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The Case For Stimming (On TikTok)

Inspired by Steve Asbell's post and his upcoming stim-celebrating picture book FLAP YOUR HANDS, we wanted to spread some stim positivity from A Novel Mind contributor Kate's favorite corner of the internet, TikTok. There are lots of wonderful videos to be found under hashtags like #stimming, #normalizestimming, #typesofstimming, #stimmingtoys and more.


This chain of stimming videos is particularly lovely, starting with user @tencerman's natural stimming reaction to a version of Carol Of The Bells, encouraging other neurodivergent users to listen to the song with headphones and share their own reactions. (NOTE: In case the video won't load due to a white pop-up 'error' box, just 'X' it out. The video should then play. Sorry in advance for the glitch - we're working on it.)

There are many videos taking up this call and using this audio, but @catieosaurus decided to duet his video with a stitch of herself side by side, using it as a teachable moment to show the contrast between her natural stimming reaction vs conscious masking of ADHD behavior:

Neurodivergent TikTokers have used her audio thousands of times, showing their own natural reactions side by side with those masking ADHD, autism, tourettes and more.


Whether it's through characters created by artists and authors, or people's self-representation online, we love to see neurodiversity - and the natural sounds and movements that come with it - normalized and celebrated in this way. Enjoy!