This Myth About Autistic Stimming Needs to Be Addressed

By Alex Lowery: For Complete Post, click here…

When I was at college, I did some research into the myths and stereotypes of autism. I decided I might as well use some of the research I analyzed to write articles on a different autism myth each week. This week’s myth is this misconception that stimming always means a person is stressed.

One fairly common misconception I’ve often encountered is how many people don’t understand self-stimulatory behavior, or stimming for short. This is a series of movements like hand flapping, rocking back and forth, etc. The general public tends to have no idea why people stim, and even people who know about autism don’t always understand it as well as they think they do. There was a fairly recent program on Channel 4 called “How Autistic Are You?” which despite its best intentions, explained stimming in a way that was rather flawed. It tried to make out that stimming was a sign of stress and autistics use it as a way to calm down, which can be the case, but isn’t always the case.

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