A final note
Beginning this article with a caution, I did advise that I would most likely not be giving the answer the parent was looking for. If you have read this far, my hope is that I have been able to give you some insight into stimming. For me, the real question is “Why is the stim occurring and what can I do to support the individual?” In many cases additional support for sensory regulation is needed first. This might be a change in the environment, task or person working with the individual.
Finally, as Steven Kapp advices, acceptance is important. Whilst societal perspective shift is the ultimate goal, change begins one person at a time.
The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida is a great book. Written when he was 13, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump!
If you want to read more about autism from an autistic perspective, the Spectrum News website has many useful articles.
This article from Autism Parenting magazine also discuss reasons for stimming and supports.
To learn more about sensory processing and the senses, take a look at our free introductory course.
And, if you would like to learn more about sensory strategies which could help with regulation, you can join Level 2 & 3 of our sensory training.