Autism and stimming

As a toddler, my mother tells this story about a certain toy of mine:

I remember a rectangular wooden toy that has pegs that I could hammer into its circular holes. By flipping it over, I could keep doing it. For whatever reason my mother could not figure out, I would do it for an hour or two incessantly.

As an adult and educating myself what the stim is, it turns out that I was stimming.

Stimming is known as a coping mechanism. What is the purpose?

– stimulate the senses or decrease sensory overload

– adapt to an unfamiliar environment

– reduce anxiety and calm themselves

– express frustration, especially if they have trouble

– avoid certain activities

I need to point out that stimming becomes a problem in our personal lives when there is an uncontrollable urge to stim. Stim does include what persons with autism do to self-stimulate themselves, even if it is socially annoying. The reason why it is defined as a coping mechanism is where it becomes an uncontrollable urge to stim.

From my own personal experience, how much my employers did not make me happy and that I would obsess about where I work caused me to stim just to calm and silence my mind.

As a musician who knows how to play five instruments, I should be practicing and writing music. Music is one of my means of self stimulation, but music does not calm and quiet my mind.

Video games do.

It is not enough to simply demand me to work a job just like everyone else only for that job to cause me to stim my life away.

It comes to the person who has autism to manage their own stim. I need to be able to identify what causes the negative side of my stim. By avoiding regular employment, I know I am managing my stim. My life is about building a living where I do not have to deal with my uncontrollable urge to stim so I can focus on music when I am not working, or I can focus on my music so I can earn a living as a songwriter along with my other side projects I am doing to earn a living from collectively.

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