Stimming and other “quirky” behaviours

First, stimming is repetitive behaviour that results in burning off excess energy and helps calm the stimming person. Examples would be body rocking, hand waving, chewing and a host of other behaviours. There is a list somewhere on the internet that lists over 1400 stims. When I was a small boy, my stims were suppressed by my parents and in school. As I began my exploration of my autism three years ago, I rediscovered the different forms of stimming that I used as a child. Body rocking is a big one. However, I have learned to not body rock in public as people stare. It is my hang up, not theirs. I purchased a stim ring which has a ring inside another ring, from Stimtastic.com and it is very effective unless I am very upset. However, the stim that’s always been there, and the one that I use at home is finger chewing. I did not know it’s a stim!

Another “quirk” of mine is my difficulty with “common sense”. A recent example would be walking 200 meters to get water in the winter while camping instead of melting snow for water. Then there is reacting to part of a sentence as opposed to waiting for the entire statement. And of course, walking away from a conversation because I was “finished” talking and has no idea the other person was still engaged in the conversation.

Autistics have all kinds of so-called quirks. The real issue for me is that stimming is normal for Autistics as are other quirks. It does not matter what NTs think. We focus on how to be more comfortable with ourselves. We should be proud of our autism!

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