ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is today's freebie, inspired by [personal profile] redsixwing. It also fills the "vindication" square in my 8-1-16 card for the Survival Bingo fest. It belongs to the series An Army of One.


"Frob, Twiddle, and Tweak"


"I love the society you people
are building," Darmid said as he
watched a bucket chain forming
to unload the supply ship, with
a very synchronized pattern
developing within minutes as
the workers copied each other.

"It's just frob, twiddle, and tweak,"
said Crank. "First you move things around
to see what they do. Then you guess at settings
for each of the parts. Then you fine-tune them
in relation to each other. I was surprised to find
how well mechanical concepts can apply to
social sciences, but I guess I just needed
to meet the right group of people."

"I'm impressed by how much you have
already accomplished here," said Darmid.
It makes me so excited for my son's future!
I've known plenty of social scientists and
mechanics, but none of them think
outside the box the way you do."

"Maybe it's just because we put
extra handles on our thought patterns,"
he said, flipping the frobs on his necklace
up and down. "I move this thing, and
my brain changes gears."

"Now I want one of those," Darmid said.

* * *

Notes:

Here's a basic description of "frob." I've always used this set of definitions:
Frob -- to move the parts or controls of an unfamiliar device very broadly to identify their functions/range.
Twiddle -- to move parts in smaller ways so as to estimate likely settings, usually one at a time.
Tweak -- to make fine adjustments in the settings, usually in relation to each other, to derive a final configuration.

Fidgeting is any pleasant, repetitive motions. It improves concentration, memory, and creativity especially for neurovariant people.

Stimming is an important part of neurovariant thought, identity, and culture. Unfortunately neurotypical people often disapprove and suppress stimming, sometimes to the point of abuse, even though neurotypical people do it too. Here are tips on how to stim.

Stim jewelry is designed to facilitate safe, effective fidgeting. There's even a blog for it. This chewable gem necklace has one or more silicone prisms to manipulate. Crank has this version.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-02 09:25 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
Love it! <3

Ooh, chewy gem necklaces. I like jewelry that can be turned and flipped, so those look nice - with chewing as an added bonus. (And now I want to chew things. Poetry with side effects!)

STIM

Date: 2016-08-02 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
NOW I NEED TO FIND A GOOD FIDGET TOY!

I started messing with my face while reading this...*sigh*

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 12:00 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've tried variations on most of these and have a fidget wire collapse and fold cage that I love, but I need something that gives specificity of edge without delving into physically harmful and without carrying a lot of weight. I crave defined sharp contact for certain types of stimming and that is SERIOUSLY hard to find in a version that is safe an acceptable in any platform because people see marks and start asking uncomfortable questions...any ideas on something like that?

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 01:52 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I sometimes have a tactile need that is at least vaguely similar. Here is what I have found that works for me, in case you want to try any of it.

1. I have found that I can do LIGHT scratching (fingernails) and heavy pressure (tape, rope, tightly wrapped clothing) to alleviate it, but this may not work for a lot of people. 2. I have a lot of not-great solutions, but one that seems like at least a compromise leaving MINIMAL marks is whacking my arm/leg with a ruler/pencil. This is not the safest choice because the wood could break, so you may want to find a toy/tool in the shape of a thin flexible rod (probably from a kink source) that can similarly hit a narrow line in a way that feels like a lot more than it is. 3. When it comes to needing to feel the edge of something instead of needing to feel a fine line of intense stimulation, I find that rubbing/holding a metal spoon and running the edge of the bowl of the spoon over my skin helps. 4. One thing that is completely out of this ballpark but gives me a similar feeling for some weird reason is one of those scalp massagers with all the fine wires. 5. I like holding and bending an assortment of paper clips (and playing with magnets, too) when I want a little twisty thing with a small hard shape. However that might not work if it becomes tempting to experiment with the poke-y ends of the things. 6. Some toys/objects that are fun to hold, easy to manipulate, and have lots of edges: simplified Rubik's cube, Jacob's ladder, a chain of carabiners and/or binder rings and/or paper binder clips from office supply to click open and closed (and possibly harmlessly pinch fingers), those dreadful managerial desk toys with the row of three balls that bounce off each other, a set of rings within rings like for a little kid, and any extra-heavy small sculpture made out of one sturdy smooth piece of metal, ceramic, or stone.

I may come back and add links if I have spoons. Not sure.

Good luck!

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 02:53 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Thanks for the info!

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 03:03 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I used to use tape but developed an adhesive allergy which sucks...rubber bands can get me sort of close but wind up being a tad dangerous as circulation became an issue (don't tie knots in rubber bands while they are applied to the human body no matter how good they feel, it is a bad idea)

the spoon trick might work, thank you for your suggestion on that, I am very grateful I am not the only one with borderline (or outright) dangerous stim needs...seriously finding substitutes for this stuff is HARD WORK people...

I drew blood smacking myself with a ruler and got reprimanded and threatened with a lovely bit of procedure called a 21/20 hold (code for a mandated psych eval in the ED where I come from) so I sort of don't trust myself (or the mental needs of those around me to be fair) with anything that needs a safe-word or coaching by an experienced person to use, it might end badly...paperclips for the same reason

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 03:27 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
So...I ranted a bit in SUPPORT of the anon commenter. Chance to go read something else...

...

...

...

I am really angry on your behalf. Threatening people just does not work! If people are doing something that hurts themselves, it is for a REASON, and people should ask ... "sooo... how can I help?" before anything else! (Ysabetwordsmith linked some resources for self-harm in the Cassandra series of poems, which is quite different from intense stims but may still be useful.) Also having literature to point to when one is trying to explain "I don't have a problem except inasmuch as my needs are not being met, you have a problem with me because you are an ableist jerk" in other words is VERY helpful.

I am going to keep looking for more ideas and I will post if/when I find something else relevant.

>> don't tie knots in rubber bands while they are applied to the human body no matter how good they feel, it is a bad idea <<

Yes, and don't wrap tape up tight without having safety scissors, a bit of leverage to lift part of the tape, and enough circulation in hands to safely cut things loose.

Oh! Idea! I haven't yet experimented with this myself, though I intend to, but self-adhesive athletic tape is a thing. (Also a kink thing (bondage tape), but you can get it elsewhere.) I don't know if it would trigger allergies or not, but there is no adhesive gunk on the skin so it might work. It only sticks to itself, so you can wrap it tight without it sticking to you.

One thing I don't recommend but do anyway, for example purposes ... biting my arm ... doesn't look good, not sanitary, easy to overdo.

I have a LOT of borderline stim activities, just not with high frequency, and they shade over into other activities... This is a thing!!! There are SAFE ways to do this, if people will just help find/access them instead of shaming! And also, people need to be able to choose their level of REASONABLE RISK, with assistance and safety protocols and nonjudgmental supervision if necessary, instead of being TOLD that they are not permitted to make certain choices because of their mental/physical conditions - that is infantilizing bullshit. Pro athletes get injuries doing their intense thing all the time, but people admire them for it, because our society doesn't make sense.

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU for wanting intense physical sensations. Other people are just JERKS.

*offers virtual hugs and/or rumbly cat purring*

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:30 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
<3 <3 <3 sending love to everyone commenting in this thread ... we will hopefully be okay but okay or not we are awesome <3 <3 <3

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
the thing about a 21/20 hold is that it technically doesn't matter if you're of age to refuse treatment...it's a stupid bit of legalese, but it is there. If you don't give permission it doesn't matter because there's reasonable certainty of imminent threat/harm/danger to self or others, if you fight it the ambulance will call a squad car and you wind up in handcuffs. (the handcuff bit did not happen to me personally, but a friend of mine who also struggles with stimming/self injury issues, whereupon after their experience the threat of a 21/20 hold was rather...effective...at me finding ways to hide the fact that this is a friggin crushing NEED in my body and it helps me feel less like I am flying apart at the seams)

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:29 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
...I needed to hear that...thank you.

it is very hard sometimes being neurovariant and SPD...add on the freaking out that happens over my bent toward "violent" stimming behavior...and sometimes I just feel...

lost, I guess, alone.

I'm glad I'm not alone, hugs greatly appreciated(as long as they are firm and not light almost hug annoyances) I will also take a rumbly kitty.

seriously, thanks.

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:31 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*very loud purring cat and firm decisive hugs when wanted*

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
thank you alatefeline

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
also, the spoon trick? That's BRILLIANT! I tried it just now and :D the best bit is if you hold it at the right angle, it FEELS sharper than it really is without risking a nick or a slice. YOU ARE MADE OF THE BRILLIANT!

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-04 02:33 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I am glad it worked for you. Be careful, and take care, and may the bothersome people all be forced to confront their own botheriness rather than inflicting it on others.

You are made of the shiny. :)
Edited (realized I had chosen a not useful term) Date: 2016-08-04 02:34 am (UTC)

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 04:02 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
It used to be easy to find wooden rulers with a metal strip along the edge, the idea being to guide a pen without allowing the ink to smear under the ruler. Rather than hitting yourself with it, try pressing -- the wood will serve as a backstop.

Alternatively, hit yourself through a piece of clothing, e.g. a pants leg -- it will take more force to leave a mark, and if it does it won't show.

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:38 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
The kitchen store is generally full of pervertibles aka sensory toys with incidental culinary uses. Most recent acquisition: a pastry "dough docker" roller which is basically a mini rolling pin on a handle covered in blunt pointy projection. *cough cough* Ahem. It's important to avoid anything ACTUALLY sharp or hot unless thorough precautions are taken, but for "I wanna hold weird shapes/textures in my hands / run them over my skin" and relatives of that, SOOOO MAAANY options. Plus you can always cook with 'em (provided you buy two of everything so as to not mix uses, preferably) and use that as an excuse.

(Referenced item similar to this: https://www.amazon.com/Orblue-Docker-Uniformly-Prevents-Blistering/dp/B00VRTHQBE/ref=pd_sim_79_1/168-2306033-8995233?ie=UTF8&dpID=418ukiaKIDL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=D2G8P9XDV1G8KNBH951Z)

>> Hardcore edgeplay masochists stand on Legos. Everyone else thinks of those as demonic caltrops. <<

LOL.

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-04 02:38 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
>> Allow me to introduce another crucial safety concept: plausible deniability. <<

Well phrased.

>> This is essential for kinksters, Pagans, and other people who have problems with someone butting into their life in ways that hurt and may not be feasible to escape immediately. <<

Makes sense.

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:23 pm (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
Nitinol wire (heat-shape wire) would be fun and useful. Make a shape, bend it up when you need some twisted metal, then put it in hot water to get it back.

Re: STIM

Date: 2016-08-03 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
that last one, I will def use that last one!

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-02 11:31 pm (UTC)
chanter_greenie: a bright blue sky and fluffy clouds (Wisconsin summer: boundless friendly sky)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Re: fidgeting and creativity/concentration: OOOOOHHH that explains so much! Rocking chairs and swings are creativity-enhancing catnip to this lady here, and now I understand at least part of why. :)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-03 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
I know there's some sort of correlation between my particular disability (blindness) and rocking (and, to a lesser extent, spinning), but I've never been brave enough to research it. Part of me worries I'll run up against a whole lot of able-normative negative reactions, and those aren't likely to pop up around here. Not in a space that's openly acknowledged stimming as both valid and necessary. :)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-04 03:32 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Hmmmm. This may sound strange and unscientific, but for me, walking or bouncing doesn't seem to have the same effect that rocking and, to a much lesser extent, spinning does. Walking is nice on its own, don't get me wrong, but rocking especially seems to meet some sort of need I can't articulate that's greater than sensory/spatial orientation practice alone would indicate.

When I have room for one, I am metaphorically pouncing on a sturdy, well-made rocking chair of my own. :)

Re: Yes...

Date: 2016-08-04 06:38 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Hmmmm again. It isn't a relaxation thing for me, but it's definitely a creativity aid. I wonder if I should just chalk this one up to being something integral to my wetwear and leave it at that.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-03 01:36 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Yay! Awesome! "Extra handles on our thought patterns" is SO true to my experience even though I would never have thought to phrase it that way, and yet I can also see it applying to many very different autistic, neurovariant, and neurotypical people! I like Crank, too. And Darmid. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-03 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eseme.livejournal.com
Yay, stunning and yay Army of One. I have, by the way, ordered from Stimtastic, and the shipping was super fast and they took a custom order (3 different colors of gems on a neckalce) with ease. They also have amazing prices.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-08-03 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>>Yay, stimming and yay Army of One.<<

:D

>> I have, by the way, ordered from Stimtastic, and the shipping was super fast and they took a custom order (3 different colors of gems on a neckalce) with ease. They also have amazing prices. <<

Thanks for the customer feedback! I thought they looked good. I'm tempted by the rainbow bead necklace and a few of the others.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-03 03:05 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
Yay!

One of my favorite fidgets is a pair of Chinese exercise balls. They're also good for developing finger strength, which is useful for a guitarist.

Yes...

Date: 2016-08-03 03:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Those are lovely things. :D

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-03 09:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rhodielady-47.livejournal.com
"Stimming is an important part of neurovariant thought, identity, and culture."
I wonder if playing with sticky tape counts as stimming?
I've done that all of my life.
:^}

Yes...

Date: 2016-08-03 09:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
It can, and at least one other person has mentioned it. Stimming covers all manner of repetitive motions which are done for self-soothing, sensory integration, or focusing. Or to use a less pejorative term, fidgeting. Almost everyone does something like this. Some forms are just tolerate more than others, and some people have more freedom whereas others are routinely picked upon.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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