Stimming is just another word for self stimulation. Most people stim but what makes it so distinct with autism is the frequency of it. There’s different ways to stim. You can stim using any of your senses. Some of
my stims are rocking back and fourth, spinning in circles, flapping my
hands, tapping my finger tips together, pacing, tapping certain parts of
my body like my thigh or my neck or head. I also shake my head, eye
track, sniff everything, and love stroking and rubbing against my
favorite textures. I’m under responsive to touch so I’m very much a
sensory seeker but I can also can very sensitive to certain kind of
sensory input which would cause me to stim excessively. If I receive bd
sensory input, I immediately need to receive a good input to fix it or I
can’t unfeel it. Different stims also go with different emotions. You can
tell which emotion I’m feeling just by the way my body moves. If I’m
flapping my hands open palm, I’m most likely happy. But if I’m hand
flapping with my fists clenched shut, I’m feeling some kind of tension.
My brain is gathering information at all times. My senses are at work all the time. My brain processes sensory input differently than a neurotypical person. Sometimes my brain receives way too much information to process and it sends me into a meltdown or shutdown. Quite often I find myself having to take many breaks and do some stimming that’s comforting for me to help restore myself. Even after having a meltdown, I require a lot of after care or self care to be able to function again.
Stimming helps me be able to process information better and it counteracts the bad sensory input. Stimming helps release intense emotions that I’m not able to regulate. It helps me feel my existence when I feel nothing at all and like I’m floating away. I don’t know any other simpler way of explaining it so I hope this made sense to you all.
It’s important to know that stimming is perfectly fine and you should never stop an autistic person from stimming unless it’s harmful. I would appreciate if my friends and family encourage my stims and don’t ever make it seem like it’s a problem. Me stimming doesn’t always mean there’s something wrong. As I said before, different stims can mean different things. I want to be able to move my body in a way I feel is necessary so I can navigate through this world effectively. I’ve suppressed my stims for way too long and now I’m easily burned out. It’s not healthy for an autistic person to suppress stims or any of their autistic traits.
In the merch section of this site, I have different shirts I created and one of them says “JUST KEEP STIMMING”. Head on over to place an order for one if you’re interested.