So, that summer I spend hours and hours researching "motor sterotypies" or more specifically flapping, in normally developing children. That is when I found the Johns Hopkins Medical Center website and the work of Dr. Harvey Singer. Here is what CMS is (CMS is a subset of Primary Motor Sterotypies):
Primary motor stereotypies (also called stereotypic movement disorder), are rhythmic, repetitive, fixed, predictable, purposeful, but purposeless movements that occur in children who are otherwise developing normally. Examples of primary motor stereotypies are flapping and waving of the arms, hand flapping, head nodding and rocking back and forth.
Thankfully, CMS does not impact a child, in and of itself, developmentally or cognitively. It can have social implications when the child gets older and when the child is old enough he or she can participate in behavior therapy to become more aware of the movements and to control them more. Unfortunately, there is little known about what causes Primary Motor Stereotypies in normally developing children. Our first action was to discuss it with our pediatrician. He reassured us that Pickle is not on the Autism Spectrum and told us that if it would make us feel better we should indeed see a Pediatric Neurologist to get a second opinion and more information. Pickle was diagnosed and we simply accept her flapping as just a part of her own unique behaviors. I am going to include a video here in hopes that a parent seeking help for the "weird habit/quirk" that their child has, will stumble upon it and be able to ask if their child may have this. I highly recommend Dr. Harvey Singer and you should definitely read all the material on the Johns Hopkins website HERE.