Stereotypic Movements

Stereotypic movements may occur many times during a day, lasting a few seconds to several minutes or longer. Frequency can vary from many occurrences in a single day to several weeks elapsing between episodes. The behaviors vary in context, occurring when the individual is engrossed in other activities, when excited, stressed, fatigued, or bored. Criterion A requires that the movements be “apparently” purposeless. However, some functions may be served by the movements. For example, stereotypic movements might reduce anxiety in response to external stressors.

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