Some autistic people (and some others) have trouble with voluntary control over their bodies. This can involve having trouble initiating movement, or having a lot of uncontrolled movement, or a combination of both.
This often gets called stimming, but it’s different from some of the other concepts stimming is used to mean. It’s not the same as flapping your hands because you’re excited, or rocking back and forth, or squeezing a stress ball because it feels nice or helps with focus.
This is one thing it can look like:
- Wanting to read a book
- Having developed the motor skills necessary to hold books and turn pages
- Not currently being able to read the book because, right now, your arms won’t stop thrashing around and it’s hard to make contact with the book and when you do, your fingers won’t go where you want them and turn the pages
- And maybe you end up throwing the book if you keep trying really hard to read it
For some people who get out of control like that, doing any sort of purposeful motion can help to regain control faster.
- wadding up paper into a ball
- drawing circles
- typing scripted phrases or random nonsense
- lining up objects
- repeating a word over and over
- or any number of other things
- doing something familiar and purposeful can often help a lot
This isn’t universal among autistic people, and it’s not universal among people with movement disorders. It’s something that some people experience.