This is something that many aren’t aware of.
The functional aspect, the importance of stimming for autistic people.
It is so heavily discounted that in most therapies targeted at autistic children,
The natural, organic, innate ways we move our bodies in order to bring ourselves back into balance,
The ways we find calm
Are shut down.
Our repetitive movements, our rocking, hand flapping, jumping, running, mouth sounds, let bouncing..
Must be allowed in order for us to regulate our huge emotional responses to our environments.
As an adult, I’ve attempted to force myself into traditional forms of stillness.
Meditation, yoga, baths,
And for many autistic people these are hugely advantageous.
But each time I have attempted these,
My body has chosen other forms of movement and regulation that I’ve quickly shut down
Out of shame
Out of shock
Out of panic
“What the hell is happening?”
What was happening
Is that I am an autistic person.
There are ways my body moves
Natural, normal, autistic ways.
And so now, when I am stressed or excited or just for whatever reason at all,
And it feels deeply sacred and personal.
There is a deep sense of grief and sadness in my stimming.
It is a return to who I am,
Who I have been all along.
It is my coming home.
It is an undoing, an unlearning.
It is a sacred ritual of reconnection to myself.
Please, allow yourself and/or your children to stim.