This is a rough cut. I want this to be spoken word by two people and one person spends the majority of the poem VERY VISIBLY handflapping, stimming, stimming in embarrassing ways that people don’t want to look at. This is kind of rambly and it’s not perfect. One of the physical components will be that whenever QUIET HANDS is said, the person who is not speaking but hand flapping will stop moving.
I really like how you’ve developed this! :D
This is all sorts of perfect :D
“Stimming” is short for “self-stimulation” which I do not say on tumblr for OBVIOUS REASONS. A stim is a repetitive sensory behavior that helps to soothe/calm/regulate an individual. Everyone stims. Everyone.
Do you bounce your leg when you’re bored? Play with your pen? Tap your fingers? “Trail your hands over walls/tables/doorframes/chairs?” Congratulations! You stim!
Then why do you use it when you talk about autism, you ask?
To which I say: because when you’re autistic, normal human things get pathologized.[…]
To be fair, it is a little more complicated. Autistic people stim /more/ and more /intensely/, on average, and it’s something we /need/ to do in order to process, as well as something that can be very comforting or bring us a lot of joy. It can also be a way to interact with or understand our environment—that’s a little different, but it can look like stimming, and it’s part of the whole sensorimotor differences thing we’ve got going on.
We also tend to stim in more stereotyped or visible ways. Me flapping my hands is probably a lot less subtle than someone twirling a pen, and it’s also a gesture that carries social significance—in my case, it means that people will ask me if my caregiver is around, instead of talking to me.
For this reason, a lot of autistic people, if they can, will try to stim in less noticeable ways, because being treated like that really sucks. This is called “passing,” and it’s just like passing as straight or white or anything else. If you try to get an autistic person to stop stimming, you’re an asshole, just like you are if you try to control anyone’s body.
TL;DR: everyone stims, autistic people do it more[.]
So many stimming behaviours were, literally, beaten out of me when I was young. The constant shouts of “stop fiddling!” I started to do things in less noticeable ways, because I had to and I couldn’t not do them.
Reading about this from fuckyeahstimming made me realise it wasn’t something that only I did, and wasn’t something I had to necessarily hide. One thing I am incredibly glad for is the freedom that my adult life gives me.
Stimming in Public: Baltimore-DC March 2012 (by nicocoer) Captioned at youtube.
For the year of 2012, I’m going to film myself stimming/otherwise being Autistic in public during every major trip I take. This one is of my Baltimore-DC trip in March 2012.
I was kind of terrified, actually, to be doing some of these by myself. the BWI and Baltimore and on the Train ones are organic, but I made a trip to Capitol hill specifically meaning to get some footage. Let me tell you, doing something like this while there’s a bunch of security guards observing it 20 ft away is scary, especially if you are someone who has dealt with hassling from authorities in the past for looking “crazy” or “Suspicious.”
Nothing About Us Without Us!