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Sensory Sunday #7

Published: December 15, 2019
Last updated on October 9, 2021

This week we are back with another Sensory Sunday, with the following question:

In what ways do you use stimming subconsciously
to regulate yourself and prevent sensory overload?


Autistic females are so good at hiding our stimming behaviours that we do not even see them ourselves. Let me give you an example.

Martin and I went out to a restaurant to eat. I told him that he should put his napkin on his lap, rather than leave it on the table.

He said, “Why?”

I said, “Because it is polite”. Thinking I should give him a more logical answer, I added, “So that we can discreetly wipe off our hands under the table.”

Well, we both made use of our napkins, but in very different ways. See exhibits A and B below.

Two napkins, both used for different purposes.

Martin’s napkin is the flat and politely used one. Mine…I think it looks like a dead frog. I am not sure that I used it to clean my hands…but you can see that I did use it to stim!

How did you find out you stim subconsciously?
Do you leave a physical trail of evidence of your stimming?

To explore the whole Sensory Sunday series,
have a look at the Sensory Sunday index:

Sensory Sunday series


This article
was written by:

Dr. Natalie Engelbrecht ND RP is a dually licensed naturopathic doctor and registered psychotherapist, and a Canadian leader in trauma, PTSD, and integrative medicine strictly informed by scientific research.

She was diagnosed at 46, and her autism plays a significant role in who she is as a doctor, and how she interacts with and cares for her patients and clients.

Want to know more about her? Read her About me page.


Although our content is generally well-researched
and substantiated, or based on personal experience,
note that it does not constitute medical advice.


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