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Is Stimming Good for Autistic People?

It’s no secret that humans are easily irritated by the slightest things. Anyone who’s been called a fidgeter their whole lives knows what we’re talking about when we say it can feel like a personal attack when someone tells us to stop!

Stimming, or self-stimulatory behavior, is a common repetitive behavior among neurodivergent people. It can involve repetitive movements such as rocking, hand flapping, spinning, or repeating words and phrases. While it may seem strange to those who don’t understand it, stimming can actually be beneficial for an autistic child or adult alike.

So let’s take a look at how stimming is beneficial to the lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and those with ADHD, and how we can encourage stimming in a safe environment that benefits everyone involved.

What is Stimming?

Stimming is the practice of sensory input through repetitive behaviors in order to stimulate dopamine in the brain. Anyone can stim, but it is a common stimming behavior among autistic people, and can take many forms. Examples of stimming include rocking, flapping hands, spinning, tapping fingers or toes, and repeating words or phrases.

Stimming is often used as a way to self-regulate emotions and behaviors in response to sensory overload or stress. Additionally, some autistic people may engage in more a extreme sensory input. Harmful stimming behaviors include self-injury or excessive aggression against others or objects.

That said, stimming can help autistic people reduce their stress and anxiety in overwhelming situations. It allows them to process their emotions, and express themselves. Stimming can also help them focus and concentrate, as well as maintain their sense of identity. For these reasons, many experts believe that stimming is an important part of autism management and should be encouraged.

The Benefits of Stimming for Autistic People

Stimming, or self-stimulatory behavior, is a common behavior among autistic people. It is often seen as a way to cope with stress, anxiety, and other emotions. But what many people don’t realize is that stimming can also have many other positive benefits for autistic people.

Stimming as a Form of Expression

For starters, stimming can help autistic people express themselves. All people have thoughts and feelings, but not everyone has the ability to express them.

Stimming can be a way for an Autistic child or adult to express and process their emotions in ways that they may otherwise not be able to. This can help them feel more comfortable in their own skin and give them a sense of control.

Using Stimming as a Tool for Self-Regulation

Stimming can also help autistic people regulate their emotions. Autistic people may not always have the same ability to manage their feelings as other people. Engaging in common stimming behaviors can help them regulate their emotions, and provide a sense of comfort when they feel overwhelmed.

It can also give autistic people a break from overstimulating environments, allowing them to have a much-needed moment to decompress. Fidget toys are a great example of this, where kids or even autistic adults can rely on calming or repetitive sensory stimulation to destress.

Stimming Helps With Social Anxiety and Communication Skills

Certain forms of stimming can boost communication skills and help autistic people interact with others. Many autistic people struggle to communicate with others, but engaging in stimming can help them focus and practice communication skills.

It can also help autistic people build strong relationships with others and make them more comfortable in social situations. Social acceptance of stimming is a big thing for anyone neurodivergent. By normalizing stimming behaviors, we can increase confidence in anyone who engages in stimming to be themselves.

Some people with Autism may even turn their experiences of stimming into a career! Think about auditory stimming, for example. Beatboxing is a great example of verbal stimming that, with the right training, can be channeled into a creative outlet!

How to Support Autistic People Who Engage in Stimming

So how can we best support people who engage in autistic stimming behavior? Firstly, it is important to create an understanding and accepting sensory environment to give the best quality of life. This can involve educating friends and family about the positive aspects of stimming, and providing an understanding and supportive response when a person is stimming.

Secondly, it is important to provide a safe and calming space for autistic individuals to go to when they need to stim. This could involve using sensory tools such as a weighted blanket or noise-cancelling headphones, or providing access to their own designated sensory corner or room.

Finally, it is important to remember that self-stimulating behaviors should be allowed as they can be beneficial for the individual. Therefore, it should not be discouraged or interrupted unless it is causing harm.

By providing guidance, support, and acceptance, we can ensure that stimming behaviors are seen in a positive light, and that these behaviors are seen as a way for an autistic child or adult to express their needs and wants.

Creating a Safe and Supportive Environment for Autistic People

Creating a safe and supportive environment for autistic people who engage in stimming is an important step in helping them lead more fulfilling lives. One of the primary benefits of stimming is that it provides autistic people with a way to manage stress and anxiety.

Not only does it provide a sense of calm and security, it can also help them focus on tasks and activities. In addition, stimming can help autistic people with communication and social interaction, as it can provide them with a way to express their emotions and feelings.

When creating a safe and supportive environment for autistic people, it is important to create a space that is free from judgement and criticism. It is also important to provide support and understanding for their behavior, and to show empathy for their situation.

Additionally, providing access to resources that are designed for autistic people, such as support groups and educational materials, can help them manage their stimming behavior in a healthy and constructive way.

Finally, it is important to remember that stimming is a natural behavior for autistic people, and it should be accepted and supported.


Stimming Improves Wellbeing

In conclusion, stimming can be a great way to help autistic people manage their emotions, cope with stress, and lead more fulfilling lives. It is important to create an environment that is safe and supportive for autistic people who engage in stimming, and to provide them with the understanding and resources they need.

Additionally, stimming can be used as a positive outlet for autistic people to express themselves and work through challenging emotions. With the right support, autistic people can use stimming to their benefit and live happier, more meaningful lives.

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30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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