Stimming is the repetitive movements often seen in Autism.

Kapp, et al. (2019). states that:

‘Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements’ are characterised as core features in the diagnosis of autism, yet many autistic adults (and the neurodiversity movement) have reclaimed them as ‘stimming’. Supported by a growing body of scientific research, autistic adults argue that these behaviours may serve as useful coping mechanisms.

I was watching a documentary on Amazon Prime about Autism (McGrath, 2018) and it was commented that everyone stims, but in autistic people the stimming is more exaggerated.

In an unreferenced answer to the question Is leg jiggling a focus aid? by @AlwaysConfused a similar claim was made

Everybody stims to some extent but it is more common to people having neurodevelopmental condition.

Kapp, et al. (2019) does point out that;

autistic advocates (e.g. Lindsmith, 2014) suggest that everyone stims as a coping mechanism

But, the citation for Lindsmith (2014) points to a WordPress blog article.

I have not been able to confirm or deny this claim as true through scientific journals and I was wondering what the truth is on this.


Kapp, S. K., Steward, R., Crane, L., Elliott, D., Elphick, C., Pellicano, E., & Russell, G. (2019). ‘People should be allowed to do what they like’: Autistic adults’ views and experiences of stimming. Autism, 23(7), 1782-1792. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319829628

McGrath, L. (2018). Autism and Me [Documentary]

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I guess there is no real "truth" to find here. Instead, it probably depends on the context and definition you adopt. Like most things autistic, I bet it's a spectrum. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 16:33


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