This is a really good article that explains the possible ramifications of attempting to eliminate a behavior that may be sensory in nature and alternative approaches to addressing them. It is a very thorough and well written explanation.
We frequently have parents that come to us with the goal of removing a behavior that may appear distressing, for example, licking or flapping the hands. As a therapist we are careful to look at why this behavior may be happening and rather than making recommendations to eliminate the behavior, it is sometimes best to redirect it to a more functional or more acceptable response. Otherwise, the child runs the risk of replacing the old behaviour with something less acceptable or even one that may cause injury. Our role as occupational therapists is to help problem solve the rationale behind the behavior based on a sensory-motor assessment in order to be able to guide the parent with available options to reduce or redirect the behaviour.
Parent seeking help with new “stim” behaviour. article written by Moira Pena