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WelcomeToHolland
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17 Aug 2014, 2:02 pm

Why do you stim? Is it a decision?

I read something on this website where the person said they read about stimming, and then they started doing it, and because they like it, they kept doing it, and think they're autistic...

That goes against how I thought stimming was, but I don't know from personal experience, maybe it is. My husband isn't diagnosed with autism but I think he has some traits at the very least (dunno if it's enough to say definitively or not). But anyway one thing he does since he was very young, is he shakes his hands in some situations (mostly happiness/excitement), and since our kids were diagnosed, I've thought it was "hand flapping"/ stimming. He describes it as like a yawn or a shiver- it's not something you decide to do- it's involuntary- but you can voluntarily stop it if you try hard to do so. He finds he can stop if he clasps his hands tightly. Since he's not diagnosed, maybe that's something else entirely, not stimming?

Just wondering is that description something you recognise? How would you describe it?


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Dr_Cheeba
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17 Aug 2014, 2:20 pm

Well to me, your husbands actions sound like stimming... But Autisim isn't always the answer. I know that for me I've always done hand flapping since I was a kid and it's always during extreme emotions. Either really happy/excited or really angry - I will get an uncontrollable impulse. But like he says, I can stop it if I try had, my body just NEEDS to do it to release the energy.


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btbnnyr
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17 Aug 2014, 2:21 pm

I think that stimming in autism is repetitive movements that someone does verry merry berry frequently without deciding to do it, without deciding to start doing it at this moment, and without knowing that they have started doing it, but they can stop if they decide to stop doing it at this moment, but in awhile, they may start doing it again without knowing that they have started doing it.

I don't think that stimming in reaction to emotions like stress and joy are autistic stimming, but instead stimming that is commonly found in general population including autistics and neurotypicals.


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Dr_Cheeba
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17 Aug 2014, 2:42 pm

"I don't think that stimming in reaction to emotions like stress and joy are autistic stimming, but instead stimming that is commonly found in general population including autistics and neurotypicals."

Of all the Autistics I have met, almost all of their stimming originated from extreme emotions and being overwhelmed in situations because of sensory overload... And because of our sensory issues, we are quite often in sensory overload mode, so some will stim more often. I.E. My cousin is almost constantly flapping his hands...


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WelcomeToHolland
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17 Aug 2014, 2:43 pm

Dr_Cheeba wrote:
... But Autisim isn't always the answer.

I know that. I was wondering about the stimming (I have 2 kids who are diagnosed with autism and was just curious), not about whether or not he has it.

btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think that stimming in reaction to emotions like stress and joy are autistic stimming, but instead stimming that is commonly found in general population including autistics and neurotypicals.


Really? I know "stimming" is something lots of people do and some is "acceptable" while some is not, but I thought it could be in response to emotions.. I think my kids stim for different reasons, sometimes it's sensory, but also sometimes it's joy. But this is not a typical display of joy- it seems to be about as autistic as you can get. Also they both do rocking in response to stress, and that was one of the first things that the doctor picked out about my son when he was being diagnosed. He was standing in the corner with his hands over his ears, rocking side-to-side, and he said that's a clear sign that he has autism... the rocking would be stimming, I think.


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emtyeye
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17 Aug 2014, 2:45 pm

In the DSM they call it "stereotyped, repetitive movements" which I had a hard time wrapping my mind around what that looks like in practice. I also was confused by the term "hand flapping" (maybe my inability to generalize) and had to look at YouTube videos to see what people were talking about (in children.) Much of what I saw there for hand flapping looked like normal excited kid movements and it was still hard for me to see what the problem or big difference is. I did not find adult examples, although they are probably on there somewhere.

But, I do have many repetitive movements that range from running my hands over my head and face, making a circular movement with the index finger over the thumb, lightly touching objects as I walk by, other hand wringing and twirling, holding my hands in odd positions while I am doing other things, foot tapping, as well as visual things like sitting quietly and making my eyes follow the edge of a line in my sight, like around the edge of a window or similar. From what I have read here and elsewhere, all these would qualify as stims.

If I am stressed the amount will be more. If I am very relaxed or focused on something, it can be almost absent. I can repress the urge to do these things for a bit, but I do not think I could stop doing them altogether, especially under stress or excitement. For me it seems like a way of dispelling emotional energy that I do not know what else to do with. Beyond that, I honestly do not know what it is, although I have a dim hypothesis inspired by RDOS.



LupaLuna
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17 Aug 2014, 2:53 pm

Here is a 8 year kid doing it?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oukupxRUA84[/youtube]



btbnnyr
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17 Aug 2014, 3:00 pm

WelcomeToHolland wrote:
Dr_Cheeba wrote:
... But Autisim isn't always the answer.

I know that. I was wondering about the stimming (I have 2 kids who are diagnosed with autism and was just curious), not about whether or not he has it.

btbnnyr wrote:
I don't think that stimming in reaction to emotions like stress and joy are autistic stimming, but instead stimming that is commonly found in general population including autistics and neurotypicals.


Really? I know "stimming" is something lots of people do and some is "acceptable" while some is not, but I thought it could be in response to emotions.. I think my kids stim for different reasons, sometimes it's sensory, but also sometimes it's joy. But this is not a typical display of joy- it seems to be about as autistic as you can get. Also they both do rocking in response to stress, and that was one of the first things that the doctor picked out about my son when he was being diagnosed. He was standing in the corner with his hands over his ears, rocking side-to-side, and he said that's a clear sign that he has autism... the rocking would be stimming, I think.


As I said, stimming can be done by autistics in response to emotions, but this kind of stimming is common in the general population too.


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17 Aug 2014, 3:38 pm

I actually thought I didn't do it anymore - In my case hand flapping. But I benignly mentioned it to three different coworkers that I feel close enough to and they told me that yes, when I get excited about something or stressed, I do start flapping my hands. They thought it was a bit odd - but harmless. I simply had no idea whatsoever that I was still doing it.

My psychiatrist believes that it is basically a pressure release valve. He believes that many if not most people on the Spectrum and no doubt some others tend to be lacking in a self-soothing mechanism to calm themselves when they are excited or stressed. HIs advice was to acquire something like a stress ball or some other comforting fiddle object one can play with in order to dissipate that built up energy in a less demonstrative way.


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ikerio
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17 Aug 2014, 5:04 pm

One of the best explanations about Stimming.Thank you r2d2.
It's only recently that I found out to my delight there was a name for it.



Last edited by ikerio on 18 Aug 2014, 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ASD_Geek
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17 Aug 2014, 5:16 pm

Msg removed



Last edited by ASD_Geek on 18 Aug 2014, 6:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Lumi
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17 Aug 2014, 6:13 pm

I enjoy rocking forward for a while, sometimes shaking out my hands.


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ASD_Geek
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17 Aug 2014, 6:52 pm

I have made a conscious effort to pay closer attention to what my body is doing throughout the day. I have found that I shake my legs almost on a continual basis.

I also noticed that I rock, usually side-to-side whenever I am standing for any length of time. Sometime the rocking is just rocking between each foot or back on my heels. Other times, the rocking is almost like a dance, step left, feet together. Step right, feet together. Occasionally, I'll rock back and forth, usually when I'm sitting.

There are frequently are other times that I stim with my hands and fingers, either wringing or twisting them

Since researching this topic, I learned that there are many different types of stimming, including visual and vestibular. After that, I deduced that I apparently do A LOT of stimming.

In addition to the vestibular stims, I visually trace shapes, designs or letters with my eyes. There is also something that I do which is where I occasionally just stare at something and zone out. I also have a tendency to make random stupid noises/voices for no reason.



Cvulgaris
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17 Aug 2014, 8:13 pm

I didn't think I stimmed because I don't flap, rock, spin, or nod my head. My stimming seems to be more subtle, I guess. I knead my toes on carpet, grass, or the air. I flick my fingernails, and sometimes I rub my fingernails with my thumb or vice versa. I drive a Subaru, and the key fob has this wonderful raised circle that I like to trace repeatedly whenever it is in my hands. I get the "happy wiggles" when I am eating something particularly delicious. And I get very twitchy when I'm in a heightened state of emotion (like Josh Hartnett's character in Mozart and the Whale). I also have a really hard time just sitting still--I have to shake my foot or pick at my nails or constantly readjust. I like to touch things, too, like just running my hands over things while I'm walking. So I don't know--is that stimming or not?



Natty741
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22 Aug 2014, 1:08 am

I'm realizing now I've done it all along. I'm trying to figure out the right avenues for a diagnosis but when I was a kid I would suck on my tongue. My mom would always tease me but I couldn't help it! It stopped when I started smoking. I smoked for 15 years and that stim disappeared. I haven't smoked a cigarette in 6 monthe and almost since the moment I quit, that tongue sucking stim has come back full force. I'm not sure how to stop but I am definitely conscious of it. In high school I would roll pieces of chewed gum around in my fingers. I rolled my cigarettes around the same way. Lol. Now that I don't smoke I use anything! I like the feeling of things in the creases of my fingers and hands or jammed under my nails. I mean, anything I deem "appropriate" (LOL) it could be a small twig, a piece of cereal, a crumb of some.sort, tiny rocks, rolled up tape, a straw. Whatever I see. Im also partial to sticky tape I love to stick it to the ends of my fingers then press on the pads of my fingers tips. It makes sort of a counter pressure. I love to scratch gently at my scalp and eyebrows. I love the feeling if the hairs poking under my nails...



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22 Aug 2014, 1:21 am

I stim a lot and really like it.


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