Hi all. I'm quite new here. I'm a 51 year old female, currently self-diagnosed relying on scoring 41 on the AQ50, and the testimonies of close friends who have known me all my life. I have been refered for dx by my gp and am currently awaiting an assessment. My question is this: many of the autistic teens I work with openly stim, either by rocking or twirling/flapping hands. But I never see or hear of adults stimming. Is it something that can be 'grown out of' or do adults just do it behind closed doors. I personally do flap my hands but I am aware of it and stop myself if in public. If I get stressed while out I play a game on my phone or bite my nails.
I'm in the same group as you at 46 I have my ASD assessement in July
I used to flap my hands when ever excited or scared depending on my situation from childhood but with a bad childhood I soon learned to stop that with lets say encouragement from my Father
so now my leg has took over so im told with constant foot tapping with out me even knowing im doing it
Lellynelly said:Hi all. I'm quite new here. I'm a 51 year old female, currently self-diagnosed relying on scoring 41 on the AQ50, and the testimonies of close friends who have known me all my life. I have been refered for dx by my gp and am currently awaiting an assessment. My question is this: many of the autistic teens I work with openly stim, either by rocking or twirling/flapping hands. But I never see or hear of adults stimming. Is it something that can be 'grown out of' or do adults just do it behind closed doors. I personally do flap my hands but I am aware of it and stop myself if in public. If I get stressed while out I play a game on my phone or bite my nails.
hello, I am 35 and just got my diagnosis yesterday. I didn't think I stimmed But my mum told the nurse how as a child I'd wrap my arms round myself and do something weird with my leg. I totally forgot but she is right. I did this up until a few years ago when I was sitting next to someone as an adult and they made a comment. I was quite embarrassed and never did it again. It's funny how we forget these things. I know that I do pick or rubbat my skin tho when I feel nervous or stressed.
Hello I am male and self diagnosed at 54 years old, I have been meaning to start a post regarding stimming but as usual to much going on in my head to do it, this post gives me the opportunity to ask as well as tell what I do.
At an early age I remember spinning my whole body three times clockwise and three times anti-clockwise! One day a boy who I thought was my best friend called out to me and said "hey are you some sort of spastic?" I desperately tried to cover up by saying no I am just happy and dancing about, he would not stop teasing me after that And told everyone I was loony. I was heartbroken by what he had said, also I have difficulties in working out the difference between casual aquaintes life long connected best friend ever types. I have always assumed if they talk to boring old me and listen then that connection means TOTAL loyalty. Needless to say I never spun round ever again.
not even sure that was stimmingut I felt compelled to do it,
All my life I have spent every second of my life counting! And I count everything, I try so very hard not to,even thinking about my reply to this the word stimming came into my head but also then i rocked my jaw from side to side to count the letters! So 8 it was.
it exhausts me and the urge increases as I get nervous.
it has become very complicated as well as I like the number to end as an even one. I even cheat to achieve that.
so if the total for the word "carer " makes five letters I count each part of the letter,c=1 a=2 r=2 e=2 r=2 total is nine, not good so I will add a full stop for ten,,,hooray it's equal number. Or some times I change it to capitals C=1 A=3 R=3 E=4 R=3 total fourteen hooray equal again without a full stop.
imagine doing this all day,car number plates,road signs,cats eyes,white lines,bricks above a window or door,ridge tiles along the top of a roof. There is no consequence to my counting, nothing bad will happen if I don't, so why do I do it? Just to add insult to it my short term memory has always been terrible,my maths are terrible, I add by picturing everything in parrelel lines,two rows of dots,left right one two left right three four,patterns.but I always forget even if it's something I count the same every day?
Another thing I do is go on about things to much lol.fixed focusing to the point of obsession.
I am so glad I found like minded people who(hopefully) understand me.
Hi Lone warrier, I was very interested in your response. I'm not convinced it can come under the heading of stimming but there is something going on there that rang a bell with me. I have always has an obsession with the numbers 4, 8, and any multiple of 8. the thing with 4 comes into many things. for example. if I scratch my head with my right hand I have to then do it twice with my left and then once again with my right to kind of make a 4 unit symmetry: RLLR. I then have to do the pattern again starting with my left hand: LRRL of course this then means I only have half the symmetry because I have done one starting with right and one starting with left so the pattern has to continue so it finishes: eg RLLR LRRL LRRL RLLR. Of course that then constitutes a whole new sequence which would then have to started with my left twice and then my right again ad infinitum. It can then become quite hard to stop.
I also visualise numbers, - 1-20 travel in a line away from me, then at 20 they turn a corner and start moving in a line to the right until 100.
I visualise days weeks and months too in patterns. If I am counting days for example working out when a particular date is, I count as I 'point' to the day - the invisible day that I am visualising - and it looks to others as if I am just moving my finger in an odd fashion in the air!
I stimm in private. As one gets older we realise just how stimming affects the people around us and the negative reactions we get from other people.
SD16 finger sucks, hair twirls and slaps her head if very stressed. She also texture seeks (rubs certain clothing items between her fingers,).
The last is recent and very discrete. I think high functioning ASD people adapt their stims to hide them.from NT people when they get older
I scored 41, too, and was finally diagnosed 2 years ago, aged 56.
I'm not sure if it really adds up to 'stimming', but all of my life I've chewed my tongue when I'm trying to concentrate hard on something (not something I find easy). If I'm doing something creative, though - writing or Photoshopping - I get completely absorbed for hours on end and usually find, when it's finished, that my tongue is really quite sore! I'm simply not conscious of doing it.
Another thing I do is tap - with my fingernails, with a knife, with a pencil, anything. I do it without even realising, until someone points it out to me. This is generally when I'm in situations where I'm feeling anxious - usually when I'm around others, even if I know them well.
When I was younger, I had rituals that I had to go through to release anxiety - things I had to touch, or things I had to say to myself, generally repeating three times. I still have them to a certain extent, although awareness of them over the years has allowed me to moderate them.
Interestingly, I have a neighbour - a bit older than I am - who always touches trees when he passes them. And he plays the castanets in public - just walking along the road! I always know when he's around, because I hear them. I asked him about these things and he says they help him to feel less anxious - even though he's drawing attention to himself. He's never even considered whether they might be autistic behaviour traits. He says he's done these things all his life.
I've worked with special needs adults for 12 years now, many of whom are highly autistic - and the hand-flapping and rocking are very common. There are so many misunderstandings and misconceptions about the autism spectrum, even with people who should know better. I once saw a psychiatrist at my local CMHT, who dismissed autism altogether on the grounds that I wasn't rocking or hand-flapping! I'm sure stimming must take many forms.
I'm not sure if what I do counts as stimming.
I chew a cotton handkerchief, for hours, but only in private. In public people would ridicule me.
I have never flapped my arms. But lying in bed while reading or on the internet, I keep flick my feet from side to side.
I find it relaxing and since there is no one to object, I won't change.
Stimming is a very enjoyable experience.
I'm not sure what the border and difference is between ADHD-stimming (to be able to concentrate) and ASD-stimming which happens in social situations and stress, I don't know for what purpose. In order to concentrate, especially when socially stressed, I do stuff like pulling my sleeves continuously, fiddling with rings, bracelets (which I wear for that purpose). notice I sometimes do fiddle and rub my face in social stress situations? Sometimes the two overlap?