Sunday, August 26, 2007

Autism and Stimming; A Conor Case Study

Stimming, like all autism topics, is a matter of some controversy. Some see it as a negative behavior to be eliminated, others see a natural form of expression for an autistic person, others a relief from environmental pressures and so on. I see no harm in stimming and Conor enjoys it so I don't try to prevent it. To the contrary when we visit a store or mall I look for a straw, his favorite stim object, for Conor to enjoy.

Conor stimming in the nearby volleyball pit. Any time we walk by Conor goes over to stim (sifting sand). He will usually sift the sand for as long as I let him. Stimming by sifting sand, for what seemed like endless periods, was one of the first indicators to us that there was something "different" about Conor and helped lead us to seek a medical assessment.

Conor enjoying some treats, and stimming with a straw, during a break while seeing Shrek 3 at the theater.

Conor multi-tasking, reading a Dr. Seuss book, while stimming with a straw with his other hand.

Conor sitting on the side step and stimming with a straw, while waiting patiently for Dad.


Suzanne said...

My daughter's stimming used to really bother me. She tends to just run around for no apparent reason and hum. Sometimes, she'll run and have a dialogue that she would have with her Little People (and hum in between), but she's too busy running around to play with them.

I thought it signified that she was bored and that I wasn't taking care of her needs, and it made me really stressed. Now I don't mind so much. I can't be there to entertain all hours of the day, so I let her stim a bit sometimes. Every kid gets bored at some point in his childhood-- we all learn to cope. Stimming is my daughter's way of keeping herself entertained and happy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Harold,

Our two boys seem to share some interests.. Aron, like your Connor, loves to stim with his drinking straws and to "flick" sand.


Anonymous said...

This website would really bother you
check out the stimming information

Anonymous said...

my son stims by flinging his fingers in front of his face rapidly and he laughs really hard to himself. i know you said that your son likes straws did you find that out or did he just gravitate to them? how might you suggest I try to find a stimming tool for my son?

Unknown said...

anonymous 1:10 pm

We didn't pick straws for Conor to stim with, he has just grabbed straws to stim with and he does it often.