Are you autistic and drawn towards stimming that involves pressure?

Here are 10 super ways to engage in pressure forms of stimming to create calmness, soothing, self-regulation and even a “feel good” sensation.

1     Weighted Blanket

©Lorra Garrick

Weighted blankets are a popular choice for Autistics who find comfort in deep pressure.

These blankets are filled with evenly distributed weights, providing a gentle and consistent pressure across the body.

They come in various weights and materials to suit one’s preferences.

2     Compression Vest

©Lorra Garrick

Compression vests are designed to provide a snug and supportive fit around the torso, offering deep pressure to the upper body.

They are discreet and can be worn under clothing, making them suitable for use in various settings.

3     Body Socks

Body socks are stretchable fabric tubes that those on the Autism Spectrum of all ages can wear to experience deep pressure.

They provide a cocoon-like sensation, allowing users to control the amount of pressure by adjusting the tension of the fabric.

4     Big Round Pillow

©Lorra Garrick

Find your favorite place in the house and cozy up with a big round pillow.

Lean into it or find whatever position creates the soothing sensation of pressure.

5     Tactile Fidgets

©Lorra Garrick

Tactile fidgets come in various forms, including stress balls, textured surfaces or fabric strips with different textures.

These gadgets can be manipulated or squeezed to provide a sensory-rich experience, offering both tactile and pressure stimulation. 

6     Vibration Cushion

©Lorra Garrick

Vibration cushions combine deep pressure with calming vibrations.

These cushions double as accessories to furniture: a very discreet stimming implement.

7     Chewable Jewelry

For those who engage in oral stimming, chewable jewelry such as necklaces or bracelets made from safe, non-toxic materials can provide a sensory outlet while also offering a bit of pressure through chewing.

8     Weighted Lap Pad

Similar to weighted blankets, weighted lap pads are smaller and can be placed on the lap.

They offer localized deep pressure, making them convenient for use in classrooms, offices or during travel.

9     Sensory Brush

Sensory brushes, also known as Wilbarger brushes, are designed to provide deep pressure through brushing the skin.

This can be a gentle and controlled way to deliver sensory input, and the brushes are often used in a specific brushing technique recommended by therapists.

10     Handheld Massager

Portable handheld massagers with adjustable pressure settings can be an excellent choice for individuals who enjoy pressure stimming on specific areas of the body.

These devices come in various shapes and sizes, allowing users to customize their sensory experience.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical and fitness topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. In 2022 she received a diagnosis of Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. 


Top image: ©Lorra Garrick