Stimming for non-autistics?

A reader asked:

Can non autistics stim too or is that a term/thing reserved for autistics?

Yes, it’s common for other kinds of people too.

It’s not only autistic people who do it. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a nonautistic person moving in ways that are common for autistic people.

It’s just that stimming tends to be really important to autistic people (and folks with some other disabilities), in a way that it usually isn’t for people without disabilities.

And here’s a thing about that:

  • A lot of neurotypical people like to rock or play with toys or whatever
  • Most NT people can sit still in a socially acceptable way without harming themselves
  • In particular, most NT people don’t need to stim in order to understand what’s going on around them, communicate, or prevent themselves from getting really overloaded

It’s important to keep this in mind, and to understand that stimming is really, really important for some people.

If you’re not disabled, and these kinds of motions aren’t particularly important for you, it’s probably better to call them fidgeting.