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What is your autistic stim?

What is your autistic stim?

  • Rocking

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • Hand flapping

    Votes: 4 8.7%
  • Bouncing, jumping, or twirling

    Votes: 3 6.5%
  • Swaying side to side

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Licking, rubbing, or stroking a particular object

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Repeating words/phrases

    Votes: 5 10.9%
  • Skin rubbing and/or scratching

    Votes: 11 23.9%
  • Rearranging objects

    Votes: 2 4.3%
  • Staring at lights or rotating objects

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 26.1%

  • Total voters
    46

Pats

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It only lets you choose one answer. I have multiple stims. When I get real stressed I rock - it's comforting. I'm constantly stroking something soft. I press my fingers together when I'm with someone. I bounce my leg up and down. I have others, depending on where I am, who I'm with, how stressed I am, etc. I've always had these stems, but never thought much about them before being diagnosed. If someone would ask me why I do whatever it is (obviously noticeable), I'd just say, just do. No idea why I did them.
 

Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
If someone would ask me why I do whatever it is (obviously noticeable), I'd just say, just do. No idea why I did them.

I've known since I was 14 that I could not physically sit still - some part of me must be in motion. I used to try to hide it and be embarrassed of it.

Now that I know why, I am no longer embarrassed or try to hide it. I view it as normal-for-me. The funny thing is, I don't explain why to others. I just tell them, "Yeah, I can't sit still." I don't care that they don't know why - I'm happy that I know why.
 

rubicks52

Active Member
I have a lot that vary based on my mood. I've realized recently though that I like visual stims a lot, like I'll stare at traffic moving outside my window or the second hand of a clock moving. My bedroom is full of different colors/textures/layers and it always makes me happy.
 

Kalinychta

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I've known since I was 14 that I could not physically sit still - some part of me must be in motion. I used to try to hide it and be embarrassed of it.

Now that I know why, I am no longer embarrassed or try to hide it. I view it as normal-for-me. The funny thing is, I don't explain why to others. I just tell them, "Yeah, I can't sit still." I don't care that they don't know why - I'm happy that I know why.

I freely rocked at home in front of my family when I was a kid, but when I got a little older (circa junior high school) and realized that no one else did it, I became ashamed of it and only did it in private. But as an adult, I never ever admitted it to anyone...until I was diagnosed with autism and, like you, stopped being embarrassed about it.
 

SolarPoweredNightOwl

Walking contradiction
I have a lot... most have evolved over the years to draw less attention to myself. I also used to have really bad tics, took a lot of effort to break myself of it. I probably have more stims than I realize, I really don't know much about stims that aren't movements.
 

onlything

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The survey should be multiple answer.

I rock or sway, stroke something, knock my fingers or foot in a rythm or hum.
 

Thinx

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I tend to be very still, but that could be somewhat a form of masking, as I adapted to not being able to discern how I was 'supposed to be' in the neurotypical world. I recall standing by the wall in the playground for example. It's who I am now though.

I totally love to arrange objects, that's more of a deeply satisfying obsession, it's not just any objects, I like arranging beach stones and specifically certain shapes of stones that I pick up. Also shells, sea glass, pottery shards etc from the shore. I love how it's worn and shaped by the sea. But I like collage with papers too.
 

Nervous Rex

High-functioning autistic
V.I.P Member
I totally love to arrange objects, that's more of a deeply satisfying obsession, it's not just any objects, I like arranging beach stones and specifically certain shapes of stones that I pick up. Also shells, sea glass, pottery shards etc from the shore. I love how it's worn and shaped by the sea. But I like collage with papers too.

I would love to see some pictures.
 
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hatfullofrain

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
If I can't move my hands or feet; be it self imposed or otherwise,
I might retreat into my brain.
words, phrases, lyrics, scripts, acronyms, ditties, rhymes, pieces of classical music.

I think this is why I'm really good at learning new languages. I go over and over and over words and phrases in my head. Especially ones that I enjoy the sound of.

I am not aware of any obvious stims. Maybe older relatives could tell me how I behaved as a kid. As an adult I've developed a hidden technique. I rub my thumb and forefinger together. I can do that in the pocket of a big coat and no one knows. I've shredded so many tissues rubbing them between my fingers in my pocket.

I saw a video of myself yesterday and I tend to rub my lips together. Not sure how often I do that or how obvious that is. But then maybe it's just becuase it's winter and my lips are chapped.
 

AuBurney Tuckerson

~GigglesTheAutisticHyena~
I wish you could choose multiple options in the poll cause I have multiple of those stims: rocking, hand flapping, bouncing, twirling, jumping, licking, chewing, staring at lights or rotating objects, repeating words/phrases (echolalia). I have almost all stereotypical autistic stims. The ones I do most are twitch/shake my foot, flap my hands, twirl, rock, mouth/lick/chew, bounce, repeat things, and shake my head. On the piano or viola, I even play songs over and over.
 
I stim without cognitively thinking about it. I bounce a leg, jiggle a foot, rub my fingers together, crack joints and shamefully, pick at my skin. One obvious one for me is that certain fabric textures get me to relax. It is the way they feel in my fingertips (I used to love to rub my hands on the church pew fabric as a kid) or the way they feel while I wear them. Tags are often a no-go even on the inside of a seam with a layer underneath it. I can feel it dragging and resisting against the other fabric and I find it distracting and annoying.

Add: loud music is also a stim for me. I enjoy the whole body feeling of being able to actually feel the music in my body sensations. I was never one for concerts either so this often looks like me just playing my music really loud in the safe place of my car.
 
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Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Shake my foot, rub something with my finger. Chew gum, it helps me relax. l started doing raspberries, l need to stop that. Repeat words. But l have stopped the endless ruimnating.
 

Rasputin

ASD / Aspie
V.I.P Member
There was a thread a few weeks ago about stimming that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. I wondered what makes a stim an autistic stim versus a normal, everyday one? Articles I've read about it all point out that almost everyone stims, not just autistic people. Toe tapping, twirling hair, biting nails, bouncing leg, etc.--these are common ones. But I've noticed that many autistic people, myself included, tend to view everything we do and everything about us as being the result of autism. But of course this isn't the case. We are autistic, but we are also people--we're people who happen to be autistic. So, then, in addition to autistic stimming (and keep in mind that not all autistic people stim), we must also stim in ways that are not the result of autism. But how do we distinguish?

Here's what I've found: autistic stimming differs from normal stimming in type, quantity, and obviousness of the behavior (I pulled this from verywellhealth.com). If your stimming goes beyond what is "culturally tolerated," then it is an autistic stim. "Mild and occasional rocking is usually acceptable, but rocking one's entire body back and forth is considered to be [an autistic] stim" (more from verywellhealth.com). Twirling your hair is acceptable...but when you can't stop doing it, when you do it more than is considered normal, when you do it over and over when you're happy, excited, stressed out, or sad, then it's an autistic stim.

But autistic stims also tend to be unusual to begin with. Rocking your body side to side or forward and backward isn't something non-autistic people do. Flapping your hands or repeating words/phrases to calm yourself isn't normal. Swaying side to side while standing is unusual. And in fact, one of the earliest and most obvious signs of autism in children is stimming in ways that really stand out as abnormal.

So, that's what I've found. And I'm curious what everyone's autistic stims are and even what your non-autistic stims are. Mine: I've rocked since I was a baby. Nowadays I rock backward and forward. I do it every day, but when I'm stressed or upset, I do it a lot more (maybe two or more hours cumulative per day if I'm really upset about something).

I do several of these things when in stressful, conflict situations. I pace sometfimes. When trapped in a contentious meeting I have been described as a "fart in a skillet" (sorry about the graphic visual) which includes shuffling and rearranging papers, fidgeting, clenching my hands and counting with my thumbs, and possibly rocking in my chair. When this happens I revert to looking down and not making eye contact. When bored and stuck in meetings I rearrange papers, clench my hands and do this counting with my thumbs until I can escape from the meeting. I'm not sure how to vote among the choices, so I voted "Other".
 

HeroOfHyrule

Chicken Chaser
Rocking/swaying, bouncing/jumping, tapping/gently beating my chest, making certain noises, chewing on things, and smelling certain things are the stims I have. As a child I used to watch rotating/moving objects like the ceiling fan, toy car wheels, etc. for a long time, and would spin around constantly. I also used to shake my head from side to side really hard when I was a little kid, but I honestly think that was me being stupid since it made me dizzy and I liked how that felt.
 

Mister Anonymity

Well-Known Member
I perform math on other people's Licence plate numbers. I sway from side to side, which annoys my mother immensely. I pace back and forth, repeatedly which has annoyed people in the general vicinity. I talk to myself repeatedly and profusely, repeating robotic phrases and sophisticated vocabulary to myself just so I can speak properly to other people. I perform math on the numbers in my clock. When I was a toddler, I couldn't drink my bottle of milk unless I played around with my mother's fingers and fiddled around with her cuticles. Usually, I would take one finger and bend the nail repeatedly just so I felt more comfortable with myself. Eventually, my mother told me to stop and weaned me off such an activity. Such a fixation was discouraged by my mother because she feared that I would do the same thing to other caregivers.
 

Transgressivecharm

cheese in a can
Hm. So far it seems I'm the odd one out.

Over the years I transitioned from lower to higher order self-stimulatory behavior. Partly due to how as a youngster I was forced to acclimatize to a very critical social environment quick to offer critical feedback on any non-normative behaviors. So continuing habits of head thumping, echolalia, repetition of butchering song lyrics and humming 'ditties' proved to be more risk than reward and needed replacement. That is to say, I was forced to engage in safer but equivalently self-stimulatory behavior: analogues include auditory pareidolia (ask me about it sometime), anthropomorphisizing objects, reading words at odd angles, and obsessing over TV show verbal and non-verbal communication.

In my 30's I'm again afforded the freedom for lower order stimming, like I reach over my bald shaven head with one hand and stroke the hair follicles at an obtuse angle, tongue a couple crooked molars and a slightly chipped incisor, and I intentionally use my fingernail clippers at about 35 degrees to produce a sharp angle I can stroke-stroke-stroke with my thumb mmmm - unless I'm around others.

Abba-dee abba-dee abba-dee that's all folks lol.
 

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