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The Joy of Stimming

ncordon's picture


I vaguely remember learning about stimming in Portraits but what really stood out to me in the "What is stimming video" is described emotion attached to stimming. The Youtuber talks about how people stim for self-regulation and emotional expression, however; these explanations relate to stimming from the perspective of "normal" person–the justification (as if there even needs to be one).  What I found interesting was learning about what stimming does for the people who do it. She talks about the joy she feels from spinning around in a chair, a high that "normal" people cannot understand or fathom. This is the perspective that disability studies and academic discourse about disability sometimes lacks. Most learn about disability from a nondisabled perspective– they learn about not from disabled people because learning through a "normal" lens feels more comfortable. In getting caught in this cycle, disability studies misses the most important narrator– the people who live the lives we read about in disability studies. Anyways, this was solified for me in the video because I realized that I never considered why people stim for themselves, but rather why they stim in relation to me.