Stimming is a jargon term for a particular form of stereotypy, a repetitive body movement (often done unconsciously) that self-stimulates one or more senses in a regulated manner. It is shorthand for "self-stimulation", and a stereotypy is referred to as "stimming" under the hypothesis that it has a function related to sensory input. [cite journal|author=Nind M, Kellett M|title=Responding to individuals with severe learning difficulties and stereotyped behaviour: challenges for an inclusive era|journal=Eur J Spec Needs Educ|date=2002|volume=17|issue=3|pages=265–82|doi=10.1080/08856250210162167] Stereotypy is one of the symptoms listed by the DSM IV for autism and is observed in about 10% of non-autistic young children. Many people with autism do not exhibit stereotypy. Common forms of stereotypy among people with autism include hand flapping, body spinning or rocking, lining up or spinning toys or other objects, echolalia, perseveration, and repeating rote phrases.

There are many theories about the function of stimming, and the reasons for its increased incidence in autistic people. For hyposensitive people, it may provide needed nervous system arousal, releasing beta-endorphins. For hypersensitive people, it may provide a "norming" effect, allowing the person to control a specific part of their sensorium, and is thus a soothing behavior. [cite web|url= |title=Stereotypic (Self-Stimulatory) Behavior (Stimming) |accessdate=2006-07-01 |last=Edelson |first=Stephen M. |date=1995]

See also

* Punding
* Stereotypic movement disorder
* Stimulation
* Tweaking (behavior)


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