Posture?

Many babies and toddlers finger posture. It’s a normal way for babies to explore themselves and their environments.

It can be difficult to precisely diagnose autism until later. Parents might make note of it and bring it up to their pediatrician see if anything else is needed.

When to Seek Help

Finger posturing isn’t an immediate tell-tale sign of autism. Parents should notice it and pay attention to any other signs. For example, children with autism may be slower to develop speech patterns, or they may have no language at all.

Autism is also often accompanied by sensory issues, such as sensitivity to certain lights or fabrics. They may also engage in undesirable behaviors, including throwing tantrums. A combination of traits may suggest to your primary care provider to pursue further tests to see if your child has autism.





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