Tuesday, April 22

Many autistic people engage in stimming, a repetitive movement or behavior that seems to calm and satisfy them. Henry has always had a rather unusual one...one of his early developmental doctors called it "La Cucaracha" because it looks a little the way one might look when engaged in that dance. One arm flung behind his head ,the other hand brought up in front of his face and either flapping or holding something and shaking it, like this rain stick.

The stimming is not a bad thing we decided early on, despite a lot of debate pro and con. Now, people with autism who can communicate are describing stimming in terms of pleasure and relief. Very occasionally though, Henry's stimming will segue into an intense perseveration, or unbreakable focus, and then he will be crying in anguish as he repeats the same thing over and over again unable to stop. Then we step in and break it up, but fortunately these occasions are rare.

Perhaps blogging and other web activities are a kind of stim? Most of the time blogging is a relief and a pleasure, but there are certainly times when I wish someone would come and tear me away from the computer for my own good!

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