January 2, 2022

My last post talked about the vital role of movement to prevent and heal from trauma. Now let’s address the elephant in the room.

Stimming is movement. Movement reduces trauma. Stimming can help reduce the impact of trauma.

Rocking, humming, flapping, and bouncing are excellent ways to release the stress of an intense moment. I self-censored thousands of times throughout my life before realizing how much I needed it.

Keep that in mind the next time you’re tempted to tell an autistic child to sit still, hush their humming, and “stop that” – whatever “that” may be.

But also, actively encourage it. In my case, no one was actually stopping me. I just knew it was generally frowned upon to act like a toddler, and somehow I held onto that expectation even when alone.

What if they’re doing something harmful? Then help them discover another, equally satisfying movement. Help them experiment when they’re calm, because some ideas won’t work, and at the peak of their stress they need something that works.

If you’ve made mistakes, and done things that you now fear may have caused trauma, take heart – the same movement that can bandage a recent wound can also help heal an old scar.

It may take time to let it all out, but it’s never too late to start moving.

P.S. I write from my personal experience as an autistic. What I share is not a substitute for advice from an autistic medical professional. Also, some of my opinions have changed since I first wrote them.