Hidden Stimming

Hmm. Here's a question.

I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about Aspergers, High Functioning Autism, ASD. Whatever it's called.

Doing my history and trying to work "me" out, I find that there's a few things that don't really seem to make sense. 

I don't recall as a kid having meltdowns, or needing routine, or hating change as such, but I also don't recall stimming.

Which brings me on to the questions. They say that there is a number of people on the spectrum who go undiagnosed. If stimming is such an integral part of being on the spectrum, then why is this behaviour not seen in childhood? How can they go through the net without a diagnosis?

Can you be on the spectrum without stimming or is there lots of kinds of stimming that actually, what could well be stimming may just be seen as a relatively normal behaviour for a child?


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  • Hi there,

    I went undiagnosed until 2 years ago, aged 56.  I didn't have many of what I'd call 'public' behavioural traits as a child.  But I had private rituals that I had to go through before I could be comfortable with things.  Adjustments to my pillow, for instance, so that it was the exact distance from each side of the bed.  I also, as mentioned in another thread, tapped and chewed my tongue.  So there might not have been any obvious physical signs - but there were plenty of others.  I was clearly bright - I learned to read and write early, and was top at my class in primary school with reading and spelling - but I was bottom of the class in every other respect.  This continued throughout my school years.  I wasn't attentive in class.  I used to sit and doodle, or look out of the window.  I didn't make friends - and still don't.  I was always the one on the edge of the playground - either alone, or hanging with the other 'freaks' as we were called.  My school reports were invariably littered with words and phrases like 'quiet', 'easily-led', 'disruptive', 'unsociable', 'never pays attention', etc.

    As others have said - it's a spectrum, so behaviours and traits will differ from person to person.  We're as different from each other as we are collectively from neurotypicals.

    Best regards,