Sunday, March 16, 2008

Autism and Stimming - Conor Shows How It Is Done

The photos above are of Conor relaxing with Dad this morning at the Second Cup, Kings Place, Fredericton, one of our favorite weekend haunts. The staff have seen him there with Dad for the past several years. They know he has autism disorder. They know him as Conor. They have seen Conor laughing and enjoying himself. They have seen him melt down on occasion. Conor has always been very welcome at the Second Cup.

In the photos above, in sequence from top to bottom, Conor is seen stimming with a straw, his favorite stim object. In the bottom picture the straw is moving so fast you can barely see it in the photo. If you look at the basket behind Conor in the first 3 photos you will clearly see a red ribbon hanging down the side of the basket. If you look at the bottom pic you will see an object in front of the basket, slightly obscuring the red ribbon, Conor's straw, moving so fast it is barely discernible.

For Conor stimming is not a way of communicating with his environment. It is not a special autistic language. It is what he does.


Ettina said...

He is interacting with the straw. I think that's what Amanda Baggs meant when she talked about 'communicating with the world'. And for all you know, his stimming may have been in direct reaction to something else in his environment.
Conor looks like a great kid.

Unknown said...


Conor's experiences are Conor's experiences. Amanda Baggs does not speak for him. I have seen her video where she portrays her stimming experience. It is nothing like what Conor does.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what Amanda Baggs is all about. There are some diverse opinions about her. Apparently she was quite high functioning at one time and attended college and spoke fairly readily.
I don't think she is "interacting with her environment" while she's stimming any more than I'm interacting with my environment when I swing my leg or play with my hair. They're just behaviors that I do when I'm bored or nervous. I'm not autistic but I've taught autistic children. Not all of them stimmed.