Meet the company that’s making jewelry for adults with autism

Cynthia Kim founded @stimtastic​ a year and a half ago, with the simple tagline: “Because stimming is what we do.” Her company specializes in jewelry that works in congress with various stimming behaviors. These often-involuntary actions—like rocking back and forth, flapping a hand, or humming—are seen by many outside the community as distracting or inappropriate. But instead of trying to curb stimming, Kim has decided to embrace it.

“So many businesses that serve the autistic community are either parent/child focused or have a pathologizing tone,” Kim told the Daily Dot. “My goal for Stimtastic and for the products we sell is to help adults and teens who stim feel not just comfortable but celebrated.”

Stimtastic’s products started gaining popularity, especially on Tumblr, among stimming individuals who’d never had anything made with them in mind. Kim specifies the durability of certain pieces, and even has some that were made at the request of Tumblr followers. And many find that the jewelry makes them more comfortable with stimming, while helping to destigmatize the practice among their peers.

Tumblr user “Tessa” wrote that her classmates seemed interested, in a positive way, in her chewable necklace. “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,” writes Tessa on Tumblr. “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.”