stuff I'm not sure how to tag

Stimming to get back control over your body

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.

Some examples:

  • 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.

chavisory:

realsocialskills:

do you know of any resources for art things for disabled or poor folks? (poor because lack of resources to get a hold of most comercially sold art supplies, disabled because I have Things I Don’t Have a Name For that make it hard for me to…

chavisory said:

If you live near a Michael’s craft store, they have REALLY affordable (like around $5) sets of things like watercolor paints and oil pastels.

"You should make a complaint!"

So, I’ve noticed this pattern:

  • Someone will describe some act of discrimination or social violence
  • And then very well-meaning people will weigh in and say things like
  • “They can’t treat people that way!”
  • “Wow, you should really report that!”

Reporting incidents of discrimination can be a good thing, and sometimes it goes somewhere. But, hearing this well-intentioned advice can actually be really frustrating, for a number of reasons:

The thing about being a marginalized person is that discrimination is a routine experience, not an occasional outrage:

  • Things that sound like aberrations to folks who are usually socially valued enough to be treated well most of the time are daily life for a lot of marginalized people
  • If we filed a formal complaint every time we experienced this, we’d have no time or energy for anything else
  • And sometimes, we want to get on with our lives and do things other than fight discrimination
  • Which means that, sometimes, when we talk about discrimination, we’re not asking for advice on how to make it go away; sometimes we’re accepting that we’re not going to be able to make it go away this time
  • And it needs to be ok to disagree about the right way to proceed

Also, sometimes complaints don’t actually help:

  • When the bad thing is the rule rather than the exception, it’s unlikely that anyone will care.
  • When the offender is much more socially valued than the victim, it’s likely that no one will care
  • People who complain frequently are generally seen as problem whiners, even if they are entirely justified in every complaint they make

Complaints are a good idea sometimes. But complaining is a very personal decision. Understand the costs and risks of complaining. Do not pressure a marginalized person to make a complaint in order to make yourself feel better about the state of the world. Do offer to support them if they want to do so.