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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

Ezra

Relax, it's just chaos.
Talk of rearranging things just made me realize why I spend hours moving around furniture in my video game houses.
 

Mush

Hiker
I’m still navigating my way through a positive diagnosis from earlier this year. Been a blessing and a curse.

As a child my mother would severely chastise any form of stimming so I learned to stim subtly. Moving my knees back and forth while sitting, rubbing my fingers around the tips of the fingernails, rubbing my tongue against my teeth, squishing my toes inside my shoes.

Sometimes my arms will start to do their own thing, so I have to consciously stop myself and pick another stim. Often I will run my fingers over a small flashlight I keep in my pocket, or the clip of a pen.
 

Peachie

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The difference between stim and fidget is something I've been thinking about.

I shake my leg (only right leg). If we're at the table, I'll be asked to stop. Sometimes I think it is because I'm cold, other times I would have no idea. I'll stop, but one minute later I'll be doing it.

I had not thought about pacing till someone mentioned it. But I don't just pace whenever, I'll be on a phone call, or going into a deep explanation about something. I've tried sitting, but it is like a rock placed into the stream. Water still flows, but not as smooth.

The last is just fidget with my hands. There is always something on my desk, change, wires. If there is a pair of items, constantly flipping them around. My current favorite is a whole bunch of tiny neodymium magnets. I think if you could measure my heart rate, GSR and amount of fidget, I'll bet there is some correlation.

I do love spinners. But I want them to go FAST, and they make noise. Magnets are much better.

The leg thing is just an 'ism I seem to have, the others up till recently to me are just me happening to be a fidgeter.

Do they all have to be stimming? Maybe there is really a stimming spectrum, and on the light side of that is just normal fidget, and it just progresses to there.

Awareness is an amazing thing...
 

Kalinychta

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The difference between stim and fidget is something I've been thinking about.

This is actually an extremely good question that deserves its own thread. I have often felt that stimming and merely simply being fidgety are different!
 

Soleil

Well-Known Member
Maybe there is really a stimming spectrum, and on the light side of that is just normal fidget, and it just progresses to there.

This is actually an extremely good question that deserves its own thread. I have often felt that stimming and merely simply being fidgety are different!
From what I've heard the difference between fidgeting and stimming is the degree to which it is done and how socially acceptable it is.

I love spinning things, especially coins, pens, and the broom I carry around at work (I'm careful not to do that around people though). I also throw and catch things (water bottles usually) and crack my knuckles a lot. These are all pretty socially acceptable, and most people wouldn't think anything of them (though I probably do these more than most people).

Other things, like singing to oneself (which I used to do until other schoolkids made fun of me for it) or meowing (I do this a lot, but usually quietly, so no-one can hear me) or hand-flapping (only when I'm really excited) are seen as quirky and odd, I think.

Then there's full-body rocking, constant claping, finger snapping, other general squirminess that are more stereotypical of autistic people that are far more noticeable and will probably make people think you're crazy.
 

Mister Anonymity

Well-Known Member
What do you mean, exactly?
I visualize the numbers in my head, and I either subtract or add the numbers, or I multiply or divide the numbers. I don't even look at the letters. The letters are irrelevant. The numbers are the most important to me. Hope that clarifies things for you.
 

Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
I've always done a lot of stimming. I feel my hair all the time, and it's the feel of the hair that I like when I run it, so it's sensory seeking as opposed to nervous fidgeting, though I do plenty of that, too. I also pick at my face, and that's not such a healthy stim. I do it in public, I can't help it. When I was about 18, one of my mum's friends saw me and told me to stop, so i told her to mind her own business!

I also flap my hands, rock and make animal sounds. I have a nickname from from my partner for the animal sounds I make. Before I became aware of the fact that it's an autistic trait, I just thought of it as playing. In a way, it is - it's sensory seeking or sensory regulating, fulfilling a need similar to playing.

I teach online, and have a rocking chair at my desk. I rock back and forth all the time, even when teaching. Strangely only one student ever actually commented on this. I told him that it helps me concentrate. Perhaps they notice, but just don't say anything out of politeness? I would certain notice if one of my students were rocking, rocking chair or no. Perhaps they just don't care? I hope this is the case. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be affecting my work, so I guess it's ok.
 

Kalinychta

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I visualize the numbers in my head, and I either subtract or add the numbers, or I multiply or divide the numbers. I don't even look at the letters. The letters are irrelevant. The numbers are the most important to me. Hope that clarifies things for you.

I’m reminded of the film Mozart and the Whale. The autistic character in it does math on license plates when he is stressed.
 

Suzanne

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Could not vote, because I bounce and rub my hands together and sway. Not all the time, though. It is generally, due to extreme excitement; extreme aggitation.
 

OddlyGodly

Member
My main way of stimming is rubbing my eyebrows. I've done that one the longest. It is especially satisfying to do it with the corner of a book page.

I also rub my beard which I've only had for 2 years now but this seems common even in NT behavior.

When I am extremely stressed I wiggled my fingers and toes or open and close my hands repeatedly.
 

Shaddock

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
showing my middlefinger. people often misunderstand that. (joke)

tbh I have no (autistic) stim(ming)

so far as I know, not every autist has that

you´re survey not mentions that : P
 

TheName

Well-Known Member
I got more Thane...
The one from the list I feel confident to admit just because it was on the list...
Rearranging objects

I feel paranoid about talking about my stims as they come out when I have my emotions coming out. I would like to have "poker face" instead...
 

Owliet

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
The poll only lets you select 1 Option.
So I write mine below:
  • Rocking — only during a meltdown to “calm down”​

  • Bouncing — if I get super excited. Or have had too much caffeine...​

  • Stroking a particular object — When I was younger, I used to have a little elephant toy that would help calm me down. I still have it but I don’t need this anymore. But, I did stroke it repeatedly In my pocket if I had to do Something stressful.​

  • Repeating words/phrases — I didn’t realize that this is a stim. I think sometimes when I repeat words, that people think I’m taking the ”P” out of them but I am not. I am trying to clarify that I have understand what they want me to do.​

  • Skin rubbing and/or scratching — Yes. This is my main one. I do it when I’m excited. I do it when I’m upset or stressed or angry. I have also done this when i have been hugely anxious. And it was how i started self harming, because I scratched too much and deeply And it helped calm me.​

  • Rearranging objects — I have to do this with my books. They have to be in a certain order or my world is not “set”.​

  • Staring at lights —I stare into space and sort of “switch off”.​

 

CrystalStars

New Member
Rocking is my number one stim. If I'm sitting, I'm most definitely going to start rocking. Thankfully no one has said anything about it at work. Sometimes I bounce while standing, or I sway side to side. Not sure if this counts, but sometimes I do a weird curling motion with my fingers when I move room to room. This one is newish. I only started doing it for the past 3 years.

I did not know repeating words is a stim. Whenever I hear or see something that reminds me of a movie or meme, I'll make a reference to whatever it is I saw. Been told it gets annoying or I've already said that joke. I also tend to repeat back what someone says to me because I'm trying to make sure that's what I heard. I could be misinterpreting what repeating words means, though.
 

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