Stimming Therapy

I’ve been thinking a lot about all the little idiosyncrasies of ASD.  It occurs to me that stimming exists in the NT world, as well.  The purpose of stimming is distraction from anxiety triggers.  It also occurs to me that these behaviors, properly channeled, can be very beneficial.  For me, it’s music.  That primal rhythm and beautiful melody transports me to a plane where I am able to focus, and block out all the little distractions that interfere with the task at hand.  I’ve observed Autists and NTs alike, fidgeting, cleaning compulsively, talking to oneself.  I suppose the difference is whether the behavior is disruptive, or whether you answer the questions asked when talking to oneself.?

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4 thoughts on “Stimming Therapy

  1. Pardon me for a second, and let me warn you that I’m probably going to dissolve into some psychobabble and semantics here.

    First of all, I’ve read that NT stands for neurotypical, and that it was first coined in the autism community (some sources say Aspie, specifically) to refer to anyone without autism and/or Asperger’s. I know the director of one of our autism resource centers uses the term a lot. But I picked up a broader context of the word– that is, that “neurotypical” was narrowed to anyone that did not have atypical neurology. Since I deal with bipolar, and my wife and daughter both deal with ADD, I’ve been wont to reply to that director: “Ain’t a one in my family that’s neurotypical!” I guess I prefer the term “normie”.

    Now, I was initially (mis)diagnosed with ADD, and then observing my wife and children, I learned a lot about so-called “white” noise. I suppose that would count; my wife and my daughter can concentrate with background music. But I’m not sure if that counts as “stimming”.

    So, again, are you using NT in the context of “not autistic”, or the context of “does not have atypical neurology”? For what I’d call the “normie” world, anything resembling “stimming” would more likely be referred to as “nervous habits”.

    By the way… I’m just now coming to find that many of my “stimming” has to do with bipolar, and not anything ASD-related. I found out “telephone phobia” (which I *did* have) is a bipolar thing. Ugh. Now I’m rambling on and on… does this make any sense?

  2. No pardon needed. I’m a fan of psychobabble. I did mean NT in the sense of non-Autistic, however, I sort-of meant it in the broader sense, too. I don’t really see a distinction between stimming an nervous habits.
    Love the term “normie”. It’s impossible to think that anyone is truly “normal”, In the human sense of the word. Many of these behaviors are a vestige of our animal nature. Unless they are really disruptive, I don’t feel that it serves any purpose to repress them. If we reached a point of ability to repress all aspects of our animal behavior, we would suffer greatly, or even become extinct.
    I also have phone phobia. I’m pretty sure I’m not bipolar (although I do have some traits). With comorbid diagnoses, it’s very difficult to assign a diagnosis to a single behavior.
    And, yes, it makes sense.:)

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