I cannot take the stimming tonight. It's loud, and its continual. I am downstairs trying to watch a movie before I go to sleep. Some days his stimming overwhelmes my nerves. I feel like a terrible mother when I can feel my temper, and blood pressure going up. When I want to yell shut up! I don't. But the incessant banging on his bed. The anxious feeling that the neighbors might yell at any second, or knock on the wall, or come to my door. He's making that sound with his mouth like the girl in the movie The Grudge. He's making joyous noises, and I think if I just shut his movie off the overwhelming stimulation from it will help him quiet down. It doesn't. He keeps turning a new movie on. The complexities of wanting to hear your child's voice, and wanting to hear silence is almost too much. I want school to start again so bad I can hardly stand it, and tears stream down my face again. I feel bad he is keeping his brothers up. I feel bad that I can't help him. I think Gweneth, his therapy dog, feels bad she can't help him either. So her and I sit and continue to try to watch the movie, with the sounds overhead breaking into the only two hours I have left before my fitful sleep. I had someone tell me that I don't take care of myself. I don't. I think I do, but then I just sit here. I'm too overwhelmed to do anything but cry right now. I am making a point to make an appointment for a massage. And I am going to make the new years resolutions I always make and that's 1) to get organized. Lists. Shelves, rubbermaids, whatever it is. And 2) to eat better and work out, and 3) to take more me time. (insert eye roll, or laugh, or crying here). I need to make resolution 4) Do not bite off more than you can chew....And now, for those of you who don't know....A lesson on stimming: Enjoy!
What Is Stimming?
Stimming is repetitive stereotypic behavior commonly found in autism, but also found in other developmental disabilities. This behavior may involve any or all of the senses in various degrees in different individuals. Several examples are listed below.
Visual – staring at lights, blinking, gazing at fingers, lining up objects
Auditory – tapping fingers, snapping fingers, grunting, humming
Smell – smelling objects, sniffing people
Taste – licking objects, placing objects in mouth
Tactile – scratching, clapping, feeling objects nail biting, hair twisting, toe-walking
Vestibular – rocking, spinning, jumping, pacing
Proprioception – teeth grinding, pacing, jumping All of us engage in some of these behaviors occasionally, especially when we are stressed. However, your child may engage in these activities excessively so that they may interfere with learning or activities
of daily living. Individuals engage in stimming
as a way to self-regulate sensory input and manage sensory integration dysfunction. These behaviors may be excitatory (stimulating) or inhibitory (calming) with the result of normalizing sensations.