03 January 2014

Stimming - socially inappropriate?

If stimming is socially inappropriate, who gets the privilege of making that decision? And what about people who stare or laugh at stimming? Or worse, what about people who find stimming somehow discomforting, and consequently try to control the innocuous behaviour of others (ie: suppress stimming behaviours), in order to restore their own comfort?

When my child was 6, an "expert" told me I needed to pin his arms to his sides to stop him from hand-flapping. That was when I first realised so-called "experts" often have no idea what the hell they are talking about, and are also often just imposing their opinions on others.

Don't accept "expert" opinion as gospel, people! If it doesn't feel right, don't do it!

Click the links below to further your insight into stimming and social "appropriateness".
Socially appropriate.
"This innocuous phrase has turned obnoxious for me. Here’s an example of why: I’m reading a book about teaching social skills to children with Asperger’s and I come across a sentence stating that children should be allowed to time to engage in stress-reducing activities, including “self-stimulation in socially appropriate forms.”"
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About Stimming
"Looking normal worked well for me for a few years, and then it made me miserable. I find it ironic that when my teachers and parents told me to stop stimming, their goal was the same as when they taught me social skills or took me to occupational therapy: to help me live in the world with the minimum of suffering. But I suffered more when I couldn’t stim, and I came back to it like it was a wonderful hobby I had forgotten about."
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An interview with Emma about Stimming
A:  Do you like the word “stimming” ?
E:  No.
A:  Is there another word you’d prefer?
E:  Yes, but words are not as meaningful to me as they are to those who talk all the time.
A:  If you could choose any word other than stimming, what would it be?
E:  Self-care
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