STIM YOUR HEART OUT IS
a set of concepts and beliefs that aim to advocate an understanding of the benefits of the autistic culture of 'stimming' and establish it in mainstream society
from artist, founder and autism self-advocate Prue Stevenson
'Stimming' is a repetitive physical action that provides enjoyment, comfort and contributes towards self-regulation of emotions.
Workshops were facilitated by the artist/founder Prue Stevenson with the assistance of a contemporary dance choreographer Rebecca Jensen and five wonderful autistic women, who allowed themselves to be free to explore contemporary movement in the context of ‘stimming’ and self-regulation.
In the workshops, a series of movement scores were generated. Culminating in a choreographic system which used chance to order individually selected unique stims. Each person generated their own score, which were performed both individually and as a group.
the workshops were documented in the "Stim Your Heart Out" film trailer below
- Establish the language of “stim” and “stimming” as autistic culture (to empower the autism community)
- Integrate this autistic culture of “stimming” or “self-regulation” into neurotypical society (so people with autism can be themselves, and feel safe “stimming” in public if they need)
- Re-prioritise the mainstream education system (with self-regulation to be integrated into mainstream schools in the same manner as sex education, i.e. stimming not to be a taboo subject, so everyone can learn how to self-regulate)
- Help neurotypicals to learn off the autistic experts in self-regulation (because neurotypical society has suppressed self-regulation, resulting in outbursts in unsafe ways, e.g. domestic violence, road rage, depression, suicide, self-harm etc).
- Help mainstream society realise they are so invested in everyone being happy (that they are leaving less space for people to express alternate emotions).
“Stimming” is the innate behaviour, inborn in us all, that links everybody together (we all, for example, click pens, bounce our legs and pace up and down under stress)
Understanding the value of “stimming” and “self-regulation” can create an inclusive understanding between everyone in society)
“Prue’s important work touches on an issue that we as psychologists and scientists continue to grapple with – how we regulate our emotions and behaviour.
This project will provide a valuable learning experience for the so-called ‘neurotypical’ community, as Prue forces us to rethink our understanding of behaviour, emotion, and mental health.”
Professor Peter Enticott, Deakin University
Mental Health stakeholder
Professor of Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience), Associate Head of School (Research and Research Training),
School of Psychology
“Prue’s work and approach has helped us, as practitioners, to better understand the individuals we support, particularly in regard to their stimming behaviours.
'Stim Your Heart Out' is Prue’s way of spreading the message and understanding in the BIGGEST way possible. She believes that stimming needs to be more widely understood and accepted in society.
We feel that this project is an extraordinary way to raise knowledge and awareness of stimming and autism within the broader community. It will also create pride, greater self-awareness and acceptance for individuals within the spectrum.”
Disability Services stakeholder
Manager Western Metro Region
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