Just Stimming…

A land we can share (a place I can map)


with 16 comments

Julia Bascom is an Autistic woman, writer, and self-advocate. She writes about

  • autistic identity, community, and language,
  • disability rights,
  • theory vs. praxis,
  • and personhood.

She is interested in

  • ethnography,
  • community directed research,
  • the bullying, abuse, and murder faced by people with disabilities,
  • independent living supports and system alternatives,
  • the unique challenges and promises of service provision and self-advocacy for the DD (developmental disabilities) community in rural areas,
  • cognitive and broader access,
  • and metaphor, storytelling, and autism.

She served on the New Hampshire DD council as well on as her state’s team for revitalizing state-wide self-advocacy, and is the founder of The Loud Hands Project. She currently serves as Executive Director for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and sits on the boards of the Institute for Exceptional Care and Allies For Independence. Her website is https://juststimming.wordpress.com.

Parties interested in publishing Julia’s work or paying her to write something should contact her at juststimming at gmail dot com.

Written by Julia

April 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm

16 Responses

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  1. Dear Julia,
    I’m technologically challenged and not sure if you received my post. So i’ll say it again. You are a terrific writer, autism or no. Wish i could write like you. Bravo.

  2. Julia,

    I don’t know where to begin. Your writing has affected me so deeply. It has quite literally shaped how I plan to live my life from this point forward. For the past 7 years, I have dedicated my career to trying to help individuals with Autism. I seem to have a knack for “getting” kids with Autism, and I always am able to establish rapport very quickly, and am able to get to work quickly with helping them communicate their desires and needs, my fundamental objective. I often accomplish this with music and dance, and I have become a music therapist. I am working to complete my special education and behavior analysis credentials, mostly so that people will listen to me about what I feel so strongly these kids need that they are not getting. You have truly opened my eyes to what is lacking in their world of being educated.

    One thing that you have inspired me to do is to try to start a movement of awareness about the unique way that individuals with autism express themselves. I think part of why I have success with music and dance is because when the kids are with me, anything goes. We relate to each other without words (without any chance for any mistakes), and through music, dance, and fun. When they’re with me, they can run the show and have fun in their way and it’s okay.

    I want people to know about how different people express their joy, whether they have Autism or not, and to be inspired by it, not put off or made uncomfortable by it. If people weren’t so stuck on fitting in and trying to impress other people, they could feel more free to express themselves more naturally. I want to create the awareness and the freedom to embrace all expressions in themselves and in others. This would equal a freedom of expression for all and would benefit people with disabilities who may express things in a different, though no less beautiful way.

    I just wanted to thank you. I will keep you updated on my progress as I try to affect this change in the world.

    Can you recommend any other writers who have reported on their unique expressions of emotion through their hands and otherwise. I aim to build a foundation of individuals reporting how they express themselves in different ways, especially with “stimming,” and how they are expressing emotions and interacting with the world in their own way, not just merely trying to regulate their sensory systems as I once believed, and many still believe.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your bravery, honesty, and candid, beautiful self-expression.

    Kelly aka Amira

    Amira Brewcat

    December 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    • If you have not seen “in my language” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnylM1hI2jc start there.

      I would caution you, though, that *Autistic* people need to be the ones telling our stories. They’re ours. Some of us are actually working on projects similar to what you’ve described–I know I am. I’ll be making apost about that soon, so stick around!


      December 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

  3. Julia – I cannot thank you enough for your writing, for being brave enough to put these words “out there” and trying to make people understand. I have just returned from another IEP, in which I have informed the school that I will not support a “quiet hands” policy for my son. I took a copy of your post with me for each person at that table. It is so important, for those of us who really want to understand, that work like yours be brought into the mainstream.

    SB (@Quirksalot)

    December 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

  4. All I can say is, we love you Julia. You have awakened things within us that we have so long been missing. The clouds have slowly parted and we can see our children so much more for who they truly ARE than who we would like them to be! And in turn we learn so much about ourselves as well.

    As a mother of a child with Autism (the apple of my eye), I applaud you in bringing this awareness forward, for sharing your thoughts and feelings. It is so refreshing to read posts like yours that are not written from the perspective of a medical doctor, a parent or a teacher but from YOU and your unique take on life! Only you know what the world is like for you and others who fall under the PDD umbrella. We, the masses, only have vague ideas.

    Thank you again and continue to share!


  5. […] unless they take us by hand and lead us there. The following is a gift from a woman named Julia Bascom. Accept it. Appreciate it. Hold it close. Share it […]

    obsessive joy | DeepFUN

    December 15, 2011 at 8:55 am

  6. Hi Julia,

    I’m the photo editor at Babble.com and we’re putting together our Top 30 Autism blogs and you’re on the list! Congratulations! I’ve enjoyed reading some of the pieces you have on your site and can see why you are in our top 30. Do you have a photo I could use to put with the write-up? Anything at all that you could send would be wonderful. The piece goes live on Monday, so as soon as possible is perfect. Please email me at: raydene[@]babble.com.

    Thank you so much and congratulations again!
    Raydene Salinas
    Photo Editor

    Raydene Salinas

    April 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm

  7. I cannot tell you how much I love you. I read you out loud today in a meeting wherethey said they will be coming to our house to inspect four times a year AND once a month. Oh and yea, we are suppose to do fire safety and earthquake preparedness, and chemical hazards training once a week. I told them we don’t want to spend another month of our lives focused on danger, and fear, and risk… Because mostly we do life, and community and other prosocial life affirming activities, just like other families who don’t have disabilities. And like Henry David Thoreau saif in Walden, “If I new for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me some good, I should run for my life.”
    Seriously love you in a heart-breaking praise-godding way! Write, write, write! Then we can know how to say it finally!


    May 3, 2012 at 2:02 am

  8. Hi there
    I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Check it out at


    May 4, 2012 at 8:26 am

  9. Hello! I just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog and I think it’s really interesting! I don’t mean that in a rude or objectifying way, I just think people are interesting and your writing is very personal and honest, which I find interesting.
    In a reply to an above comment, I know you mentioned that it’s important that Autistic people are telling their stories. I was wondering if you would say the same applies to fictional stories that include Autistic characters but are not about autism?
    Again, I love your blog and I want to thank you for writing about your life. I love getting to hear or read people’s stories. It takes a lot of courage to put so much of yourself out there like this. 🙂

    Jamie Allyn Tailor

    June 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm

  10. Are you still making speeches and presentations on autistic identity? Is there any way of finding out where and when they’re taking place?

    Cecilie Lolk Hjort

    November 11, 2012 at 8:46 am

  11. Dear Julia,
    I have just found your blog, and want to thank you for writing it. Your words are powerful, clear, moving, and you’ve taught me – or better, helped me learn – a lot in this one evening of reading. I see how you stand with all of the great voices and fighters – for disabled people to be respected as full people, seeking no less and no more than African-Americans, gay people, women, the old, etc. have fought for and are still fighting for. Respect – as you are, not shaky, unsafe tolerance if you manage to pass as something else (gods, what an abhorrent concept!) Of course.
    Thank you for writing about how you understand math and music – I get just a hint, a shadow, of the beautiful shape and complexity you describe. It’s a bit like — I don’t surf, so I can’t fully appreciate it, but when I watch someone else surf, I get a glimpse of how elegant and dynamic it is. I admire your thinking and writing as I admire the surfer’s grace and balance.
    Understanding is difficult. I believe that it’s worthwhile to try, but more, that we mustn’t require understanding before we give respect. I’m “normal” (also straight, white, and not young) – I may never have more than the foggiest idea what your experience of life is truly like, any more than I will of what it’s like to be a 14-year-old ghetto mom or a professional athlete or Tibetan or paraplegic. Or any sentient being other than humans. You remind me that it’s an indecent cop-out to only respect the rights, the worth, of those I can understand.
    Namaste: that which is sacred in me greets and honors that which is sacred in thee.


    August 29, 2013 at 4:01 am

  12. […] Julia Bascom has written this wonderful peace entitled The Obsessive Joy of Autism. […]

    Autistic Differences

    June 18, 2014 at 11:32 pm

  13. Thank you for your blog, and I am so happt to have just introduced my 14 year old, proudly ASD daughter to your blog 🙂


    February 10, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    • Thank you for your blog. I am sharing it with my coworkers. We work in a non-profit school with autistic children and children with speech delays, etc…We use a gentle approach with them. This is another tool we can use to all be on the same page.

      Buffy Veneer

      May 28, 2017 at 9:33 am

  14. […] Julia Bascom. 5 April, 2011. About. Just Stimming. […]

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