One of the strangest and most notable of B’s traits is that he constantly makes repetitive, rhythmic noises to himself. It sounds like he is trying to make the sound of a drumbeat, like a human beatbox. I suppose like a person might sing the lyrics to a song or hum the tune, B does the drumbeat. He keeps a good rhythm (we bought him a toy drum kit- he’s quite good on that too!).
I guess this is what is called ‘stimming’. As I understand it, this is the person’s way of self-regulating and making themselves feel comforted or comfortable. ‘Autism for Dummies’ (I just got it) compares it to non-autistic person jiggling their leg when nervous.
Where B differs from what I’ve read is that it doesn’t happen when he is anxious. Rather, it is usually a sign that he is enjoying himself or content. Sometimes it seems to happen because he doesn’t know what else to do or when he wants to take a break from what he is doing. Mostly, it seems that he really enjoys making the noise.
It can be irritating and it can be embarrasing when we’re out, but is otherwise perculiar rather than worrying. I don’t yet know how to deal with it so it is tolerated. We try to distract him with something else although this is not always practical.
In the meantime, the beat goes on!