Stimming: The Good and Bad Side of Anxious Behaviours | Taming the Data Monster
View this email in your browser

New Blog Post

Stimming: The Good and Bad Side of Anxious Behaviours

My most read post this month on Facebook was one about stimming. Stimming – or stims – are a wide variety of self-stimulating behaviours that people with ASD may exhibit when experiencing sensory overload or high levels of anxiety. Stimming can be a repetitive motion such as hand flapping or rocking, repetition of words or phrases, vocalizations, or even the repetitive movement of objects. Stimming still puzzles many neurotypicals, who often want to eradicate or control stims. While stimming may seem alarming or strange to the rest of us, these behaviours do serve a purpose for those on the spectrum.

What Does Stimming Do?

A very good blog post from The Mighty explains in detail what those with ASD experience when stimming and why they need to do it. Some examples are rocking, hand flapping, head banging, stroking a piece of cloth; all can serve as a calming strategy. As one woman explains:

“Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, upset or angry, I need to let it out. I feel antsy when I’m over stimulated, so I need to move around and let out some noise. It’s the only way I know how to cope. It calms me down. A common one for me is humming loudly to myself (sometimes with my ears plugged or covered) and most commonly, I’ll bounce my leg. It’s involuntary, so I don’t always realize I’m bouncing my leg. It bothers some people, but I can’t help it.”

Temple Grandin described stimming this way:

"When I did stims such as dribbling sand through my fingers, it calmed me down. When I stimmed, sounds that hurt my ears stopped. Most kids with autism do these repetitive behaviours because it feels good in some way. It may counteract an overwhelming sensory environment, or alleviate the high levels of internal anxiety these kids typically feel every day."

Chris Bonnello from Autistic Not Weird points out that many non-autistic people exhibit stimming behaviours as well, they just aren’t as visible.

“What’s it like to stim? You tell me. Most non-autistic people impulsively tap their feet, drum their fingers or let out exasperated sighs. They’re all natural forms of self-expression. The theory behind autistic stimming is the same — we’re just the ones who get called out for expressing ourselves more visibly than you!”

What is harmful stimming...

Read More

Taming The Data Monster - Collecting and Analyzing Classroom Data to Improve Student Progress
Author: Susan Kabot and Christine E. Reeve
Price: $42.95

Faced with increasing demands for accountability, teachers are having to base their instructional decisions and choice of interventions on data on student performance. This book shows how to make this otherwise daunting task much more manageable by means of case studies and countless evidence-based forms and graphs. Although this book often refers to students and classrooms, the data collection techniques are applicable to a wide range of environments, including clinics, job-training and actual job sites, and homes.  In addition, the data collection tools and procedures are relevant for use with a wide range of ages, from toddlers to adults.

View Product

2016 Conferences

Vancouver, BC – February 26 & 27, 2016
With: Brenda Smith Myles & Kelly Mahler

Ottawa, ON – March 31 & April 1, 2016
With: Kerry Mataya & Anna Vagin

Halifax, NS – April 8 & 9, 2016
With: Joyce Cooper-Kahn & Kelly Mahler

Regina, SK – April 22 & 23, 2016
With: Leah Kuypers & Elizabeth Sautter
Copyright © 2016 Autism Awareness Centre Inc, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp