As a child, I remember doing a lot of spinning, rocking, foot tapping, and verbal stimming. There were probably other stims that I had as a child, but these are the ones that stick out the most. In adulthood most of these behaviors have dissolved or evolved into more “socially acceptable behaviors”.
These behaviors were often pointed out as “wired” by my peers and punished by my teachers.
Over the years I have evolved and so have my stims. Below are some stims that I have now as an adult.
- I tap or rock my foot under my desk. The movement is hidden so people do not notice it.
- I sit on my feet and legs applying deep pressure (often until my legs are asleep and my ankles are bruised).
- I wiggle my tongue, bite and chew on he inside of my mouth, and scratch at my face.
- I play with my hair.
- Twirl and fidget with my wedding ring or any other jewelry that I am wearing.
- I always have candy or gum in my mouth and enjoy chewing and twirling.
- Petting a dog in my lap is my favorite form of stimming because it gives my hands something to do AND applies pressure to my legs.
- My job has me typing on a laptop all day. The rhythmic clicking of my fingers, and scrolling of my mouse is also soothing.
- I wiggle my toes inside my shoes and strum my fingers / run my thumb across the tops of my fingers in a rhythmic fashion.
- Sometimes I DO flap my hands when I am excited (but I try not to do it at work and around people I don’t know).
I am sure there are additional stims that I am unaware of, because many of these things are automatic and subconscious.