Many individuals on the autism spectrum engage in non-harmful stimming behaviors, such as hand-flapping or rocking. Although many people with autism say it’s an important coping skill for them, many have been taught not to do it in public; therefore, they might suppress it. But one company, called Stimtastic, is revolutionizing stimming—not just destigmatizing and making it more comfortable for people on the spectrum but also celebrating it.
Stimtastic was created by Cynthia Kim, a woman who was diagnosed later in life with Asperger’s. She noticed most autism products were designed for children with autism and their parents; there wasn’t a whole lot on the market for teens and adults with the disorder that didn’t have a “pathologizing tone.”
Stimtastic has changed that, providing unisex stim toys, jewelry, and accessories for teens and adults on the spectrum—things created and designed by the neurodivergent community. Products range from spinning rings to chewable necklaces to fidget toys to “infinite bubble wrap” phone cases. (I’ll be honest: that last one instantly caught my attention!) Because many with autism have sensory sensitivities, the chewable jewelry is fashioned from food-grade silicone and is odorless and tasteless.
These accessories allow people with autism to stim discreetly if they wish—an ability that can be incredibly empowering for these individuals. It also destigmatizes the behavior. In fact, one Stimtastic customer explained that she’s been approached by curious peers, wondering about her chewable necklace. As she wrote on Tumblr:
“They thought it was the coolest thing ever….It’s weird because I spent all of my childhood learning to hide stimming because I was told constantly that people would get upset at me. But now that I’m more open with stimming, I’ve had more people interested in what I’m doing than getting upset at me.”
Do you think this is cool? Because I think this is really cool, and I’m so darned excited about it. Thank you for creating this company, Cynthia Kim!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.