Fidget spinner in woman's hands

Stim! Stim! Stim!

Stim to relieve tension and soothe. Stim to increase sensory input and perk up. Stim because it feels sooooo goooood.

What is stimming? It’s the term for the behavior every person, autistic and not, uses for self-regulation. Didn’t you hear? Everybody’s doing it!

?HOT TIP  If you aren’t yet aware of how you self-soothe, self-energize, and/or maintain focus, try noticing what your body is doing the next time you realize you’re feeling some kind of way. Is your leg bouncing? Are you twirling your hair or chewing on a pen? Maybe you’re humming or clicking your tongue. Being autistic, you’re more likely than most to have, over the years, adapted some form of stim behaviours to aid in self-regulation and keep us in balance.

Stimming up or stimming down or even stimming to maintain, it’s all good. We wanted to offer an overview of the world of official and unofficial stim tools (some say “toys” and that’s fine too) because, as late-to-the-ASD-party adults, many of us may not even realize they exist.

Whatever your deal is, there’s a toy for it. And guess what? You’re a grown-*** adult. You can haz all the toys you want. ⟱⟱⟱


Sparkles! Flashes! Patterns and light! If you love love love to have your visual cortex tingled by all things bling, this category of toys is for you.

Shop Eye Candy


These toys are for squeezing, rolling, jabbing, or whatever else your fingers get up to. Squishies are usually made of some type of foam that either bounces back quickly or is “slow-rising”. Sometimes they are scented. There’s something for all preferences so read descriptions carefully. Squishy toys seem to come most often in keychain size and “jumbo” (approx. 5″/13cm) and are usually terminally adorable.

Other toys are made of silicone or rubber, sometimes with non-toxic slime inside. The feeling can be looser than the foam-based squishies, offering stretch capabilities as well. Sometimes called “stress balls”, these come in round, oval, rings, small, jumbo, string, solid, slime-centred, and all kinds of other varieties. If manually worrying is your thing, try one or more of these.

Shop Fidgets


The sense of where your body is in space, of balance, of rightness can be stimulated with all sorts of body stim toys that allow to rock, spin, bounce, and bob your way to joy.

Shop Motion


Do certain smells send you into orbit? Finding just the right scent can be tricky. Luckily, there are entire industries devoted to olfactory aficionados like you. Here are our picks.

Shop Scents

?HOT TIP  Our senses of smell and taste are closely connected so find the scent you like and see if a whiff delivers the sensation you were craving.


Sometimes only the right sound will do. Maybe you groove to repeating tones, to particular rhythms, or to specific tones or tone combinations, even your own. Click clack, poppety pop, woosh! We've got you covered.

Shop Sound


Some of us sip water. Some slurp hard candy. Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, or umami, you do you.

Shop Tastes


Oooh the feeling of rough or smooth or bumpy or spiky or buzzy or icy or hot. Whatever turns your crank, when it’s right, it’s right.

Shop Textures


When you’re ready to feel your entire body give way to sweet, sweet relaxation, tuck under a cozy, soft, secure weighted item.

Shop Weighted Items is pleased to promote autistic-owned shops and their products in our store wherever possible. Sometimes the best we can do is link to their shopfronts so do give these fine people a go:

In the U.S.A.


Steel Lynx

In the U.K.


We’ll be adding other autistic retailers as opportunity arises!
Send us yours .

* The selection of items in our shop have been recommended by the autistic community-at-large. We do not test items individually so you’re encouraged to research for yourself to determine products, if any, that are right for you.

One thought on “Stim! Stim! Stim!

  1. Actually Autistic Blogs List says:

    GenX Aspie, your blog will soon be added to our Actually Autistic Blogs List ( in the “Autistic blogs with other focuses” category. Please click on the “How do you want your blog listed?” link at the top of that site to customize your blog’s description on the list.
    Thank you.
    Judy (An Autism Observer)

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