- “Stimming” is short for self-stimulatory behavior. (or stereotypical).
- It is common among people with developmental disabilities such as intellectual disabilities and Fragile X Syndrome.
- It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
- In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
- Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
- The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
- It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
- One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain casuing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
- Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
- Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.
- It is observed in 10% of non-autistic children.
- common forms of stimming include spinning, hand-flapping and body rocking
- Benefits of stimming include the increased ability to remain calm, reduce meltdowns, and increased focus and time management skills.
- Love ones and society may consider stimming socially inappropriate
- Autistic people should be allowed to stim as much as needed
- Autistic people may bebefit from stress balls, fidget toys, and chewy jewelry.
- Stimming helps to relieve anxiety.
- Most people in the autistic community oppose attempts to reduce or eliminate stimming
- This is due to understanding that stimming is an important tool for self-regulation.
- Stimming can help block out excess sensory input
- Stimming helps provide extra sensory when needed
- repeated banging of the head actually reduces the overall sensation of pain.
- Visual. Repetitive movements such as fluorescent lights which tend to flicker.
- Smell (Olfactory) Includes repetitive behavior in licking, tasting objects,
- Tactile. Skin-rubbing, hand movement, and repeatedly grind teeth
- Vestibular. Moving body, rocking back to front, spinning, jumping and pacing.
- Vigorous exercise reduces the need to stim.
Autism Asperger’s Digest
Child Mind Institute
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (2013). APA 5th Edition