The Slime Trend- What It Is and Why It's Great For Neurodivergent People

Ciao Lovelies! I bet at least one or two of you have heard of the "Slime Trend" recently. If not, I'll explain everything below! (Images Updated as of January 2019)


So recently, the subject of slime- all types, fishbowl, iridescent, traditional, floam, glitter, crystal, etc- has been trending everywhere. Anywhere you look, you can find YouTube tutorials for how to create slime, find "stim" blogs on tumblr and plenty of gifs of slime, kinetic sand, and more. There are even entire Instagram accounts dedicated to videos of slime!

But what IS stim, or stimming, you might be wondering?

Well, let's let Wikipedia sum it up for us!

"Self-stimulatory behavior, also known as stimming and self-stimulation, is the repetition of physical movements, sounds, or words, or the repetitive movement of objects common in individuals with developmental disabilities and most prevalent in people with autism spectrum disorders. It is also commonly seen in people with anxiety disorders such as obsessive–compulsive disorder, ADHD, and Tourette syndrome, and in people with neurological disorders or brain infections" 

The Wikipedia article containing this information can be found HERE.

To summarize, stimming is some form of movement, sound, or texture that is common in neuro-divergent individuals and usually used to self soothe, control anxiety, or filter/block overwhelming sensations.

Autistic individuals are not the only people who stim, however. Some sufferers of anxiety stim to control themselves and calm down, often this manifests in behaviours like nail biting, hair twirling, or repetitive motions like rocking.

What does this mean in terms of the new slime (and other stimming toys) trend?

For one thing, it's good for neurodivergent people because now the things they do to relax are no longer stigmatized but seen as "normal" and acceptable. Colleges even have events around finals making "self-care" kits containing things like play-doh. While these are not advertised as "Stimming," many people use Play-Doh or other molding doughs and such to stim.

Another great thing coming from this trend is that it is opening up the discussions around being neurodivergent and normalizing the idea of talking about mental health. People are adknowledging that stress can be helped by non-conventional methods. Perhaps we are finally reaching the days where instead of someone saying "Oh, you're stressed? Just breathe! (or any other conventional method)", they would say "Well, try playing with some slime or chewing on a chewing necklace!"

Another great outcome of this "trend" is that stimming toys like chewing necklaces, fidget toys, tangles, kinetic sand, floam, and others are becoming much more common and inexpensive!

However, we need to ensure that this "trend" does not become offensive to autistic or neurodivergent individuals. All kinds of stimming are equally good, whether it's rocking, tapping, hand wringing or flapping, etc. If we are normalizing stimming methods like chewing and slime, we should also work to normalize non- "aesthetically pleasing" stimming!  


(If any of this info is incorrect or should be changed let me know! I am approaching this from a anxiety and other mental divergency standpoint, but my points about autism may be misinformed, and if they are please correct me!!)

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