Monday, February 15, 2016

Stimming with Stems

     Seeing words in my head so easily can be confusing but funny in ways I don't share with others.
     One example is how I misinterpreted "stim/stimming" for "stem/stemming" in a conversation between two teachers.
     One asked whether a student had "stimmed" in class, and I thought he asked, "Did he stem?" That's how I "heard" it, in my head.
     As I looked over at the three of them, I imagined flowers and stems coming out of the child's head and body and fingers during the middle of class. I'm sure the picture brought a little smile to my face.
     It gave me something else to think about besides having to learn another new language.
     Once the meaning was explained to me, I understood it, that it wouldn't make sense with an "e" instead of an "i."
     It stands for self-stimulation, a mouthful to say, but much easier to understand, if you look at the words, broken down into parts, the way I do.
     Then, the actions and words matched up; I could see how flapping a hand or shaking a foot relieves built-up tension.
     It made a lot more sense than my own made-up explanation, with colorful petals leaving sweet smells in the air, stems blowing in the breeze as he picked up speed with his long legs in the hall.
     In case you haven't figured it out by now, those sort of ideas can be distracting, sometimes...even the fun ones.
     That's why we stim...to keep us here.
     Everyone does it to some degree, especially when nervous.
     That means we are somewhere on that spectrum, too, or at least our
     "behavior" puts us there.
     I don't mind so much because I have friends there, lots of them.