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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  • I know this is over a year old but I'm new to this site, I was recently diagnosed as being on the spectrum (only 5 months ago).

    I'd wondered this myself as I don't 'outwardly stim' like some people on the spectrum do. It was enough to make me panic & think that maybe I wasn't actually autistic (having some people around me that were so agressvely against me seeking diagnosis didn't help much either).

    But the more I researched, the more I realised that there aren't necessarily 'basic' stims that people do, there isn't a checklist on what every single stim is; or what they could be. 
    I noticed that a common one for me is leg bobbing, & I mean non stop leg bobbing to the point where my leg muscles get tired. I also chew on the side of my tongue to the point where it gets sore & bleeds. I also pick my nails or just play with items in my hands (like pens etc).
    I also read up on 'hand flapping' when someone on ASD gets excited or happy, which I scoffed at at first, thinking 'oh I never do anything like that'.
    Then it dawned on me that whenever I'm chatting to my friends online, I would often write 'happy hand flappings' as a joke to depict my happiness or excitement at something, I even drew a silly picture of me doing it... Because I will always bloody flap my hands whenever I am really happy or excited about something lol. 
    I even caught myself doing it the other night when I was playing a video game, I managed to tame a prehistoric horse on the game ARK, & I bounced in my chair & flapped my hand like an utter twit haha. Before being diagnosed, I never even noticed I did that.
    I also do something that is referred to as 'inwards stimming', where I will basically just shut myself off from the world, listen to music & escape into one of the many stories I have circling in my mind. I do this every single day, it helps me go to sleep, it keeps me calm when I'm out in public etc.

    I've only recently been diagnosed. I sought out diagnosis when I noticed a lot of similarities in myself & those on the spectrum, & although it's a relief to finally know why I am the way I am, I'm still learning & discovering a lot about myself. Reading up on people's personal experiences has always been a great help, because this is something that affects people in so many different ways, & as such it's a condition that also expresses itself in numerous different ways. 

    You may not have an outwardly physical stim, but you probably do have one or two that you do but you just don't realise you're doing it.

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