I see this defense of stimming a lot:
- It’s wrong to train autistic people not to stim
- They use it to compensate for overload
- Or to focus
- Or to compensate for other problems
- Or to express distress
All of this is true. But it also misses the point. Stimming isn’t just a coping mechanism. It’s much more than that. Stimming is a positive part of autistic experience, not an unfortunate-but-functionally-important thing we have to do.
Imagine if facial expressions and tones of voice were considered wrong, and someone defended them this way:
- It is wrong to teach children to adopt a flat affect
- Children need to be able to frown
- Children need to be able to indicate through the tone of their voice that something is wrong
- Children need to be able to cry. That’s a way of coping with pain and overload
All of those things are true. But if that’s all defenders of tone and facial expression said, it would be horribly misleading. Body language and tones are more than that, and they are good.
Stimming is like that too.
- Stimming is not just necessary. It is also natural, and good
- Flapping in response to a nice texture is not fundamentally different from smiling in response to the smell of a flower
- Rocking in response to someone saying something offensive is not fundamentally different from frowning in response to a slur
- It is ok for autistic people to have autistic body language
Islam is commonly portrayed to be encouraging of terrorism. Let me put a twist on this perspective. During the first Gulf War, the United States intentionally destroyed the Iraqi water supply and then denied the Iraqis the importation of materials needed to rebuild the supply and purify the water. Thousands of Iraqi civilians were subsequently deprived of clean water, and waterborne illnesses became epidemic. According to the World Health Organization and UNICEF reports, over 1 million Iraqi people have died as a result of contaminated water, and over half were children younger than five years old.
According to Islamic law, poisoning the water supply is considered terrorism and killing civilians and children in warfare is strictly prohibited.
Sumbul Ali-Karamali - The Muslim Next Door: The Qur’an, the Media, and That Veil Thing
Something to consider this 9/11: those crying “terrorist” in our government are the terrorists.
Are you looking at how something as just poisoning water is considered as terrorism and forbidden? Imagine how much worse it’s considered to kill a human being.
It’s like when people try to tell me that catcalling and rape are not even close to related when I say that both are forms of gender-based violence. While they may be at different ends of a spectrum of violence, they are two sides of the same coin. Because the same kind of entitled thinking that causes a man to not take no for an answer when a woman won’t give him her number or engage him in conversation in a bar is the same entitled thinking that causes that man to not take no for an answer when he’s behind closed doors with a woman. When we allow sexual violence in the form of public groping or catcalling to go unchecked, we allow larger violations to happen in private. You cannot separate these forms of sexual violence from each other, because they stem from the same place. And violations and assaults that happen in public can be equally traumatizing as the ones that happen in private. People who experience street harassment report feeling scared, unsafe, or anxious about leaving the house alone. That doesn’t seem “minor” to me.