Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An Exercise in Stimming

I was just thinking about Autism Awareness Day/Month/Lifetime, my AD/HD, and what we have decidedly called typical. I think this may be an interesting exercise in not only understanding the potential functions of stimming (stereotypys) but also why they're not so atypical.

1) Sit down and define stimming
2) Remain seated and operationally define any stimming behavior that comes to mind (don't get too specific -- don't need to know "close fingers into a fist, extend arm to 180 degrees, lift arm upwards at 3 MPH, and pull arm down from the shoulder with 40 Newtons of force = fist pump)
3) Make a list of potential stimming behaviors you engage in
4) Take a frequency count of how many times in a day you engage in stimming behavior

Also, keep in mind stimming as it relates to automatic functions (feels awesome AND follows something really cool I did that others recognize and mediate socially), is maladaptive (e.g., I sometimes hum when ice pellets come barreling down onto my face during a Chicago winter, knowing full well this humming won't remove the aversive stimuli), and is also adaptive (forget about getting up and walking around after sitting for a long period of time. How often do you belt out the chorus of a song "out of the blue?").

Again, track all of this. Does this stuff really matter? How badly is it impacting your life? Are you a stim-o-holic!? If so, you don't need help. You need acceptance. But you can't provide acceptance if you are at the same time judgmental.


No comments:

Post a Comment