Being autistic, I have always stimmed. Stimming, or self-stimulating behavior, is something found in all people, especially people with developmental disabilities and most commonly autistic people. Some examples of stimming are: making noises, repetitive movements, (rocking, tapping, hand flapping, etc.) rubbing hands on fabrics, and staring at something visually stimulating such as sparkles or swirls. Stimming helps us release energy. It's fun, feels good, and is something autistic people typically like doing. I’m mostly a visual and auditory stimmer, but I like to pace and occasionally rock as a stim.
I have come up with an idea for a stim book. The book would have pages made of fabric full of different textures, patterns, and colors. The pages would come alive in 2-D with touchable characters and backgrounds. The two main types of stims I would use are visual and sensory stims, lots of stimulating things to touch and look at. Autistic readers could stim by touching the book and/or staring at visually stimulating materials while reading the story, or having it read to them. Individuals who cannot read can experience books in an entirely new way.
Most of the characters in my books will be autistic/display autistic traits. I want people with developmental disabilities to have characters that they understand and relate to. I want my characters to be there when autistic children feel lonely. I want my books to be a source of comfort and safety.
My books would be great for people of all ages with developmental disabilities, and even children who are not neurotypical; meaning no atypical thought patterns or behaviors, would also enjoy these colorful books with a lot of different textures. My books will find homes in schools, libraries, waiting rooms, and therapists offices. They would be perfect for learning, bedtime, and travel. They would be a distraction from overwhelming situations like riding on a plane or going to the doctor.
Funded by Louisville, KY (August 2016)