It’s time to start submitting your stims and getting the conversation rolling! The idea of this blog is to explore how stimming is experienced by autistic people, and to build a database of behaviour types. What are your stims? How do they feel? What parameters of the stim are the most relaxing? What music is best for stimming?
I want to hear how happy you all become when you do your favourite stims. I want to see diagrams of what kind of movements have the biggest effect. I want to see pictures of what you imagine when you stim. I ask not just what stims you have, but how you conceptualise stimming as a sensory experience.
I’m interested in what triggers them as well (add warnings if they’re traumatic). One of my major triggers is actually reading about stimming, so this will be an interesting blog to run!
The blog is currently run by Alyssa.
Short answer: Yes, it’s OK.
Long answer: People stim for different reasons. If “reduce anxiety” is one of your big reasons and stimming in public makes you anxious, it would kind of defeat the purpose to stim in public. Many people avoid stimming in public for many different reasons, including anxiety, avoidance of abuse/bullying/etc that they might face when they stim (the fact that this winds up being needed is fucked up, by the way,) and a ton of other things.
There’s also lots of folks who do stim in public, also for lots of different reasons: not actually capable of doing otherwise, being in a position where they can afford to not give a shit what others think, as a political act even when it’s risky, and other reasons.
There’s also folks who will stim in some public places and not others, depending on the sort of publicness and who’s around.
You can and should do what works for you.
Like, possible stims to try instead? I don’t know of any that respect the person’s autonomy, but people have totally asked about replacement stims here and then gotten some suggestions before and I should maybe try compiling those.
other admin here: A slight more in depth version of replacement stims.
For me what really helped stop self harming stims was to slowly move away from them, gradually changing one sensation for another. For instance if you scratch yourself when you’re overwhelmed (something I do a lot, though much less now that I’ve been working on it) When you realize your scratching, try something that has a similar sensation but is less destructive, like rubbing or pinching your skin. Then when you have less of an urge to scratch and more of an urge to rub, move on to rubbing or pinching your clothes. That way you don’t have to quit cold turkey, but instead can still get the sensation until the sensation and movement you crave is different enough it can be moved to something completely non self injurious.
Here’s a few sort of paths I’ve used myself because self harming stims have always been a problem for me ever since I was little.
I hope this helps you nonny
STIMMING THROUGH THE SNOW
IN MY AUTIE BRAIN
O’ER THE FIELDS I GO
FLAPPING ALL THE WAY
*flap flap flap*
THERE’S SNOW ON MY KNEES
I’M STARING AT THE LIGHTS
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO BE
IN AN AUTIE BRAIN TONIGHT
FLAPPY HANDS, FLAPPY HANDS
FLAPPING ALL THE WAY
OH WHAT FUN IT IS TO BE
IN AN AUTIE BRAIN TODAY
As to my previous question about my 5 year old son stirring, I want to understand if certain stims are for certain moods, like is he bored for one, is he anxious for another? I am not trying to “fix” him or make him stop stimming, but since he is non- verbal, I was hoping I could understand if I needed to help him as a mommy! Like, read him a story or just snuggle? Or just let him be?
We can’t answer what her son is feeling, of course, but “thing is worth a shot” or “if we’ve got a method for yes/no questions, try that question” or “X stim is one that I also do and for me it usually means Y” are all likely good things to add.
anyone else do foot stamping instead of (or along with) hand flapping?
when my feet aren’t touching the floor it’s pretty much the same as hand flapping
and when I’m standing up it’s sort of like
Stimming is another word for “self-stimulatory behavior” or for “engaging in self-stimulatory behavior” or whatever the sciency behaviory version is.
Since the specific ways that Autistic and other neurodivergent folks stim are really visible and obvious signs of us not being neurotypical, people often take issue with it. Which is sad and bad, because stimming is often a really helpful and important thing for us. Helps us calm down after whatever kind of overload, just feels good, is fun, whatever.
Some common autistic ones are flapping and rocking. Common neurotypical/neurotypical passing ones are tapping a pen or pencil, jiggling a leg for a bit, maybe playing with hair.
I think we’ve got a FAQ somewhere or other, and a list of stims people have submitted, not that I’ve updated it in forever.
Actual forever. I’m not the initial mod and I’ve never updated that list.