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Parents

Slow-Motion Video Packs A Powerful Message About Autism

It aims to destigmatize a behavior that gets one little girl "a lot of curious looks."

In a little over one minute, a viral video has offered an important look at the behaviors of people with autism.

On April 1, AutismPSA, a campaign dedicated to answering questions about autism and spreading awareness "in a whole new light," posted a video on Facebook of a girl quickly moving her arms back and forth while on a boat. According to the post's description, the girl featured is a 12-year-old named Emma who is on the spectrum.

"She flaps her arms a lot -- especially when excited -- which gets a lot of curious looks," the post reads.

The video explains that Emma's tendency to flap her arms is a case of "stimming," or self-stimulatory behavior. According to the Autism Research Institute, this behavior can have a calming effect especially if the person is experiencing sensory overload. AutismPSA slowed down Emma's movements in the video to show that they can be "a thing of absolute beauty in slow-mo."

On April 13, Love What Matters reposted the video with the title "Beauty In Acceptance" on its Facebook page, where it has been viewed more than 364,000 times and has racked up more than 10,000 reactions as of Friday. AutismPSA, which clarified that life jackets were put on after the video was filmed, wrote that the video is just one of the ways it hopes to spread awareness of autism and the people touched by it.

"Let's work together to shed some light on these and other behaviors and traits of autism."

What Autism Means