Overly focusing on objects close to face while making noises and walking around in circles

by Darlene

Does this topic sound familiar to anyone? My son starting "Zooming" around age 2. That's our families pet name for this. My son is now 8 and zooming is a daily thing. Zooming consists of holding an object up very close to his face. Looking very intensely at it. He usually makes sounds like car crashing noises. With his other hand he makes a fist and moves it back and forth.

He usually starts zooming after school and then again during homework breaks and before bed. He can usually control when to Zoom. He will not do it at school for fear of being made fun of. He has been diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome, Aspergers, Adhd, and many more. The diagnosis depends on which doctor I go to. I'm done with doctors. He only goes to OT and focuses on his sensory issues.

He is highly intelligent but unable to focus on independent tasks. (IEP for school) He is a risk taker and is sensory seeking, a picky eater, whiny, picky about clothes, germs and would love to stay home with me everyday if I let him. Does anyone else have a child with similar symptoms. And if you were to meet him, you would never know any of this to look at him. totally normal looking. Whatever normal is.

Thanks, Busy mom

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May 01, 2024
8yo zoomer
by: Anonymous

My first born, now 8, has always done this. He spins a toy right in front of his eye and makes a little "yaaah!" usually followed by a crashing or explosion sound. I had never heard of this behavior, but early on was worried other kids would tease him. He plays well with other kids, but like me at his age, he's VERY shy.I just didn't want him to shut down like I used to, so I'd gently say, "don't hold anything that close to your eyes", like I was concerned about him poking himself rather than critiquing his style of play. All that "accomplished" was that he now only does it if his brothers, mom and dad are out of the room.

Only other SPD symptoms we've noticed are picky eating, nail biting (we give him gum ALL the time), and sometimes he has trouble falling asleep (he'll be reading a book till 11:30), so I don't think it's anything we really need to address...?

Sep 18, 2015
My son exactly
by: Anonymous

This is the first time that I've read anything that makes me feel better about my son "odd" behavior! Darlene he does all that, walks in circles and makes kind of crashing sounds. I'll ask what he's doing and he'll say playing.

I got the paper work from the doctor to test him for this or that, but never went through with it. I think I've been hoping that he would grow out of it. He does ok in school, but sometimes has a hard time listening/hearing because he'll be daydreaming.

It's just comforting to know that he can grow up and be a happy success for man. I mean that's all we want for our kids, right?!

Jul 03, 2015
Nothing to worry about
by: Dan

I'm 29 and I've done this since I can remember. My parents also had a pet name for it (ZoomZoom - odd coincidence with your pet name, I suppose it's because of the sound we make).

I have a 5-year-old nephew who does the same thing.

My parents never took me to see a specialist because they figured that as long as I was happy with it (I was), and was otherwise healthy, active and social (I was), it didn't represent a problem.

My cousin, who is a child psychologist, saw me do this many times when we were both children. She brought it up the other day, which is why I did a google search for it now (that's how I found your post).

She thinks it is not a problem in and of itself, and is not a symptom of any disorder.

To be honest, I think it is basically just a way of acting out daydreams. I act out stories in my head while walking around, holding an object (I'm usually attached to 1 specific object at any period, is that the same with your child?).

Accodring to my cousin, the walking around also triggers a form of self-hypnosis, which helps make the daydream more vivid and real.

In any case, I have never experienced any negative consequences, and lead a perfectly normal, ordinary life. (I have been diagnosed with ADHD, although it is very mild, doesn't bother me and does not require medication.)

My wife thought it was strange at first, but she's used to it now. She actually says the "zooming" sound makes her feel comfortable and lets her know I'm in the other room.

I recommend just letting your child be a child, and get on with it. Medicalization of any personality trait or habit that differs from the average is sadly very common. But from my experience, "Zooming", unlike actual disorders, is only a problem if others decide to turn it into one. (It certainly is NOT Sensory Processing Disorder! I googled that, and not a single symptom applies to me.)

It's actually a fun, safe way for a person to use their imagination, in my opinion. The only downside is that it looks a little unusual from the outside, so your child may get teased a little. I'm also self-conscious about it and don't do it in public.

Jul 04, 2012
I do the same thing
by: Paulo

Hello. I feel I do the exact same thing, except I'm 29 and it is getting worse. My family also gave it a pet name, they took me to a specialist when I was young, but they never talked about it. It was simple when I was young, it was just over playing with things. A toy wasn't just a toy in real life, it was part of this world I imagine inside my head. I spent around walking around shaking my hands and making noises about what I was imagining. My hands are not even symmetric because of this. I don't do it in public, but I do it all the time when I'm alone. If I have to be with people for long I get very tense and any minor problem can trigger me to do completely stupid and do stupid things, get into fights, etc. I don't know if this is what you mean by meltdown, but I even dream about it. I dream about messing my social relations badly and feel a lot of regret about it. In the past years this has become quite a burden as I feel that my brain is always running and I can't get a rest. I feel interest for a lot of things at once, but can't accomplish none or be satisfied. I can't study or work, I can't focus on anything for long. I never talked about this, but everytime I read about some kid that does one or more things that I do I can't help but cry.

Jan 22, 2010
by: Anonymous

This sounds to me like Sensory Processing Disorder.

Oct 07, 2008
by: Ursula Gates

You are explaining my daughter to the T! She does the same exact things. There are a couple of differences. My daughter who is nine will pace back and forth in a pattern while flapping her hands and making mouth noises. We also have a trampoline and instead of jumping she will run in a wide circle on the trampoline. This will continue for a minute or two and then she will lay on the floor or trampoline for a few seconds get back up and do it again. Even if I tell her to stop she will still keep doing it. I call this stimming.

She also will not do this at school because she knows she will be picked on. Also she is behind a desk all day. She does have some meltdowns at school. Because she does every thing she can to hold it in at school when she gets home she will either start stimming or she will have a meltdown. The first week of school was horrible when she got home. Now we have a schedule and the meltdowns are better, but she still does a lot of stimming.

The doctors I have taken her to have been the same way. I have always suspected autism. I was always told she would grow out of it. She hasn't and probably never will. She was diagnosed as autism disorder (high functioning). She was also diagnosed through a neurologist who sent her for an EEG and MRI (both were abnormal) with post partial-complex seizure disorder.

She also has severe mixed receptive-expressive language disorder and is also very sensitive to sounds.

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