stim city

I used to really dislike the word “stim.”

But now I don’t.

That said, Bede and Faith are Stimmy McStimmersons. Bede is running back and forth in the living room shouting out “Cheerleader! So and So! What’s Her Face! The Ugly One!” over and over (yes, I let my kids watch Homestar. I am a baaaad parent.) and Faith is spinning in circles. Faith is getting Aspie-er and Aspie-er as she gets older. Just like her ma. Ahem.

Calm down guys! Gee whiz.

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6 thoughts on “stim city

  1. We rent the episodes on dvd from Netflix often. Dom calls him “StrongMan” and flexes his muscles when he wants to watch it.

    That’s a bad thing? lol

  2. Josh bought the strongbad game for the Wii. Apparently it’s really fun and great and all that.

    Dan will yell “Bre! Stop Stimming!” and then turn around and start stimming himself. Totally cracks me up.

    I stim too. Pretty helpful sometimes.

  3. okay, explain the concept of “stimming” to me and why people do it, what it’s a marker of, etc. I thought I knew but I think I assume wrong and I want a straight answer. :D.

  4. Stimming is short for “self-stimulating.” Repetitive actions that serve no obvious purpose beyond themselves. Everyone does it – biting fingernails, tapping your foot, humming, having a song stuck in your head enough that you start singing it to yourself, etc. Autistic people usually have pretty obvious and unusual stims such as lining up objects, pacing, flapping the hands at the wrist, flicking fingers in front of the eyes, spinning or rocking objects or themselves. And autistic people can stim for hours, versus minutes. Some autistic people and most nonautistic people tend to subsume their stim into a socially acceptable habit – an oral stim becomes smoking or nailbiting or penchewing, a vestibular stim like running or pacing becomes habitual excercise or sport, a fine motor tactile stim becomes, oh, knitting, say…

    Stims, to me, are entirely intended to provide sensory input, but Melissa uses it in a broader sense than I do and also encompasses mental perseveration and obsession into the ‘stim’ category.

    Have to run, hope that makes sense!

  5. Yep…I include mental perseveration because in many kids, it’s the same soothing pattern in your brain that relieves stress, anxiety or even joy/pleasure. IME…stimming is a way to relieve those extreme emotions that are hard to express, or create emotions in a point of boredom…and it does sometime become a habit as it is soothing. I think it goes beyond just repetitive actions, because you have to take into account the why and the intensity of how it happens. For my stepmom, tapping her pencil on the table a few times kind of crutches her brain to get past a difficult calculation in the checkbook, but for me it enters into an entirely different realm, the purpose is to sooth myself, the repetitive sound, comparing one tap to the next (tho mom swears they sound the same to her) and how HARD it is to just stop even once it drives everyone else insane.

    The mental stims, the Mobley calls ‘mental popcorn’ and for Josh and Dan, can be just as difficult to break away from as physical stims…because they are more socially acceptable than say, rocking or pacing. However, they can be just as limiting when they are wanting to move on to another idea or conversation and they’re kind of glitching (have you seen Tin Man? lol)

    Dan’s favorite stim is to hold a hot wheel car in his hands, tightens up his entire body while moving his hands closer and further away from his eye (usually right eye while the left one squints) He may or may not grind his teeth.

  6. a fine motor tactile stim becomes, oh, knitting, say…
    Oh man, that is so me. I was just telling someone today that I find it impossible to sit and do nothing. I also frequently get one line of a song stuck in my head for days. DAYS. Until I have to listen to the song 10 times to get rid of it. Oy.

    Odd thing is, Erik, who I think is pretty Aspie, can sit and just do nothing. Of course, his nothing usually includes coffee and a cigarettes, so maybe it’s not actually nothing. :)

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