My Son Plays with His Hands Alot

Updated on May 09, 2010
A.Z. asks from Shawnee, KS
9 answers

Does that mean something is wrong with him? He's 1 yr old and very healthy, but when we're playing or telling him he's so cute & so on, he looks down at his hands and starts playing with his fingers and nails. He smiles while doing it. But he does this all the time, should I worry about this?

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answers from Denver on

Is he moving his hands--like watching them move? What do you mean playing with them? Picking at them with his other fingers? If he is watching his hands move that could be indicative of "self-stimming behavior" that is a red flag for autism spectrum disorder. A lot of ASD kids move their fingers in various ways and seem kind of hypnotized by them. This might look like either waggling his fingers or repeatedly opening and closing his fingers/hands. If he is not doing this sort of repetitive, hypnotic behavior, it is probably nothing. If you google "ASD infant toddler symptoms" you can see if any other behaviors fit. Also, feel free to send me a private message.

EDIT: One year old is NOT too young to be worried about certain things. :) Ask any mom of a kid with special needs...the sooner kids with ASD get intervention, the better their prognosis. It's good that you are aware and seeking different opinions. And the little information you've given is certainly not enough to jump to even a single conclusion...that it IS completely normal or that it is NOT.

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answers from Boise on

If you are worried about autism, your son doesn't sound like he has it. He would be in his own little world, would scream at transitions in activities, would not see interested in people or communication, and would be happy doing the same obsessive activities or hand motions all day, and may have aversions to you holding and cuddling him, or be extremely sensitive to sounds, textures, or foods. If he had several of these symptoms, I would get him evaluated. My daughter imagines that her hands are people and they talk to each other. Other kids are just fascinated with all the things their hands can do.

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answers from Kansas City on

Both my son and my nephew have had this "hand thing" since they were tiny. They would (and still do, on occassion) open and close both hands rapidly, repeatedly. They are 4 & 5 now and are perfectly healthy. We wondered about it when they were little because it seemed a bit odd and excessive, but it was just their way of showing excitement. Still, you are the mother and know your son better than everyone. Get him checked out if you are truly concerned and it make you feel better. Try not to over analyze. I believe we as mothers are given too much info these days and are prone to see things that are totally normal.

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answers from Fort Wayne on

Not at all!!! Kids play with their feet a lot too

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answers from Columbus on

If you think that this is a self stimulation, and you have other concerns, be proactive and get an evaluation. Have him screened as soon as you can by your pediatrician, and if your pediatricain is a conservatvie "wait and see" kind of doctor, get a second opinion. Developmental issues are nothing to wait and see about, and you should always be safe and find out from a professional who really knows what to look for. Early is best, and McK4 is right, those of us with kids who had real issues saw things this early that should have set off bells and whistles in the professionals around us, but for many of us, nobody noticed or said a word.


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answers from Minneapolis on

This is what they call a "comfort habit". My daughter twirled her hair a lot, all day long. She still does sometimes at 8. These types of behaviors are normal and will eventually go away or at least become less frequent.

He is WAY too young to be worried about, or to diagnose, any type of "disorder". Don't worry!



answers from Chicago on

good for you for thinking about this....i personally would take him to his Dr to do some testing, just as a's probably nothing but you won't feel better til you have him properly wishes



answers from Indianapolis on

I would have him checked to be sure nothing is wrong, and there probably isn't......but I would rather be safe than sorry................

He probably just doesn't understand a compliment, does he do it when he is playing by himself?

Take care, and it's probably nothing........


answers from St. Louis on


Just my opinion .....Your son is N-O-R-M-A-L. NOTHING is wrong with him!
From now on and every single day, you will notice so many in your little one where he will show you he is learning, exploring and responding to his surroundings, environment and discoveries. Enjoy his childhood, and encouraging him to learn by playing,speak to him a lot and and help him to discover his new world. His body and what it does is one amazing thing he is noticing right now. Relax!!!!!

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