22. Stereotypies and Other Developmental Hyperkinesias

  1. Alberto Albanese MD2 and
  2. Joseph Jankovic MD3
  1. Jayasri Srinivasan and
  2. Jonathan W. Mink

Published Online: 24 FEB 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781444346183.ch22

Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment

Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment

How to Cite

Srinivasan, J. and Mink, J. W. (2011) Stereotypies and Other Developmental Hyperkinesias, in Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders: Differential Diagnosis and Treatment (eds A. Albanese and J. Jankovic), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444346183.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

  2. 3

    Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Author Information

  1. Department of Neurology, Division of Child Neurology, University of Rochester, Medical Center, Rochester, NY, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 24 FEB 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 APR 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444333527

Online ISBN: 9781444346183



  • stereotypy;
  • arm flapping;
  • head nodding;
  • autism;
  • Rett syndrome;
  • rhythmic movements


Stereotypies are a common movement disorder in children. They are characterized by rhythmic, repetitive movement patterns that typically start in early childhood. Primary stereotypies are those occurring in otherwise neurologically normal children. Common manifestations include head nodding, body rocking, finger waving, and arm flapping. Secondary stereotypies are those that can be attributed to an underlying disorder such as autism or Rett syndrome. Some developmentally specific forms of stereotyped repetitive movements have been described. No treatment is uniformly effective, but behavioral interventions may be helpful if the stereotypy causes functional impairment.