Welcoming Stimming — Day 3 — 30 Days of Autism Acceptance

Green frothy tea in fine hand made bowl

Prepared matcha in a matcha bowl.

This is a really new thing for me.  Well, not totally new, because I have been on a low level working on this.  Once I started to really accept that I am autistic, and start to look more at how I do stim, and what works and what does not work I have been working on this since around the time that I started my assessment (probably since I started to get the idea that I wanted to look at assessment).

Stimming is “self stimulatory behaviour”.  It is behaviour which works to create a level of sensory stimulation which is either unconscious (sometimes this happens with me, and when I am doing it unconsciously, and uncontroallably, I know that things have got “too intense for me” and I need to find a way to deal with that, or I am running towards a shutdown/meltdown, which I really do not like) or conscious (I do some conscious stimming and try to do this on a regular basis, so as to keep my “sensory load” at a manageable level).

The conscious stimming is usually something tactile for me, and sometimes it also involves some degree of auditory stimulation.  The tactile stuff is about stuff I touch (usually with my hands) and often manipulate it.

One of my favourite stims that I have found is the Chinese Medicine Balls or Baoding Balls (保定健身球), which serve two purposes for me, they act as a form of stimming, and they also help with the pain in my hands (likely caused by arthritis).  These actually provide both a tactile stim (the feel of the balls), and an auditory stim (they “jingle” as they move around, and when they “clack” together it is “nice”).

Stimming for me is something that will allow me to reduce the “distractions” that occur with my mind while I am working on other things, which means that I can often use stimming as a way to bring “more attention” to what I am trying to attend to.

I expected that this would be more than this, and maybe I will write more later in the series about stimming, but right now this “feels right” for what I wanted to express.

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