April 6, 7, 8 2019

Okay, I tried writing every day.  The weekend came along and I just didn’t have it in me to write (but I did do some crafting which I haven’t had the mental energy to do for months).

I’m going to do three days in one, here we go….

Stimming- What does it mean to me and what do I do to stim?

Stimming stands for “self-stimulatory behavior” and is often used as a way to regulate or manage sensory overload.  It can also happen when someone is happy, or just simply feels the need to move.  It can look like dancing, rocking, hand flapping, the list goes on.  There are many stims, and many people have a few that are important to them.

For me, it is usually rocking back and forth in my chair or swaying slightly when I am standing.  If you see me standing absolutely still, know that it is taking me an enormous amount of energy to do this.

Another stim I have is squeezing my hands together, as if I was milking a cow.  That one happens when I’m distressed and really need help managing the overload in the moment.

If I’m walking through a busy store and am feeling overloaded, I will bounce one hand against my side or my leg.  It helps me feel solid at a time when I’m struggling to tell where I end and all the other people/noises/smells begin.

I probably have a lot of other stims that I don’t even notice anymore.

Here- watch one of my favorite autistic vloggers talk about stimming:

April 7: Talk about special interests

My special interest would have to be advocacy and social issues.  Really, I spend an amazing amount of time reading about it, studying advocates, and anytime someone gets me started (or even when they don’t) I can go on and on and on and on…. I enjoy discussing and studying social issues of many types, but the rights of autistic people and disability rights in general fascinate me. They’re important to me.  And they’ve grown in importance as I’ve gotten to better understand myself, my children, and people I work with.  My youngest has a special interest in nature documentaries narrated by David Attenborough, which he has watched since he was 10 months old (he’s now 7).  He knows an incredible amount about all things nature-related, particularly insects.  We supported his love of praying mantids by keeping one as a pet.  His name was Bobby, and he was so beautiful.

April 8: talk about ableism

I think the main thing that I’ve run into personally has been when people either laugh at my quirks (which makes me feel like I’ve just been gut punched), or encourage me to do things to appear more typical.  Guess what?  What’s typical for you is most definitely not typical for me.  In a professional setting, I’ve had to train myself to appear as though I’m making good eye contact. That actually makes me angry to even type it.  My son’s psychologist asked me what I do to make it appear as though I was looking him in the eye, and congratulated me for finding such a smart way to do it.  I still hear his words echoing through my brain, as though appearing “normal” was the end goal there.

 

 

 

 

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