5 Stimming Behaviors of Autistic Persons

5 Stimming Behaviors of Autistic Persons

Stimming is another word for repetitive self-stimulating behaviors.

Stimming is most associated with autistic people as it can be therapy for autism.

Therapy, in this sense, means that using stimming behaviors of autistic persons can help an autistic person cope with overstimulation of their senses.

Visual stimming generally refers to stimming behaviors related to sight.

It is one of the most common stimming behaviors of autistic persons.

A common example of switching off and on the lights.

Auditory stimming behavior might be easy to miss.

Auditory stimming relates to sound and hearing.

Some examples of auditory stimming in an autistic person include behaviors such as humming sounds and singing songs repeated are also common for most other people, especially children.

Hand fapping is one of the most common examples of tactile stimming.

Tactile stimming behavior is one of the behaviors of autistic persons.

This refers to stimming that involves a sense of touch. Hand flapping

Find stimming behaviors of autistic persons below:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Julianna Miller, LPCC

Julianna Miller, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPC

(720) 449-4121
Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Lauren Day, SWC

Lauren Day, SWC

(719) 602-1342
Joseph Anders, LPCC

Joseph Anders, LPCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518

Visual Stimming

Stimming behaviors can be therapeutic to autistic people.

Since it is essentially a way for autistic people to deal with their sensory system.

Stimming in autistic people could result in response to happiness, stress, excitement, fear, and even boredom.

The stimming behavior might be a natural and effective response to sensory overload.

Visual stimming is all about the sight and vision of a person.

There is usually some repetitive behavior attached to ordinary acts using sight.

You find an autistic person squinting or staring at objects like ceiling fans or lights.

This might also involve the autistic person continuously switching on and off lights.

Visual stimming is a common form of stimming behavior in autistic persons.

Visual stimming is generally a harmless behavior for autistic people.

However, it can be a distraction in schools or a place of work.

Sensory lighting can be helpful to an autistic person.

Auditory Stimming

The form and frequency of stimming could vary across autistic people on the spectrum.

However, one of the defining traits of stimming is repetition.

Typically, until an autistic person has managed to stimulate themselves.

Auditory stimming is among the stimming behaviors of autistic persons.

Auditory stimming applies the sense of sound and hearing of a person.

Vocal stimming that relates could also relate to a person's vocals also falls under this category of stimming behavior.

Common examples of auditory stimming include continuous sound humming, singing, or listening to a song.

The stimming behavior is generally in repetition.

For instance, repeating certain words over and over again.

Some examples of auditory stimming might be present in the lives of most kids.

Auditory stimming could be difficult to spot in childhood.

However, it becomes easier to notice after childhood.

Tactile Stimming 

Autistic people often have to deal with sensory overloads or high anxiety levels at some point.

Stimming can be a way for autistic people to manage or deal with their other feelings.

A broad scope of stimming behaviors of autistic persons is tactile stimming behavior.

Tactile refers to a connection to the sense of touch.

Tactile stimming is about self-stimulatory behaviors that are related to a person's sense of touch and the act of feeling.

There is a broad range of behaviors involving tactile stimming.

Finger tapping and finger flapping might be one of the most common examples of tactile stimming behaviors.

It could also force on using other objects to interact with the skin.

For example, scratching or skin rubbing with an object.

Tactile stimming behaviors might be more observable than other stimming behaviors.

Generally, there is no major reason to stop tactile stimming.

However, if it is disruptive or threatens the health of people, then it might need to be managed.

Vestibular and Proprioceptive Stimming 

It is interesting to note that although stimming is associated with autistic people, it is not exclusive to autistic people.

People that are not autistic would stim at certain points.

However, they are more likely to be aware of their surroundings and the people around them.

Vestibular stimming focuses on stimming behaviors that involve a person's sense of balance.

Proprioception is essentially the awareness of one's body movement and position.

Proprioceptive stimming refers to how the person understands what actions they are taking and where they are.

Vestibular and proprioceptive stimming is about stimming behaviors related to movement and balance.

For instance, rocking back and forth or side to side is an example of vestibular and proprioceptive stimming. Spinning and twirling are other common examples of vestibular stimming.

These stimming behaviors of autistic persons are not necessarily harmful.

However, it has a higher risk of minor injuries.

Perhaps, hitting your hand, leg, or head on an object or obstacle.

Oral and Olfactory Stimming 

Each stimming behavior of people with autism is categorized based on the sensory organs.

People with autism typically have a different level of sensory stimulation from their sensory organs.

Stimming can be a soothing method for autistic people to stimulate themselves to the necessary levels.

Oral stimming is one of the stimming behaviors of autistic persons.

Oral stimming refers to stimming related to the sense of taste, while olfactory stimming refers to stimming related to the sense of smell.

For instance, this might involve smelling objects and even people. It could also involve tasting different objects in the mouth.

Typically stimming is harmless and can help people cope.

However, oral stimming can be unhealthy, especially for a child.

When stimming is intervening with daily life or affects the health of an autistic person, consider managing stimming.

It is important to remember that stimming itself is not necessarily a bad behavior that should be punished.

Consider how to manage sensory stimulation to prevent the need to stim.

Other options to manage stimming might include medications, sensory diets, and behavioral therapy.


Stimming is a series of self-stimulating behaviors that typically involves repetitive acts.

Most times, stimming operates as therapy for autism.

It is important to understand stimming behaviors of autistic persons, such as visual stimming, auditory stimming, tactile stimming, vestibular and proprioceptive stimming, and oral and olfactory stimming.


Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
May 18th, 2024

overcomers counseling logo

Explore local counseling and psychiatry services to find the tailored support you require. Embark on a journey towards resilience and become an Overcomer with the right professional assistance by your side!

Contact Us

5585 Erindale Dr. Ste 204
Colorado Springs, CO 80918 mailing
(719) 345-2424 office
(719) 888-5022 text
(855) 719-2549 fax

Business Hours (Provider's hours may vary)

 Sunday   Closed
 Monday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Tuesday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Wednesday    8:00am - 5:00pm
 Thursday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Friday   8:00am - 5:00pm
 Saturday  Closed