“If you’re happy and you know it flap your hands.” Anybody else flap their hands like a little chicken when they are really happy or get startled / surprised?
Until I learned what stimmig was I had no clue I was even stimming – and I stim all the time, a LOT. Most of the time I don’t even realize I am stimming.
Stimming is something that Autistic people do to help them regulate the constant onslaught by the environment on their senses. My brain is constantly flooded by the unfiltered information poring into it.
When I stim, I am able to tun out some of the extra noise, calm down, distress, relax, and focus.
Society tends to want people to sit still quietly, something I struggled with as a child. I remember fighting with my teachers, who wanted me to sit still. When I could not move paying attention in the classroom was impossible.
Autistic people need to stim, in a way it is a lot like breathing for me.
I have a friend who has Turrets. She told me that she can hold in her ticks but they build up and doing so feels horrible for her. This is definitely how I feel about stimming. It is like an itch that won’t go away – I have to scratch it and eventually I will no matter what.
I used to stop myself from stimming and would try to hide my stims. Now that I know why I stim and how it helps me to regulate myself.
If a stim is not appropriate (too loud or harmful) I try to switch it for something positive.
Below are just a few of my own stimming behaviors.
Finger Rubs / Silent Snaps
Stim Toys / Jewelry
Look Out a Window
Sniff Something Nice
Listen to the Same Song for an hour over and over.
Verbal Stimming / Mouth Clicks & Noises
Foot / Leg Tapping
Skin Picking / Pinching
Body Tightening and Relaxing
Stimming is self care – don’t stifle the stim!
He’s Back! The Aspie World, one of my favorite Vlogers on YouTube is back this week talking about Autism, stimming, and hand flapping. I can take NO credit for the video below PLEASE check out and subscribe to The Aspie World on YouTube for more amazing content.
Link to video HERE.