- Hostage to Silence
When you observe someone (not all, but some) with Autism, you notice they are in constant motion. Sometimes it's their entire body or an isolated movement with their hands, fingers legs...
When they do something over and over again, they are doing something termed Stimming. According to Medical News Today,
Some theories suggest that stimming may counteract a lack of sensitivity by stimulating the sensory system. Others suggest that stimming may have a calming effect, focusing attention away from an overwhelming experience. Stimming behaviors can provide comfort to autistic people.
Brady has numerous stims he utilizes to help self-regulate. He often hums to himself, watches videos over and over about an activity he is doing (getting a hair cut, going to the doctor, dentist), bounces his legs. But, the stim that is the most effective is swinging on a swing. The back and forth, the pumping of his legs, the feel of the breeze on his body - all of these give him a sense of calm and safety.
During quarantine, Brady was on the swing in our backyard often. So much so, we had to set time parameters or he would have been on there for hours. Because of the quarantine, having someone to facilitate with him was difficult. But when he was able to type, he often spoke of how swinging was his safe place.
When I feel I'm Swinging
Going outside, (swinging) helps me when I start to get scared
Swinging is suiting.
Swing very clearing.
Frees me from my good boredom.
Makes my body come down.
Body Alien without the swing.
Swinging makes me feel good.
Need to go very high