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Is eating a stim for you?
Yes 43%  43%  [ 12 ]
No 36%  36%  [ 10 ]
Don't know 21%  21%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 28

BeaArthur
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01 Mar 2016, 2:18 pm

I sometimes munch while working at my computer at work. And if things get a little stressful, I eat more. I also look for a snack when I don't know what to do with myself (between two activities, say).

Is this a stim?


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Lumi
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01 Mar 2016, 2:28 pm

I don't think it is.


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Trogluddite
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01 Mar 2016, 3:31 pm

I can see how it could be a stim, or at the least a substitute for stims such as teeth grinding, jaw clenching or chewing on non-food items.

When I was a kid, I used to get really engrossed in my Lego building, and I always used to end up chewing on a brick to help me think - after a while I had hardly any bricks left that would clip together properly! And don't ever lend me a pen or pencil if you want it back in one piece!

I could also see how having a particular flavour or texture in one's mouth could be a form of stimming - not so different from my desire to feel the texture of particular fabrics on my fingertips, even though it serves no obvious other function.


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Brittniejoy1983
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01 Mar 2016, 3:41 pm

I don't know if it is a stim, but I have the same problem. I will eat if I am nervous, upset, angry, sad, etc. If I am having a bad day, I have the urge to be chewing. The only way I can stop it is to chew gum (can't do anymore), or grinding my teeth or biting my lip (till it bleeds) or picking my face, my scalp, or hair, or smoking (which I try not to do anymore).

SO I guess maybe it COULD be a stim, maybe. If you are replacing it with other oral type things.


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arkatron
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01 Mar 2016, 4:08 pm

Yes, I think it can be a stim. After all, eating is a repetitive physical and sensory experience. I suspect when people use food as a stim they also tend to eat it in a certain unconventional way.


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Brittniejoy1983
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01 Mar 2016, 4:40 pm

I wouldn't peg it as being a 'healthy' stim however. My weight would agree with me. :oops:


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01 Mar 2016, 9:13 pm

I checked 'no' on the poll, but only b/c it's not me specifically. We're starting to see AS/ASD traits in our son and one thing he does is constantly say he hungry. He's not underfed at all & he checks out as healthy with his pediatrician. But he's completely satisfied with sucking on ice or other oral stimulation. So our best guess is that he learned to associate chewing food with satiating an oral stim, and now when he needs to stim that way he says he's hungry. We're not sure how to test that or transition him (if it is so) to transition to realizing its not necessarily food he's craving.


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nerdygirl
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01 Mar 2016, 10:28 pm

Eating is a known method of dealing with anxiety, and not just for people with ASD Many people with social anxiety eat a lot at parties and other social gatherings because it is "something to do." It keeps them busy. It can also keep them from talking to people.

Many people also drink a lot of alcohol and chain smoke in social situations because having a drink or a cigarette in their hands is soothing.

If a stim is a repetitive behavior that is soothing, I don't see why any of these behaviors would not qualify, though none of them are healthy options.



btbnnyr
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01 Mar 2016, 10:58 pm

Not a stim in terms of a stereotyped motor behavior in autism.
But a common stimulation that many people do for various reasons beyond eating to live.


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Brittniejoy1983
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01 Mar 2016, 11:10 pm

btbnnyr wrote:
Not a stim in terms of a stereotyped motor behavior in autism.
But a common stimulation that many people do for various reasons beyond eating to live.


I wonder if that is influenced by the cause of the eating. For me it replaces other oral-type behaviors (biting my lips, chewing my cheek, teeth grinding, tongue scraping, fingernail biting, teeth tapping, etc). Those are things I do almost routinely with little to no external stressors (well, fingernail/cuticle biting is done only when stressed). High levels of stress give way to eating in a very.... odd way. Makes my husband nuts. For instance. If I'm eating shelled sunflower seeds, they get split in half by my front teeth, then bit in the smallest possible increments until they are gone. And move on to another one. Corn kernels are split, and the insides scraped out and nibbled in a similar fashion, and then the kernel nibbled until swallowed.

^^seems more stim like than just simply overeating, or eating for comfort.


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mr_bigmouth_502
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01 Mar 2016, 11:15 pm

I often eat when I'm bored or stressed out. That said, it's a common behavior among NTs too, and I wouldn't really consider it a "stim".


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EzraS
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01 Mar 2016, 11:47 pm

I would say probably not officially, but close enough to being one. I think snaking occurs for the same reason and offers the same type of result as traditional stims.



ZombieBrideXD
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02 Mar 2016, 1:43 am

in the same sense that Masturbating is a stim, Hugging is a stim, watching Tv, going on the computer, listening to music.

Its called socially Acceptable stims and Non autistics do it too.

Because autistic peoples sensory input is either more or less intense these 'stims' don't serve the same purpose and they get more gratitude from flapping hands, head banging, falling on the floor, clapping, pinching self, humming and spinning.

thats just my theory


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BeaArthur
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02 Mar 2016, 7:23 am

EzraS wrote:
I would say probably not officially, but close enough to being one. I think snaking occurs for the same reason and offers the same type of result as traditional stims.

What is snaking?


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EzraS
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02 Mar 2016, 8:01 am

BeaArthur wrote:
EzraS wrote:
I would say probably not officially, but close enough to being one. I think snaking occurs for the same reason and offers the same type of result as traditional stims.

What is snaking?


I have no idea. That's why I meant to write snacking :lol: Snacking, nibbling, grazing. Lots of times I like to eat things like potato chips (crisps) slowly one at a time for the constant sensory repeats. The sound of the crunch. The tang of the salt.