Do you hold your hands up like a praying mantis?

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usagibryan
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07 Dec 2022, 7:24 am

I know this sounds like a weird one, and it's hard to explain. I only do this when I'm alone (I think) but I like to hold my hands in front of me up above chest level, especially if I'm doing something or anticipating doing something with my hands. It just feels comfortable like that's where they should naturally go. Is this a thing?


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autisticelders
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07 Dec 2022, 7:32 am

I was trained very young to hold my hands clasped either in front or behind me..("don't touch ")
I may have done this at one point or another... if I am not clasping my hands, I have them in my pockets.


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jimmy m
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07 Dec 2022, 9:11 am

No, I do not remember this trait.

As a very, very young child, many infants are wrapped at night. This is because they tend to move their arms while dream sleeping. This is where the term "Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes" in the bible comes from.

According to the Internet:

Swaddling is the ancient practice of snugly wrapping your baby in a thin blanket or sheet, to help her feel safe and secure.

Many cultures have used swaddling for centuries, as a way of helping babies feel more settled, and as a method to help them sleep. It’s now becoming more popular in the UK, as parents find swaddling helps to soothe their baby and reduce excessive crying.

Being wrapped up snugly can stop your baby from being disturbed by her own startle reflex. You may have noticed your baby jerking her body when she's sleeping. These jerks are her startle reflex (hypnagogic startles) and are completely normal.

Your baby may sleep for longer periods, if she’s not been woken by her own startle reflex. Swaddling may also help to soothe her when she's over-stimulated.

Some experts think swaddling helps to recreate that feeling of security that your baby had in your womb (uterus), when she had less room to move about. Feeling "held" and snug can help to calm and soothe her, so you may find that swaddling your baby helps her to cry less often, too.


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Joe90
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07 Dec 2022, 9:38 am

Sometimes I put one hand like that, when I'm at work walking from one bit to another but I've seen NTs do that so it isn't that odd.


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Last edited by Joe90 on 07 Dec 2022, 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

usagibryan
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07 Dec 2022, 11:10 am

After some googling I found out that it is indeed a thing, but people call it "raptor hands." Here is a tumblr post talking about it: https://overexplainingautistic.tumblr.com/post/168045062854/hi-what-are-raptor-hands-i-see-people-talk-about

If you type in "raptor hands" you'll get lots of hits mentioning either autism or ADHD.


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RiverLad
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08 Dec 2022, 3:55 am

I know LOTS of Autistic people who do this (raptor hands) and have taught many students who do. I personally don’t, tho one of my main stims is to clap my palms together excitedly without touching fingers when I’m happy (I do this a lot when teaching) and I do the ‘praying hands’ gesture q a lot during conversations to show I feel something deeply or when saying goodbye if I care about the person eg. When saying goodbye to a class of students as words alone never seem like enough…



playgroundlover22695
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23 Dec 2022, 8:00 pm

I do this a lot sometimes. When I'm walking around, I'll put one of my hands up in front of me and look at my palm slightly folded without even realising I'm doing it. People have called me out on it and asked me why I do it. When they do I'm completely honest. I tell them that I don't know why I do it and that I didn't realize that I was doing it. I should really try to stop though because if the wrong person sees it, they might make fun of me and that wouldn't be good.



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23 Dec 2022, 8:40 pm

playgroundlover22695 wrote:
I do this a lot sometimes. When I'm walking around, I'll put one of my hands up in front of me and look at my palm slightly folded without even realising I'm doing it. People have called me out on it and asked me why I do it. When they do I'm completely honest. I tell them that I don't know why I do it and that I didn't realize that I was doing it. I should really try to stop though because if the wrong person sees it, they might make fun of me and that wouldn't be good.

That's unusual, though if I did it myself and anybody tried to make fun of me for it, I'd probably just ask them where they thought the harm was. But I usually keep away from people who poke fun.

I don't know of anything I do with my hands that could be called odd. I suppose I learned to avoid anything conspicuous when I was very young, my mother being very fussy about such things and my father quite prone to taking the mickey. Stimming came up during my diagnosis, and as I explained then, I just wiggle my toes a lot and run my tongue over my teeth most of the time, which aren't easy things to notice.



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23 Dec 2022, 9:15 pm

Only when I push a shopping cart. I place the insides of my wrists over the handle instead of holding it with my hands. I think I've started doing this to avoid getting germs on my hands, even when I've just sanitized the handle.

i think holding our hands like that sounds similar to cerebral palsy.



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23 Dec 2022, 10:32 pm

^
You just reminded me, I hold knives, forks and spoons strangely when I'm eating. I grip them with my fist rather than holding them the "proper" way. My parents didn't like it but couldn't stop me. To this day I can't do it any other way unless I stay very aware of it. And I don't much care what people think of it. Even if I wanted that desperately to fit in, the effort wouldn't last long before I forgot.