Autism Wiki
Quiet Hands by MissLunaRose

"Quiet Hands" by autistic artist Miss Luna Rose

Quiet hands is a phrase used in compliance-based and normalization therapies such as ABA. It is increasingly falling out of favor as professionals begin to realize that stimming has an important purpose and that a child's thoughts and feelings are important.

Autistic children would be told "quiet hands" and expected to stop all stimming. If the child did not comply, the therapist would grab the child's hands and force them to be still.[1]

Quiet hands may cause post-traumatic stress disorder and violence in children. Julia Bascom described how her "occasional, accidental flap gave [her] other autistic friend panic attacks."[1] Issy Stapleton's mother noted that Issy's aggression towards her might have been from being asked to have "quiet hands and feet," among other things.[2]

Further Reading[]


All references carry a general trigger warning as the topic covers abuse.