At the encouragement of my husband, we went out on this busy shopping weekend to do, well, some shopping. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I'm not a fan of shopping.
As we were checking out at the store, I noticed that the clerk would repeatedly squeeze a small ball while waiting for customers to scan their credit cards, take items out of their carts, etc. This, to me, seemed like a form of stimming.
I belive that stimming is something that we all do. How many people do you know who drum their fingers on tables, twirl their hair, and shake their leg while sitting? These are just a few of the ways that people can "stim." Because people with autism sometimes stim in different ways, such as flapping their hands or jumping and spinning, does that make them that unusual? No.
My stim is that I always need to be doing something with my hands. So, I do needle point. If that's not available, I like to stretch a deflated balloon. :)
We need to be careful when we try to "stop" stimming. It does serve a sensory purpose. If it is a stim that is very disruptive or harmful, try to find something that the autistic person can do that will give them a similar sensory experience.
Please share your thoughts and ideas about how to do this. Thanks!