Autism Welcome Packets Project

Guest post contributed by Cara

I am president of my university’s chapter of an organization called TEAAM (Together Enhancing Autism Awareness in Mississippi). We recently put together “Autistic Community Welcome Packets”, which include:

  • ASAN’s “Welcome to the Autistic Community” book
  • an infographic about famous autistic people
  • “Understanding the Spectrum”, a comic by Rebecca Burgess that explains what it really means when we say that autism is a spectrum
  • a welcome note from us
  • a Tangle toy donated by Stimtastic (thank you!)
  • a sticker
  • a coloring page

These packets will be donated to a local clinic that does autism assessments, so that autistic people can receive the packets on the day they are diagnosed. I came up with the idea for this project while thinking about how the first messages people receive about autism are often negative ones. I want autistic people and their families to understand the ideas of autism acceptance and neurodiversity from the start. In particular, I want people on the spectrum to know that there are many others like themselves, and that their differences are not something to be ashamed of.

--Cara

 

Posted on September 3, 2016 and filed under Charitable Giving, Stimtastic News.

Spinner Ring Care

It's common for spinner rings to occasionally become squeaky or hard to spin. Most often cleaning and/or lubricating your ring will quickly solve the problem. 

Cleaning Your Ring

You can clean your ring by giving it a bath in warm soapy water. 

1. Gather the following items: a bowl or other container of warm water (large enough to submerge your ring and hand in) and mild dish soap like Ajax, Dawn or Ivory.

cleaning3.jpg

2. Pour a small amount of dish soap into the warm water. 

3. Swirl the water around until you see some bubbles on the surface. 

4. Submerge your ring in the water and spin it back and forth a little to try to loosen up and stuck on dirt. If your ring seems especially dirty, let it soak for about 5 minutes then try spinning it again while it is submerged. Once you get it moving, spin it in both directions a few more times to loosen any remaining dirt. 

cleaning2.jpg

Spinner Ring Lubrication

Regularly adding some form of lubrication to your spinner ring can keep it spinning quietly and smoothly. If your ring is squeaky or continues to be difficult to spin after cleaning it, try lubricating between the inner and outer bands as shown below. 

1.  To begin, you will need a suitable lubricant. Customers have reported good success with: commercially available silicone products (industrial, automotive or personal lubricants), graphite (commercially available graphite-based lubricant or ground up pencil lead) and vegetable based oils (especially coconut oil). 

Sample lubricants: coconut oil, automotive silicone spray, pencil leads

Sample lubricants: coconut oil, automotive silicone spray, pencil leads

Because lubricants can stain, it's a good idea to cover your work surface with an old rag or a few layers of paper towel.

2. To apply a liquid silicone product (like personal lubricant) or vegetable oil, simply apply a small amount to your finger and rub it along the inside and outside of the ring where the bands meet.

3. Spin the ring back and forth to work the lubricant between the bands. Once the ring is spinning smoothly and quietly, wipe it off with your paper towel or rag to remove any excess lubricant. 

4. To apply an aerosol lubricant (graphite or silicone based), follow the instructions on the product you have selected to apply a small amount of lubricant along both edges of the band. Follow Step 3 above, adding more lubricant if necessary. 

5. To use graphite from pencil lead, first grind a small amount of pencil lead into dust (by crushing a replacement stick of lead or shaving it from a pencil tip). 

6. Apply the powder along the edges of the bands and continue as explained in step 3 until your ring spins smoothly. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly when you are finished to remove and residual dust from your fingers. 

 

 

Posted on August 6, 2016 and filed under Product Information.

Thank You Autistic Rabbit

Stim toys! 

Stim toys! 

Stimtastic would like to extend a big thank you to Isaac of Autistic Rabbit Weighted Blankets. This past weekend he shared some Stimtastic stim toys at an advocacy booth at his local autism walk.

Isaac's "Ask an Autistic" table

Isaac's "Ask an Autistic" table

According to Isaac, "We really loved having all the stim toys out because it helped start a conversation about stimming. We really hope that the parents will take to heart what we say and encourage their kids to stim."

Autistic Rabbit Weighted Blankets display

Autistic Rabbit Weighted Blankets display

P.S. If you would like to request a stim toy donation for your event or organization or if you would like to share photos of an event that Stimtastic has donated items to, please get in touch.

Posted on April 28, 2016 and filed under Charitable Giving, Stimtastic News.

Spinner Ring Design Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Stimtastic Spinner Ring Design contest!

 

Alicia Chen, Spinosaurus

Alicia is a college sophomore currently studying design and psychology. She has been drawing since elementary school and enjoys gaming and reading in her spare time. She can often be seen doodling funny faces in the margins of lecture notes.

Baden Gaeke Franz, Starry Night

Baden Gaeke Franz is a university student studying Human Rights and Women's and Gender Studies. She loves to sew and knit and to drink tea while snuggling her cat.

Allen Koszis, Swimming Squidies

Allen is a 23 year old nonbinary college student, currently going to community college for their AA, and living in the California Bay Area. They have always had problems with anxiety, but never really liked any of the ring designs they found on the market. Which is why they jumped at the opportunity to design their own. Allen spends most of their free time drawing, with most of their interests including biology, food, comics, and animation. 

Allen would like to eventually get a major in entomology or something in scientific illustration. But they really just hope to one day make a living off of doing the things that they love, and to help the marginalized communities they are a part of.

Look for all three rings on Stimtastic.co in late October! 

Posted on September 30, 2015 and filed under Stimtastic News.

Spinner Ring Design Contest Voting

Voting is now closed

We are pleased to announce that 9 finalists have been chosen in the Spinner Ring Design Contest. The winner(s) will be chosen by voting, which closes on Sept 28th at 11:59 PM EST. 

To vote, check out the 9 finalist entries below and then scroll down to the bottom of the page to anonymously cast your vote for your top 3 favorite designs. Please, one vote per person.

Note: Designs were submitted in several formats. To create parity in voting, we have chosen to show a segment of each ring design, which will repeat 2-3 times on the finished rings. 


Back To You Boomerang

Designed by Alyson Kay

boomerang1.png

Bubble

Designed by Ben Cossar

bubble1.jpg

Flower Power

Designed by Simon J Burke


Gallivant

Designed by Rachel Louise MacMillan


Happy Hands

 


Peace, Love, and Infinite Stimming

Designed by Darcy Litster


Spinosaurus

Designed by Alicia Chen


Starry Night

Designed by Baden Gaeke Franz


Swimming Squidies

Designed by Allen Koszis


Posted on September 22, 2015 and filed under Stimtastic News.

A "Giving Back" Update

Part of our mandate at Stimtastic is to give 10% of sales back to the Autistic community. As part of that, we donate to both organizations and individuals. Organizations we’ve given to in the past year include: 

  • Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library 
  • Dutile Tremblay Community fund 
  • Autism West Midlands 
  • Autism Womens Network 
  • Australian Autistic Community Hubs 
  • Autism Society GLB/SGV 
  • CA ASAN chapter
  • Cheshire Autism Practical Support Ltd 

The biggest individual donation initiative is getting free or subsidized weighted blankets to those who can’t afford them. We’ve given out 30 free or subsidized blankets so far and continue to randomly select recipients. 

We also contribute to fundraisers being held by Autistic people (like helping pay for travel to conferences to present), give away stim toys to those who can’t afford them, give away helpful items that are too expensive for most people to afford (noise cancelling headphones, AAC software, iPad), and other forms of direct giving.

Finally, we are proud to have recently made a substantial contribution to ASAN's Autistic Scholars Fellowship program, which provides Autistic college students with tuition scholarships each to create systems change on their college campuses.

Posted on September 16, 2015 and filed under Charitable Giving.

Spinner Ring Design Contest

This contest is now closed to entries.

Design Stimtastic's next spinner ring! 

We're looking for an exciting new spinner ring design. If you have an idea for a spinner ring pattern, enter it in our design contest for a chance to see your creation become Stimtastic's newest piece of fidget jewerly!

The Spinner Ring Design Contest is open to all. Here's how to enter: 

  1. Create a 2-dimensional black and white rendering of your idea. 
  2. Submit it by email to stimtastic@gmail.com by September 15, 2015 with the subject line "Spinner Ring Design Entry". 
  3. In your email include: your full name, the name of your design, and a statement saying that you have read and agree to the contest entry guidelines below (you can copy this if you like: "I have read and agree to the Stimtastic Spinner Ring Design Contest guidelines posted at Stimtastic.co.").

Contest Entry Guidelines: 

  1. Download the design template and save it to your computer. Do not alter the template dimensions (1465px by 165px at 300 dpi). 
  2. Using the design template, create your design in black and white. 
  3. Your design must have exactly 12 symbols of equal size. They can be 12 repetitions of the same symbol, 12 different symbols, or a repeating pattern that adds up to 12. 
  4. Solid black and white symbols only. No grayscale, feathering, shadows, groupings of very narrow lines, hatching, shading or other areas of color that are not solid black. 
  5. Your submission must be a computer rendered graphic image. Hand drawn images are not eligible. 
  6. Submit your design as a .jpeg or .png file. 
  7. Your submission must be your original idea. No copies, derivatives or otherwise modified versions of copyrighted work. 
  8. You must be willing to give Stimtastic exclusive permission to reproduce your design as a spinner ring for sale by Stimtastic in perpetuity.

Additional design notes

Use the template as your guide for sizing and distribution of your symbols. Fill the entire horizontal area, leaving room for space between the first and last symbols on the ring's band. Leave space at the top and bottom of the template (approximately equal to the grey area shown below) so your symbols do not touch the edges.  

ring_safe area.jpg

You are welcome to submit: 

  • 1 set of 12 unique symbols
  • 1 set of repeating symbols that equals 12 total symbols (6 x 2 symbols, 3 x 4 symbols, 4 x 3 symbols, 2 x 6 symbols)
  • 1 symbol that will repeat 12 times


Sample Entries

The illustrations that follow are intended to give entrants an idea of suitable entries. 

Example of 1 set of 12 unique symbols

Example of 1 set of repeating symbols

Example of 1 symbol that will repeat 12 times

How the Winner will be Selected 

Semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges based on a set of judging criteria to include originality and feasibility of production as a spinner ring design. Semi-finalists will then be voted on by the public to choose a winning design. 

What the Winner Will Receive 

  • Your design made into a Stimtastic Spinner Ring, with full credit to you as the artist on the Stimtastic website
  • $250 cash award
  • 20 pieces of the finished ring in your choice of sizes
Posted on August 6, 2015 and filed under Stimtastic News.

Chewable Jewelry Design Contest Winner

Congratulations to Yvonne Mendoza Rogers, whose No Gloom Shroom will soon be a Stimtastic chewable pendant!

 

About Yvonne

Yvonne Mendoza Rogers is a 21 year old autistic person, diagnosed at the age of 20, married for 3 years and living in California. She is a homemaker, aka stay at home wife, who enjoys writing drawing and music. She has been interested in music since she was 2, writing since she was 4, and drawing since she was 5. Music is what inspires her to create her pieces.

In her childhood she worked on improving her skill on these interests and now in her adulthood she plays guitar and sings, draws abstract art and design ideas, and writes poetry and short stories and is being published in a book that is in the works about autism and animals. In addition to designing, drawing, music, and writing her main favorite intrest is studying animal care and behavior for her kitty Erica Von Stardust and her 6 hermit crabs.


Thank you to everyone who participated in the Stimtastic Chewable Jewelry Design Contest! The number of entries and votes was amazing.

Posted on June 2, 2015 and filed under Stimtastic News.

Chewable Jewelry Design Contest Voting

VOTING IS NOW CLOSED

We are pleased to announce that 4 finalists have been chosen in the Chewable Jewelry Design Contest. The winner will be chosen by voting, which closes on June 1st at 11:59 PM EST. 

To vote, check out the 4 finalist entries below (sketches and any explanatory text provider by the designer) and then click the Vote Now link at the bottom of the page to anonymously cast your vote at Survey Monkey. One vote per computer will be counted (i.e. you can vote multiple times but only your last vote case will count).


Finalist #1: No Gloom Shroom 

Submitted by Yvonne Mendoza

Designer's explanatory text: Ladies and gentlemen boys and girls, stimmers of all ages. We here want to proudly introduce to you today the No Gloom Shroom. Have you ever wanted to have a pacifier handy but were too embarrassed or nervous to keep it around. Was the pacifier just ruining your style or clashing with your outfit. If the answer to any of these questions is yes then boy do I have a product for you. The No Gloom Shroom has been inspired by the autistic community and looks to satisfy a major gap in product availability. With its sleek and stylish Mushroom design, the No Gloom Shroom lets you keep a pacifier with you. Using the mushroom's head as a grip you can suck on the stem just like you would a pacifier and once you let it go nobody will know its true purpose. It has the same shape and general measurements as a pacifier but its distinct mushroom design will allow you to keep it close to your heart, Literally! If sucking and or chewing is your stim of choice then don’t wallow in gloom, Use your new No Gloom Shroom!


Finalist #2: Twisty Block 

Submitted by Kimberly Ogata


Finalist #3: Shark Tooth

Submitted by Liz Wegener

Designer's explanatory text:  Take a bite! Shark teeth are known as a symbol of bravery, strength, power, and protection. This shark tooth pendant is thick enough to withstand an aggressive chewer. The pendant is 1 1/2 inches long, and the tooth is 1/2 inch thick.The lines on the tooth offer textured feel for a sensory effect. The tooth itself bows out to provide additional thickness and enhance the design of the tooth. This pendant is cool,fashionable and appealing to all ages and genders. A chewable necklace you can sink your teeth into!!!  ~Inspiration for this was the sight of my son who has Pdd-nos  admiring the shark tooth necklaces sold at a local store, which due to him chewing it would be a safety concern. Christian this design is for you sweetheart. 


Finalist #4: Unicorn Whale

Submitted by Léonore LE ROUZIC

Designer's explanatory text:  I wanted to design something that was both cute and functional for a wide range of chewers, while keeping in mind that there were no pacifier-like pendants in Stimtastic's shop yet. Hence this little guy ! It's a narwhal, with a swirly tusk to give it a bit of texture and raised fins so it's quite thick and able to withstand even the most aggressive of chewing. If you're more of a light chewer or really crave sensory feedback, you can use it as a pacifier by sucking (and biting gently) on the tusk. If you're more of a moderate or aggressive chewer, you can chew on the belly of the Unicorn Whale, which is a bit thicker, or on the tail fin.  And finally, if you're feeling a bit self-conscious about wearing a pacifier in public, this design allows you to have one camouflaged as a wonderful sea creature !


Posted on May 26, 2015 .

Size Reference Photos

There have been a lot of requests for reference photos of various items shown next to a common object. The pieces below are all shown in reference to a credit card size object (similar in size to a driver's license, school ID, bus pass, frequent shopper/store rewards card, etc.).

Posted on May 5, 2015 .

Textile Stim Toys by Katherine Bale

Stimtastic is excited to be introducing a new line of textile stim toys created by autistic artist Katherine Bale. 

Handmade Felt Fidget Balls

Teal Felt Fidget Ball

Teal Felt Fidget Ball

This fun take on the classic stress ball is made from 100% 23-micron (very soft) Merino wool from non-mulesed sheep.

Each ball has a soft silky surface and a densely solid interior, making them our firmest yet softest-textured stress ball. Felt Fidget Balls are soft enough to squeeze, firm enough to bounce, and feel smooth and warm to touch, making them pleasant to simply hold.

Felt fidget balls come in 6 solid colors and each one is unique.

 

 

 

Handmade Cotton Fidget Cords

Short Fidget Cords in Turquoise and Grape

Short Fidget Cords in Turquoise and Grape

Katherine came up with the idea for woven fidget cords based on the ties and straps on hoodies, sweat pants, and rucksacks that she likes to stim with. In addition to being a great stim toy, she hopes that the fidget cords will save some wear and tear on clothing as well.

The fidget cords come in two lengths, a 14-inch version that is long enough to wrap around the hand and firm enough to create pressure and an 8-inch version made from super soft yarn into a very soft lightweight fabric that is terrific for holding or running through your fingers.  

Each cord is handmade from 100% cotton and has a clip to attach to a belt loop, bag, key ring etc.

 

About the Artist

Artist Katherine Bale

Artist Katherine Bale

Katherine Bale is an autistic fibre and textile artist working from home in Wales. Her stim toy designs are inspired by the everyday things that she likes to fidget with and a desire for natural material versions of fidget toys. 

Katherine began sewing at a very young age, started knitting and crocheting over ten years ago, and now spins, weaves, and felts as well. She has recently decided to use these skills and her passion for the unique properties and application of each natural fibre to start a business.

All of Katherine's designs are hand-made from natural materials. As someone who cares deeply about animal welfare and the environment, she chooses to only use wool from sources with high standards of welfare and to finish her pieces with cleaning products that are environmentally friendly, not tested on animals, and contain no animal ingredients. 

Chewable Jewelry Design Contest

Design Stimtastic's next piece of chewable jewelry! 

Do you have a great idea for a chewable pendant? Enter your idea in our design contest for a chance to see your creation become Stimtastic's newest chewable necklace!

The Chewable Jewelry Design Contest is open to all. Here's how to enter: 

  1. Create a 2-dimensional sketch or 3-dimensional rendering of your idea. 
  2. Submit it by email to stimtastic@gmail.com by May 15th with the subject line "Design Contest Entry". 
  3. In your email include: your full name, the name of your design, and a statement saying that you have read and agree to the contest entry guidelines (you can copy this if you like: "I have read and agree to the Stimtastic Chewable Jewelry Design Contest guidelines posted at Stimtastic.co.").

Contest Entry Guidelines

  1. Submissions should be either (1) a 2-dimensional sketch showing the front, side and back of your design or (2) a 3-dimensional rendering of your design. See below for 2-dimensional examples.
  2. Format:
    • for 2-dimensional images, submit a .jpeg or .png file;
    • for 3-dimensional submissions submit an .STP or .IGS file.
  3. Your submission must be your original idea. No copies, derivatives or otherwise modified versions of copyrighted work. 
  4. You must be willing to give Stimtastic exclusive permission to reproduce your design as a chewable jewelry piece for sale by Stimtastic in perpetuity.
  5. Submissions should be reproduce-able in a single color.
  6. Submissions should be suitable for production in a 3-dimensional format (i.e. a single continuous object).
  7. Submissions should be suitable for use as a chewable pendant (i.e. not have multiple small protrusions or especially thin/narrow parts that would be easily chewed off).

Sample Entries

The illustrations that follow are intended to give entrants an idea of suitable 2-dimensional sketches or computer-generated renderings.

Example of a concept sketch (purple ink) and finished submission (black ink) with a different design for front and back (Illustrations and design notes by Elizabeth Porter (snowbringer@gmail.com, twitter: @snowbringer)

Example of a concept sketch (purple ink) and finished submission (black ink) with a different design for front and back (Illustrations and design notes by Elizabeth Porter (snowbringer@gmail.com, twitter: @snowbringer)

Additional Design Notes: 

You don't need to do your submission digitally – All you need is some blank or graph paper and a black pen. (Black pen will reproduce better than pencil in most cases without image editing.) What you want to do is make your design easy for other people to visualize or understand. Don't worry about making it “perfect.” What you want is something understandable. 

To help this, add measurements for parts – even if they are a little rough. If you are having trouble with drawing a circle, draw what you can and add an arrow to where you want it to go. If you want a textured area or a repeating pattern, say that. You can't have too much clarity. 

When you go to put your image on the computer, scanning is preferable. You want a larger image – you can always make it smaller later if you have to. (300 dpi will get you a better, more legible image.) Alternately, you can take a photograph in good light (sunlight preferable) with the best settings for image quality you have available on your camera. 

What you will want is to show your idea for the front, the back, and the sides. If front and rear are the same, then you can just draw one and make a note of that. If you want something where the one side is thicker than the other, make sure to draw that and add notes about thicknesses. 

Example of a drawing of a piece with identical front and back sides (Illustrations and design notes by Elizabeth Porter (snowbringer@gmail.com, twitter: @snowbringer)

Example of a drawing of a piece with identical front and back sides (Illustrations and design notes by Elizabeth Porter (snowbringer@gmail.com, twitter: @snowbringer)

How the Winner will be Selected 

Semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges based a set of judging criteria to include originality and feasibility of production as a chewable pendant. Semi-finalists will then be voted on by the public to choose a winning design. 

What the Winner Will Receive

  1. Your design made into a Stimtastic Chewable necklace, with full credit to you as the artist on the Stimtastic website.
  2. $500 cash award
  3. 20 pieces of the finished necklace in your choice of available colors

 

Posted on April 13, 2015 and filed under Product Information, Stimtastic News.

Giveaway A Day in April

Stimtastic is doing a Giveaway a Day in April!

April is Autism Acceptance and Autism Awareness month. It's also a month that can be really hard for autistic people to get through. So we're hoping to making things a little less hard by creating a fun new giveaway each day.

Most giveaways will be small - stim toys and jewelry - but we've also got a few big days planned, including a premium AAC software app,  an iPad mini and noise cancelling headphones. We'll also be doing second-chance giveaways--one more chance to win a giveaway you entered during the preceding week. That means each giveaway you enter gives you two chances to win! 

Bookmark this post and check back regularly for updates. We'll post details on each days' giveaway here, including how and where to enter, who won and what's coming up next. 

Image by Lil’ Pink Coupe.

Image by Lil’ Pink Coupe.

April 1st: Giveaway announcement - spread the word

  • How to enter: Like/Share/Comment on the giveaway announcement post on Facebook or Reblog on Tumblr to enter
  • Prize: Chewable jewelry item of your choice
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 2nd
  • Winner: earthgirlfrombakerstreet and stopwatchplz on Tumblr and Cinzia Procter on Facebook (3 winners were chosen due to the high number of entries and because these are small prizes and because I felt like it)

April 2nd: Are you Walking in Red today? Tell/Show us how!

  • How to enter: On the designated Facebook post, share a photo of or tell us about your Walk in Red participation
  • Prize: Surprise pack of red chewable jewelry and stim toys
  • Deadline: Any time on April 2nd
  • Winner: Jen Davis

April 3rd:  Tweet about your favorite stims

  • How to enter: Tell us your favorite stim using the hashtag #stimtastic
  • Prize: Dog and Robot fidget necklaces
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 4th
  • Winner: Casper Devlin

April 4th:  Share a photo and tag Stimtastic on Instagram

  • How to enter: Snap a photo of a pattern or other visually pleasing design and tag stimtastic
  • Prize:  Thinking Putty in color of your choice
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 5th
  • Winner: Pamela Ceresani Gilbertson

April 5th:  Second Chance Drawing

  • How to enter: If you entered any of the previous 4 giveaways, you're already entered in this one! We'll randomly draw one person from all of the past 4 days' entrants.
  • Prize: Same prize that was up for grabs on the day you entered originally. (example: you entered the April 3rd drawing and your name is drawn in the second chance drawing then you win the two necklaces)
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 5th
  • Winner: autistically-trans-boy won on a second chance entry from giveaway #1

April 6th:  Stim Toy Collections

  • How to enter: Share or submit a photo of your stim toy collection or favorite stim toys on Tumblr. If you share on your own Tumblr blog, be sure to tag Stimtastic using an @ mention (@stimtastic) so we see it.
  • Prize: Set of 4 tangles (your choice of colors)
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 7th
  • Winner: anonymus-maximus-er

April 7th:  Autism Acceptance on Facebook

  • How to enter: What does autism acceptance mean to you? Share your thoughts on the Facebook post today.
  • Prize: A pair of spinner rings
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 8th
  • Winner: Kassiane Alexandra S. 

April 8th:  Autism Acceptance on Twitter

  • How to enter: Complete the sentence "Autism acceptance is  . . . " using the hashtag #autismacceptanceis on Twitter.
  • Prize: A "Keep Calm and Stim On" maze pen, "Nothing About Us Without Us" keychain and "Flappy Hands Are Happy Hands" stim toy
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 9th
  • Winner:  Tavros Makara

April 9th: AAC App Giveaway - win either Verbally Premium (iOS) or TalkTablet (iOS or Android) - US residents only. AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) apps are used by people who are primarily nonspeaking, have unreliable speech or sometimes require a text-based means of communication. Please only enter the giveaway if this describes you (parents may enter for a child).

  • How to enter: To enter, comment on the AAC giveaway announcement post on Facebook or Reblog on Tumblr with the name of the app you are entering to win (Verbally or TalkTablet). 
  • Additional rules: (1) To use the app, you must already own a compatible Apple or Android device. (2) US residents only. (3) Winner will receive either Verbally Premium (typing-based AAC) or TalkTablet (picture-based AAC) app as stated in their entry. 
  • Prize: Verbally Premium (iOS) app or TalkTablet (iOS or Android) app
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 13th
  • Winner:  Peter Lepera

April 10th:  Share a photo and tag Stimtastic on Instagram

  • How to enter: Snap a photo of something that makes you happy and tag stimtastic
  • Prize:  Snake Twist in the color of your choice
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 11th
  • Winner:  Claire Walker

April 11th:  Youtube Subscribers

  • How to enter: Be a subscriber to Stimtastic's Youtube channel - we'll randomly draw one subscriber's name at 9 AM on Sunday the 12th
  • Prize:  Color in Motion and Spiral Color in Motion visual stim toys
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 12th
  • Winner: Rachel Sales

April 12th:  Second Chance Drawing

  • How to enter: If you entered the previous week's giveaways, you're already entered in this one! We'll randomly draw one person from all of the completed giveaways during the past week.
  • Prize: Same prize that was up for grabs on the day you entered originally. (example: you entered the April 10th drawing and your name is drawn in the second chance drawing then you win the snake twist)
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 12th
  • Winner:  deafdestroya on instagram (second chance on giveaway #10)

April 13th:  Stimming Haikus!

  • How to enter: Write and submit or share a haiku about stimming (or a stimmy haiku) on Tumblr. If you share on your own Tumblr blog, be sure to tag Stimtastic using an @ mention (@stimtastic) so we see it.
  • Prize: A set of 4 building block highlighters and a pair of "Keep Calm and Stim On" maze pen
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 14th
  • Winner: failingguide 

April 14th: Help spread the word about the Stimtastic Chewable Jewelry Design Contest

April 15th:  What Stimming Means on Twitter

  • How to enter: What does stimming mean in your life? Let us know using the hashtag #Stimmingis on Twitter.
  • Prize: A pair of Klixx stim toys
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 16th
  • Winner:  Moonygirl

April 16th: iPad Mini Giveaway - Today's giveaway is for an iPad Mini. Many autistic individuals use a tablet to assist with communication, executive function and/or sensory regulation (stimmy apps!). If you or your autistic child would benefit from using an iPad and don't already own one, this giveaway is for you.

  • How to enter: Like/Share/Comment on the iPad Mini giveaway announcement post on Facebook or Reblog on Tumblr 
  • Additional rules: (1) US residents only. (2) Entrants should be autistic individuals or the parent/guarding of an autistic individual who will receive the iPad.
  • Prize: Apple iPad Mini (16GB, Wi-Fi)
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 20th
  • Winner:  Olivia Montoya

April 17th: Treat Yourself! (Instagram giveaway)

  • How to enter: Do something nice for yourself, snap a photo that captures it in some way and tag stimtastic. Need some ideas? Paint your nails, change your bed sheets, make a smoothie, wear your favorite shirt, make a blanket fort, twirl in circles, pet your cat, play your favorite video game, do something fun with your hair, take a nap, infodump about your favorite subject. 
  • Prize: A trio of stress balls (choose from gel, felt, bead or bi-color)
  • Deadline: 9 AM (EST) April 18th
  • Winner:  violetsunflower16

April 18th: Pin it to Win it

  • How to enter: Repin any product or product video from Stimtastic's Pinterest 
  • Prize: The item that you repinned
  • Deadline: 9 AM (EST) April 19th
  • Winner:  Merel

April 19th:  Second Chance Drawing

  • How to enter: If you entered the previous week's giveaways, you're already entered in this one! We'll randomly draw one person from all of the completed giveaways during the past week.
  • Prize: Same prize that was up for grabs on the day you entered originally.
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 19th
  • Winner:  elliefint on Tumblr, with second chance win for the haiku giveaway

April 20th:  Cute Baby Animals

  • How to enter: Post a picture of a cute baby animal on today's Facebook post or submit a picture of a cute baby animal to Stimtastic's Tumblr.
  • Prize: A chewable snail, dog fidget necklace, and a snake puzzle stim toy
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 21st
  • Winner:  hands-full-of-hospital-bands

April 21st:  Stimming Selfies

  • How to enter: Post a stimming selfie on today's Facebook post or submit a stimming selfie to Stimtastic's Tumblr (tagging us with permission to reblog is good too). Note: can be hands or feet only if you prefer not to include your face.
  • Prize: Choice of Bike Chain bracelet
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 22nd
  • Winner: come-into-my-closet

April 22nd:  Favorite Stim Toys on Twitter

  • How to enter: What's your favorite stim toy? Share on twitter with the hashtag #favoritestimtoy to enter today's giveaway.
  • Prize: A surprise package of stim toys based on your favorite.
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 23rd
  • Winner:  Jaden

April 23rd: Favorite Way to Stim on Instagram

  • How to enter: Share a photo of your favorite way to stim or your favorite stim toy/object and tag Stimtastic on Instagram.
  • Prize: A surprise package of stim toys based on your entry.
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 24th
  • Winner: dannyleture

April 24th: Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones Giveaway - Today's giveaway is for a pair of adult-size Bose noise cancelling headphones. Many autistic individuals use noise cancelling headphones to help with sensory overload. If you would benefit from using noise cancelling headphones and do not already own a quality pair, this giveaway is for you.

  • How to enter: Like/Share/Comment on the noise cancelling headphones giveaway announcement post on Facebook or Reblog on Tumblr 
  • Additional rules: (1) US residents only. (2) Entrants should be autistic adults/teens (or their parent/guardian). 
  • Prize: 1 Pair of Bose QuietComfort 25 Noise Cancelling Headphones
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 28th
  • Winner:  Sally Senft

April 25th: YouTube Commenting

  • How to enter: Comment on any video on Stimtastic's Youtube channel - we'll randomly draw one commenter's name at 9 AM on Sunday the 26th
  • Prize: Any pair of handheld chewables
  • Deadline: 9 AM April  26th
  • Winner: Megan Lambert

April 26th:  Second Chance Drawing

  • How to enter: If you entered the previous week's giveaways, you're already entered in this one! We'll randomly draw one person from all of the completed giveaways during the past week.
  • Prize: Same prize that was up for grabs on the day you entered originally.
  • Deadline:  9 AM (EST) April 26th
  • Winner:  soundingonlyatnightasyousleep, on Tumblr, with second chance win for the stimming selfie giveaway

April 27th:  Choose your Own Prize on Facebook

  • How to enter: Comment with the name of the Stimtastic prize you'd like to win (has to be something from our website :-) ).
  • Prize: The item the winner named in their comment
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) April 28th
  • Winner:  Teddy Caddy 

April 28th:  Mystery Giveaway

  • How to enter: This giveaway has an element of skilled guessing, so it will not be announced until it opens on the afternoon of the 28th. Keep an eye on our Tumblr for details!
  • Prize: A felt fidget ball and knitted fidget cord (your choice of colors)
  • Deadline:  Open until someone guesses correctly
  • Winner:  tinypuppykieren

 April 29th:  #reasontohappyflap on Twitter

  • How to enter: What makes you happy stim? Share on twitter with the hashtag #reasontohappyflap to enter today's giveaway.
  • Prize: Any two items of your choice from Stimtastic.co.
  • Deadline: 1 PM (EST) April 30th
  • Winner:  Ian Mahler

April 30th:  Choose your Own Prize on Tumblr

  • How to enter: Reblog the announcement post with the name of the Stimtastic prize you'd like to win (has to be something from our website :-) ).
  • Prize: The item the winner named 
  • Deadline:  1 PM (EST) May 1st
  • Winner:  

Questions? Leave a comment here or use the contact us form.

***A note about deadlines: Doing a giveaway every day is a lot of work so some drawings might not happen right at the announced time. Some drawings might happen later than announced, but we will never draw a winner before the stated deadline. 

Posted on March 31, 2015 and filed under Stimtastic News.

Handheld Chewable Stim Toys

Stimtastic's chewable stim toys are made of the same food-grade silicone as our chewable jewelry. Each one is a unique mix of textures and shapes, making them fun tactile stim toys that are safe for chewing too. 

Chewable silicone elephant, smooth on the front and bumpy on the back

Handheld chewables are durable and flexible, which means they are suitable for light, moderate  and moderately aggressive chewers. 

Chewable pirate ship (our largest handheld chewable stim toy)

Chewable pirate ship (our largest handheld chewable stim toy)

Chewable silicone snail (our smallest chewable stim toy)

Chewable silicone snail (our smallest chewable stim toy)

Each handheld chewable has at least one cutout, making it easy to attach to a lanyard or cord for safekeeping. Most are also small enough to be tucked into a pocket. Whether you keep your chewable stowed in your bag or use it as a fun desk accessory, you'll be comforted by knowing that it's never far away when you need it. 

This stylized steam engine combines two of the best things in life: trains and stimming. 

This stylized steam engine combines two of the best things in life: trains and stimming. 

Posted on January 31, 2015 and filed under Product Write Ups, Stim Toy Write Ups.

Making Weighted Blankets Affordable

Weighted blankets can be a big help for individuals on the autism spectrum, but they can also be prohibitively expensive, especially in adult sizes. Stimtastic has partnered with Isaac Inskeep of Autistic Rabbit to help make weighted blankets more accessible and affordable. 

Free and Subsidized Weighted Blankets 

As part of our commitment to give back to the autistic community, we're setting up a program to help those who can't afford weighted blankets by fully or partially subsidizing the cost of a small number of blankets each month. 

If you (or an individual that you are the parent/guardian of) would benefit from using a weighted blanket but cannot afford to purchase one, we invite you to enter our ongoing weighted blanket giveaway. (See the link for complete details)

 

Affordable Weighted Blankets Custom Made by an Autistic Adult

If you would like to purchase a weighted blanket at a very affordable price, check out Isaac Inskeep's Etsy shop. His custom handmade blankets are priced at a small amount above the cost of materials and your purchase will support an autistic adult who is trying to make weighted blankets more accessible and affordable to those who need them. 


Posted on December 16, 2014 and filed under Charitable Giving.

What Kind of Chewer Are You?

Many of the product descriptions for Stimtastic's chewable jewelry mention the level of chewing that the piece is suitable for. But how do you know what kind of chewer you are?

Generally we describe the levels of chewing as light, moderate or aggressive.

You are an aggressive chewer if you often destroy objects, such as pens, pencils, erasers or clothing by chewing on them. You're a light chewer, in contrast, if you leave some tooth marks on those types of objects when chewing or if you find yourself putting objects in your mouth without necessarily biting down on them. You're a moderate chewer if you fall somewhere between the two--sometimes damaging objects by chewing on them but not regularly shredding objects to pieces.

 

Aggressive Chewing

For aggressive chewers, we recommend pendants that are very thick (such as the Phoenix) or that have a wide, thick section (such as the Annular, Mushroom or Droplet Pendants) which stands up longer to heavy chewing. Ultimately any silicone piece will be broken down by aggressive chewing, but choosing the right piece for your chewing style can maximize the life of your chewable.

The square bangle bracelet (left) is also a good option for aggressive chewers who bite their wrists or hands. The wide, cuff style bracelet is durable and provides a convenient, protective layer over the skin of the wrist or arm. 

 

 

Moderate Chewing

For moderate chewers, we recommend our more compact pendants (such as the Infinity or the Kleintastic) and our medium weight bracelets (such as the Asymmetrical and the Faceted). Of course moderate chewers may also enjoy the pendants designed for aggressive chewers, particularly if they are looking for the kind of feedback that a firmer or denser piece provides. Many of our handheld chewables are also suitable for moderate chewers. 

The Infinity Twist pendant has a thicker "belly" at the bottom to withstand moderate to heavy chewing, while still creating an understated look.

The Infinity Twist pendant has a thicker "belly" at the bottom to withstand moderate to heavy chewing, while still creating an understated look.

 

Light Chewing

For light chewers, we recommend one of our smaller or softer chewables such as the Rectangular Block, Donut, or Trapezoid pendants. All three of the lighter pendants come with at least one replacement piece to extend the life of the necklace. Many of our lighter pendants are also suitable for those who are looking for oral sensory feedback without chewing (for example, having a clean, safe object to suck on or hold in the mouth without chewing).

The slim profile of the Trapezoid pendant makes it suitable for light chewers or those who are oral sensory seekers. 

The slim profile of the Trapezoid pendant makes it suitable for light chewers or those who are oral sensory seekers. 

 

Does your chewing style vary? Check out the No Gloom 'Shroom. With a thick durable umbrella and a contoured flexible stem, it provides options for light to aggressive chewing. The stem is also ideal for sucking on. 

Posted on December 4, 2014 and filed under Product Write Ups.

Giving Back: November

As we wrap up our first month of sales at Stimtastic, I'm pleased to announce that we've already been able to make several contributions to organizations in the autism community including Autism West Midlands, the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library and the Dutile Tremblay Community Fund. We also contributed to the fund to help autistic presenters get to TASH, which is taking place this week in Washington DC. 

Major initiatives in December include a 2-week fundraiser for Autism Women's Network (Dec. 1st - 14th) and the launch of our weighted blanket giveaway/subsidy program. Look for more details about the weighted blanket program coming soon. (Teaser: blankets made by an autistic adult for autistic adults at low or no cost to the receiver!) 

Posted on December 3, 2014 and filed under Charitable Giving.

Stimming as a Coping Tool for Holiday Stress

This is a short excerpt from an interview posted at Connect, an online social network for autistic people and their families. 

 

Do you have any advice for parents of autistic children who find the season difficult?

I'm sure most parents already have many strategies, like giving a child plenty of notice about schedule changes and watching for sensory overload during social events or shopping trips.

What I'd add to that is the idea that autistic children have a lot of "built-in" resources. They can be remarkably good at self-regulating if they have the opportunity. For example, a lot of kids will instinctively know when they need to move to a quieter room at family gatherings to prevent an overload-induced meltdown. Parents can help them out by designating a quiet room and explicitly giving the child permission to go there whenever they need to.

This sounds like a small accommodation but it can increase a child's sense of control in unfamiliar or difficult situations and help them build coping skills--like being in tune with their body's signals and advocating for themselves-which they'll use for the rest of their lives. In the immediate term, accommodations also conserve cognitive resources, extending the child's capacity for other activities.

Similarly, most autistic kids will stim more when they're excited or stressed and that's an instinctive therapeutic response that helps them cope with those strong feelings. I remember as a kid always taking along my Silly Putty or Rubik's Cube on outings so I would have something to keep my hands busy. It's very calming and even as an adult, I find that having something close at hand to stim with allows me to enjoy social situations for a longer period of time. In that way, stimming is both a distraction from environmental stressors and a way of focusing internally.

Read more

Posted on November 20, 2014 and filed under Stimtastic News.

Autism West Midlands Fundraiser

Over the next two weeks (November 17th to 30th), Stimtastic will be donating 10% of all sales to Autism West Midlands, a regional organization in the UK that provides support and resources to autistic people and their families. As part of their Christmas Campaign, 100% of the money donated will go directly to services for autistic children and adults and their families. 

Posted on November 17, 2014 and filed under Stimtastic News, Charitable Giving.

The Chewable Block Necklace

The chewable block necklace is designed for less aggressive chewers. The rectangular blocks are relatively small (1.5 inches long and .5 inches thick) and more pliable than the chewable pendants. Because they're hollow, the blocks also have more give when you bite down on them. They make a good replacement for chewing or sucking on things like pen caps, pencils, erasers, straws, headphone cords, and hoodies strings.

I like the block necklace because it's light and small enough to tuck inside my shirt when I'm not using  it. The corners of the blocks create a different type of feedback than the smoother pendants and I like how there’s some give and rebound to them when I bite down.  As I was writing this, I even caught myself picking up one of the loose blocks to chew on whenever I paused to think or reread. (One important caution is that the loose blocks could pose a choking hazard.)

The  chewable block necklace package includes one block pre-strung on the necklace cord and 3 extra blocks. If you like, you can add additional blocks to your necklace, use the extras as replacements when the first one wears out, or even find more creative uses for them. For example, I discovered that sticking one of the blocks on my favorite pen gives me something to chew on instead of the end of the pen.

block necklace demo3b.png
block necklace demo3.png

The blocks could also be strung on hoodie or jacket hood strings. If your hoodie strings have shoelace type plastic endings, you can thread them through the block in a couple of ways. One method is to start feeding the end of the string through as far as you can push it with your fingers and then use a needle or some other thin pointed object to push it the rest of the way through. The other method is to tie a piece of fishing line or other stiff thread around the end of the hoodie string. Then thread the fishing line through the opening first until you can grab it and use it to pull the hoodie string through the block.

The string on the right shows how the fishing line is tied around the string to help pull it through the block. The string on the left has been knotted to prevent the block from slipping off.

The string on the right shows how the fishing line is tied around the string to help pull it through the block. The string on the left has been knotted to prevent the block from slipping off.

If your hoodie strings are too thick to go through the block, one solution is to replace the string with a regular shoelace.

An example of a colorful shoelace used in place of a hoodie string that was too thick.

If you find other uses for your blocks, let me know in a comment or send in a photo and I’ll share it here.

 

Posted on November 14, 2014 and filed under Product Write Ups.