Whats your experience with stimming? Do you know what stimming is? Are you here to learn more about stimming to help a close person, yourself, or are you just curious because you have never heard of stimming? Maybe you want to educate someone else? For what ever reason you are here, I hope you feel welcomed!

What is stimming?

Neurodivergent (ND) people have to deal with a lot of emotion, or lack of stimulation, because they process their surroundings and emotions differently then neurotypical (NT) people do. ThisĀ  is channeled through repetitive movements or sounds, watching things spin or listening to things over and over.

Physical stimming can look like flapping arms/hands, jumping up and down rocking back and forth, stepping/jumping from one foot to the other, fiddling, and rolling your head. While these are the basics, there are many more. Some people come up with entirely new physical stims!

Vocal stims could be squealing, humming, repeating sounds/phrases and making sound effects. Again these are only the basics.

Visual stims is just watching things spin, colors move, or watching things. Auditory stimming is a lot like visual stimming, except with sounds, instead of watching things, you listen to them.

Positive and negative effects of stimming.

Stimming: autistic children and teenagers of Raising Children Network can verify that the positive effects of stimming is that it will help calm ND people down, and make difficult emotions nicer. It also helps thoughts come into reality. An example could be trying to turn thoughts into words or completing a task. Stimming can also allow an ND person to not get lost in there head, and act as kind of an anchor. An example could be when your doubting yourself, stimming can help bring you back into the real world, to fact check your thoughts.

In the article, Stimming: Autistic Children and Teenagers, it says an example of Danger Stimming, summerized as self harm by stimming, could be biting your hand, picking at scabs, and scratching. What is Stimming? from Medical News Today states “To reduce the intensity and frequency of stimming, or even to stop the behavior, experts recommend slowly replacing the behaviors with others that are safer or more acceptable. The replacement behaviors should also provide the person with the same pleasurable, stimulating, or calming experience.”. You are encouraged to do this if someone is danger stimming. If you feel you can not do this, get an adult who can help.

Stimming can sometimes be disruptive in places that are supposed to be calm. Although, when handled wrongly the person stimming can feel alienated, or like they are not supposed to be themselves.

While stimming can help you stay focused, it can also distract you. For example when your more focused on stimming, rather than a presentation, you will miss important things, and in some cases the entire point. For children it can also prevent you from meeting new people, and developing social skills.

There are also social consequences to stimming. Other people may find stimming to be weird. For example when a child is babbling or shaking their hands, other children may find it annoying (for some reason).

The differences between neurodivergent stimming and neurotypical stimming.

Neutotypical people can stim. But as Difference between ordinary and autistic stimming from Totsguide states;

Ordinary stimming occurs with limitations and is less repetitive than autistic stimming. When desired ordinary stim can be controlled. For example a person can choose not to bite nails when attending an important meeting.

Autistic people have very less or no control over stimming. They are not aware of their own stimming behaviour and neither are they aware of others reactions to their stimming behaviour.”

(I bet most of you ND’s are realizing your stimming right now.)

I hope this was able to tell you something about stimming, and some of you found this relatable! Thank you for reading!

Most of the information was gathered from these sources:

raising Stimming: children & teens with autismĀ 

what is stimming

Understanding different types stimming

Difference between ordinary and autistic stimming