Friday, December 23, 2011

Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim, Let Me Stim

The holidays are upon us, and that means hanging with folks who might need a nudge or a gentle reminder about holiday kindness and accommodation for autistic kids and adults, on being nice about understanding autistic behaviors versus assuming naughtiness.

One thing we'll be seeing in our house as my son adjusts to an atypical schedule is stimming. Lots of stimming. Some of Leo's stimming needs redirecting, but most of it is functional and self-soothing. Our friends and family get why Leo stims and what he needs, they have his back; Leo will be fine, we'll be fine. But if you or your child need stimming functionality backup or want to help understand why stimming doesn't just matter but can be very necessary, I suggest citing Zoe's About Stimming, or Julia Bascom's The Obsessive Joy of Autism.

Or, you could just sing folks this song, which I came up with in Leo's honor five years ago.

(To the tune of "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow")

Oh, the holidays are coming
And that means that I'll be bumming
Unless you can go out on a limb, and
Let me stim, let me stim, let me stim

It's my favorite way of coping
And it calms me so I'm hoping
You won't feel the need to look grim, just
Let me stim, let me stim, let me stim

When it's finally time for bed
Please don't make me give up my red straw
Or I might never go to sleep
And all of your nerves will be raw

I'm not hurting anybody
Though to you I might look funny
Don't you folks have a tree to trim??
Let me stim, let me stim, let me stim!

If you're looking for a last minute holiday gift, may we suggest the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism book? You can always order it now, then print out the TPGA Amazon page and wrap that, to let your lucky giftee know it's on its way!

Happy holidays from our hearths to yours.