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L_Holmes
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04 Oct 2014, 3:47 pm

Or do you do it consciously on purpose some of the time? Before I read about Asperger's I never would have thought I did this, and even after reading about hand flapping I thought, "I know I never do that." But then a couple weeks later, I was at work, and there is this truck driver with the loudest horn I've ever heard. It literally sounded like a train. I jumped so bad I hit myself in the face, and then I started jumping and flapping my hands, totally instinctively (I also had a sudden urge to go punch his truck but I restrained myself). It took me like 20 minutes, and then I was like, "Hey, wait a minute..." :lol:

So now that I'm aware, I find myself doing it on purpose sometimes, and it does seem to help actually. But is that normal? Do most people just do it instinctively all the time?


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Kiriae
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04 Oct 2014, 4:19 pm

I do it instinctively when I am startled but I never though it is anything weird. I mean - who wouldn't flap their hands if they entered a spiderweb or a bee attacked them? It's natural reaction that is supposed to throw the danger off your body. At least thats how I explain it.

I also do it sometimes to make my body feel better. It is a good exercise to hands after keeping them on keyboard and mouse for too long. And it also makes your hands dry when you wash them and there is no towel.

I seem to do it also when I am about to start something and I think how to do it. But it's not real hand flapping - more like opening and closing my fists rhythmically using my muscles instead of the light-fast, gravity relying movement. It is as if I wanted to "catch" an idea using my hands. It must look funny. And I do different stuffs with my hands in some occasions. For example I often clap them or touch something repeatedly. I can control it but it starts by itself.

Hey... wait a sec. I actually do it! I do it when I walk in my home. Especially if I jump off stairs going down. In middle air I flap my hands as if I were a bird - for fun. Then I realize it and scold myself "What are you? 5 year old?" :lol:



Lukecash12
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04 Oct 2014, 4:52 pm

L_Holmes wrote:
Or do you do it consciously on purpose some of the time? Before I read about Asperger's I never would have thought I did this, and even after reading about hand flapping I thought, "I know I never do that." But then a couple weeks later, I was at work, and there is this truck driver with the loudest horn I've ever heard. It literally sounded like a train. I jumped so bad I hit myself in the face, and then I started jumping and flapping my hands, totally instinctively (I also had a sudden urge to go punch his truck but I restrained myself). It took me like 20 minutes, and then I was like, "Hey, wait a minute..." :lol:

So now that I'm aware, I find myself doing it on purpose sometimes, and it does seem to help actually. But is that normal? Do most people just do it instinctively all the time?


Sure, it's not unusual to do it on purpose. Autism involves hypersensitivity and because of this some things that would feel stimulating to someone else feel stimulating to us. I do it because it feels good and it relieves stress. But normally I do other forms of stimming, not hand flapping. It doesn't make you a five year old, you're simply hardwired the way that you are.

I've read before and seen it mentioned on WP a number of times how that the autistic brain doesn't trim excess neurons as much as the typical brain and this is the cause of hypersensitivity. It helps to compare this to the difference between a human's nose and a dog's nose. Of course our brains aren't that much more sensitive but notice how dogs react much more to stimulating smells, they can't help it because they are receiving an information overload. This is why seemingly mundane things can stimulate us and too much sensory information can cause anxiety and confusion, a state that seems like mental paralysis ("overloading", "shutting down") and even nausea.


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Halfmadgenius
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04 Oct 2014, 5:50 pm

I use to suppress it. I wasn't even aware of suppressing it it. I would occasionally flap when extremely excited, but only for a few seconds at a time. I guess I knew it looked bad.

Back then I had a terrible tic. A full body twitch. Once I gave myself permission to flap my tic went away.



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04 Oct 2014, 5:55 pm

Kiriae wrote:
I seem to do it also when I am about to start something and I think how to do it. But it's not real hand flapping - more like opening and closing my fists rhythmically using my muscles instead of the light-fast, gravity relying movement. It is as if I wanted to "catch" an idea using my hands. It must look funny. And I do different stuffs with my hands in some occasions. For example I often clap them or touch something repeatedly.


I use to flex my hands like that all the time.



Jensen
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04 Oct 2014, 6:16 pm

Some claims, that real stimming is involuntary and totally absorbing.
If that is true, most "stims" are merely habits.
Aspies/auties seem to have other "habits" than NT´s - or at least more of them.
What is the real difference?


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LokiofSassgard
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04 Oct 2014, 7:56 pm

It can be for me. I often end up doing it to release unknown excitement or hyperactivity. In fact, it's a little bit of both for me. I know I'm doing it, but at the same time, I feel as though I'm not aware. I don't stop it when I'm doing it. It's like... if I don't do it, then I become very agitated if I let the bouts of excitement/hyperactivity continue on. I usually only do it at home though.


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Raleigh
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04 Oct 2014, 8:15 pm

I flap my hands instinctively when I'm very excited or when I'm very confused and I don't know what to do. I find it releases some of the strong emotion or tension I feel in these situations.
Sometimes I do it on purpose when I find myself getting wound up. It has the same effect as when I do it involuntarily.
It's a natural stress release which is healthier than popping pills or self-medicating, so if it's a habit, then it's a good habit that I will continue to indulge in.
I tend to think of stimming as a more repetitive thing, whereas I flap my hands only occasionally during the day and only for a few seconds at a time. (Maybe it's a bit longer, actually)
I have another thing I do with my right hand where I form it into a shape and kind of rock it back and forth. I do this when I'm absorbed in something and didn't even realise I did it until recently. I can do this one for hours.


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EzraS
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04 Oct 2014, 9:51 pm

I'm mainly not aware of my stims when am doing them.



Jensen
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05 Oct 2014, 7:08 am

The reason why I have questions about this is, that I hate the thought of "putting on an act", and I didn´t do these things as a kid. I just cleared my throat exessively.
I´ve always had very tight muscles with shortenings and pains everywhere, and I wondered, why I often sat or stood still, like a chamelion, almost without breathing, sometimes in a slightly contorted position. Tension-tension!
Now, during the last two years, when I´ve allowed myself to loosen up and move most of the time with less pain as result, these odd behaviors emerge.
They feel good, so I suppose, they are part of natural stress release, like Raleigh and Loki described it.
I think, I just called them something else before:
Rocking: "A reptitive movement caused by an activity in the foot".
I suppose, then, rocking would be stimming, as it goes on for while and feels calming.

Flapping and flickering: Shaking tension out of hand.
Rubbing hands: Stretching and relaxing palms.
Some of it is unconcious/happens spontaneusly.


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r2d2
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05 Oct 2014, 7:52 am

I didn't know I was doing it until it was pointed out to me by others. I certainly didn't know that I still did it - until I asked three different trustworthy coworkers and they all confirmed that, yes sometimes I do it - but not all the time - just when I am exceptionally excited or nervous.

My psychiatrist explains it as a kind of pressure release valve for those of us who might be a bit lacking in a self-soothing mechanism - He suggested that I obtain a squeeze ball or some kind of comforting fiddle object to dissipate that pressure and sooth myself in a less demonstrative manner. That does seem to work - HOWEVER, when I am on my own I will now consciously flap my hand and whatever other stim gives me a bit of self-soothing. So, now I do it - but privately and under my conscious control.


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ASPartOfMe
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05 Oct 2014, 11:00 pm

Jensen wrote:
The reason why I have questions about this is, that I hate the thought of "putting on an act", and I didn´t do these things as a kid. I just cleared my throat exessively.
I´ve always had very tight muscles with shortenings and pains everywhere, and I wondered, why I often sat or stood still, like a chamelion, almost without breathing, sometimes in a slightly contorted position. Tension-tension!
Now, during the last two years, when I´ve allowed myself to loosen up and move most of the time with less pain as result, these odd behaviors emerge.
They feel good, so I suppose, they are part of natural stress release, like Raleigh and Loki described it.
I think, I just called them something else before:
Rocking: "A reptitive movement caused by an activity in the foot".
I suppose, then, rocking would be stimming, as it goes on for while and feels calming.

Flapping and flickering: Shaking tension out of hand.
Rubbing hands: Stretching and relaxing palms.
Some of it is unconcious/happens spontaneusly.


You are just allowing yourself to be your autistic self. The pervious behavior was more fake not this.

It is weird I do it nearly all the time unconsciously when in private when reading, watching TV or on the computer, I usually control my self fairly easily in public. However when stressed it's very difficult and sometimes a partial version of what I do privately happens very consciously which adds to more stress.


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russiank12
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18 Oct 2014, 11:58 pm

If I get excited or startled, then it's involuntary, but sometimes I like to put on a good movie and just flap to my heart's content