Stimming, or self-stimulatory behaviors, are behaviors people with autism may exhibit to counteract an overwhelming sensory environment or alleviate the high levels of internal anxiety, according to Temple Grandin’s post in Autism Digest. Some examples of stimming are rocking, spinning, pacing, repeating words or flapping of arms or hands.
Autistic people aren’t the only ones who stim, although occasionally people on the spectrum stim in more obvious ways and may attract attention. Many people have a hard time grasping why someone would stim.
We asked our readers with autism how they explain what stimming is like.
This is what they had to say:
1. “It helps my body regulate the sensory information of the world.” — Laura Ivanova Smith