Sunday Slideshow: Dangle

Stimming gets a bad rap with some neurotypicals. While everyone would agree that stims that are self-harming should be stopped, some experts advise parents to reduce stims because they can be “disruptive and upsetting to others.” In other words, stims should be stopped so that autistics look and act more like “normal” people.

While seeking more accepting attitudes toward stimming, I came across an amazing web comic series called “The ABC of stimming.” Seeing “D is for dangling string” was an “aha!” moment for me. Philip has always loved to dangle objects. I recognized him in this immediately. In addition to string, Philip loves to dangle, well, almost anything. Sometimes he holds the objects, other times he tapes or hangs them up to enjoy.

To show the variety of items that Philip dangles, I thought I would assemble some photos to share. Not all of my pictures are of the highest quality since, in addition to dangling, Philip also enjoys simultaneously swaying, spinning, jumping, and running. This leads to many blurry pics or photos of the space where Philip once stood.

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Slideshow: Dangle

  1. Now there is a boy with a healthy appreciation of gravity! I doubt he’ll have any difficulty understanding the scientific concept when he comes across it more formally. Philip is a natural physicist 🙂


  2. My daughter rocks constanly, whether sitting or standing (even walking, which ends up in kind of a lurching forward movement). She also carries around a clothes hanger (has since she was a little bitty girl) which she twirls with her fingers, taps on her forehead, and chews. She has amazing placement with this, so you can sit right next to her and never get hit with it 🙂 We sit in church and she twirls and taps and rocks and makes small noises… all of that means that all is right in her world. I never try to stop her because she is completely satisfied in those moments and is LESS disruptive than if I tried to make her “act normal”. People around us don’t mind… they get it!! I say “dangle away!!” With two autistic kids, I pick very carefully the hill I’d like to die on, and harmless stimming is NOT it!! 🙂 Love the pics… your son looks very creative!!


  3. I was not familiar with the term “stimming” so thanks for educating me. It is an interesting concept. My daughter used to have sensory processing issues, and rocking was her thing.


  4. He’s like a young Alexander Calder, the inventor of the mobile. It is wonderful that you allow him to express not only his artistic creativity, but his age-advanced sense of physics in his stimming creations. His hanging-from-the-ceiling-light mobile, CD disc mobile, mail installation, and ‘hanger surprise’ are among my favorites. As I have written before, I have taught art to many kids, and your son has a fueled up creative engine that I see in only a handful of students. I don’t know if this is linked to his autism or not, but I do know that it reflects superior visual/creative intelligence. Whether 2-D or 3-D, the work I’ve seen of his is always compelling and fascinating. Dangle on!


  5. Well then most people can’t see the true beauty of Newton’s laws of motion, and, if anything, could learn a thing or two from Philip. I am learning a lot about autism on this blog, and for that I thank you. I wish you luck on your crusade to educate the internet, and look forward to the next time our paths cross.


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