Before I get into my next topic, I just want to thank you all. Within hours of my blog being published, there was so much love, support, and generosity that I received. I can’t count how many emails or social media comments I read. All of the support I have gotten reminds me of why I started this blog. I am now assured that I am doing the right thing.
Last night, after karate, I was just finishing taking my shower. I stepped out of the bathtub, soaking wet, had my towel wrapped around my body, and preceded to the hallway. Once on the hallway, I started walking back and forth. About a minute later, my mom came up and got upset with me because I was getting the carpet wet. She was focused on me getting the carpet wet, but I was focused on the fact that I was in the middle of my stim, and hadn’t finished yet. I hate it when people interrupt me when I haven’t finished stimming! In reality, I stim pretty much everywhere. Sometimes in class, sometimes at karate, sometimes in my house or backyard, and sometimes even in the grocery store!
A lot of people don’t understand stimming. Last semester, in my fourth period class, I even had a kid come up to me, and randomly say something rude to me. Not knowing that I had Autism, he said that stimming was “a weird thing that retards do.” This pissed me off. I was so upset inside but kept it together on the outside.
In the past I have stimmed a lot and I still do it a little bit today, but not as much. Some of my stims have included walking back and forth and in circles, moving my eyes in the same pattern over and over, touching the ground with my hands, humming, and mumbling to myself. If there is only one thing you get out of reading this, it should be this. STIMMING IS NECESSARY AND FEELS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM.
When I stim, it makes me feel “better.” When I am really excited, stimming helps me calm down and think more clearly. When I’m bored I get restless. Stimming helps me to get that feeling out of my body. Sometimes I stim at certain times of the day like when I get ready in the morning or get ready for bed. I haven’t figured out why I stim at these specific times yet. In elementary school some kids made fun of me for doing these odd behaviors. I was approached and asked why I did these things. Back then, my answer was always, “I don’t know.”
While stimming is necessary, sometimes I wish I didn’t stim as much, or at all. One example is when I am at school, and trying to fit in. Another example is when I am in the crosswalk and I bend down and touch the ground with my hands, which can be dangerous. My parents and ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) tutors have helped me throughout the years on finding different things to do instead of stimming. The solutions provided don’t always feel as good as the original stims, but sometimes they are okay. For instance, when I used to touch the ground, I was taught to tighten my shoes instead. This was more socially appropriate and people didn’t notice that as much. Stimming is just something that people with Autism do; some see it as a bad thing, but in my opinion it’s really not.
As a quick update: the donation link is now working again. There were some of you that contacted me saying that the “donate” link wasn’t working. I have fixed that issue and the link is open. Also quick reminder to subscribe to my blog if you haven’t yet to receive email updates of when I post my new blogs as well as to follow my facebook page @thejourneythroughautism.