Stimming – what is that, what does it look like and why do some people stim? Stimming is a behaviour we observe that individuals diagnosed with ASD may engage in. Stimming can be defined as the engagement of repetitive movements, sounds, words or moving of objects. Stimming looks different for everyone. For individuals with ASD some common stimming behaviours we may see are; hand flapping, rocking and the continuous humming of a specific sound. When individuals engage in stimming, it is a way to self-stimulate and/or calm themselves. It may also be used as a way to express thoughts and feelings. Stimming may increase or decrease dependent on certain situations the indivudal may be experiencing and how they are feeling; excited or upset. Furthermore, stimming is not only something individuals with ASD engage in. Everyone engages in some type of stimming throughout their day.


Have you ever caught your self shaking your leg while you’re sitting, or spinning the ring on your finger round and round just cause or because youre feeling anxious?  Or perhaps even tapping your fingers on the tabe during a work meeting. These behaviours are all considered as stimming and sometimes we do it without even realizing. With that, some people may wonder if stimming is bad and shoould we stop our kids from stimming. What we first need to remember is why they engage in stimming – it is a way to self-sooth and self-stimulate. It is also important to evaluate two things when it comes to this – when the child engages in stimming is it 1) harming themselves or others and 2) does it interfere with their daily functioning – and how much. We need to take into consideration the frequency and intensity of the behaviour they engage in. These questions could be answered with the help of a professional. Once these questions are answered with the help of a professional they can provide appropriate techniques and strategies to reduce the behaviour if needed. If you have any questions or concern about your child’s stimming behaviours always reach out to professionals for help.


Remember, stimming is something everyone engages in throughout their daily lives, so whats your stim?

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