🌈♿️ Mutual Aid and Human-Centered Learning for Neurodivergent and Disabled People

“Sphere of Humanity: A Traverse Gift of Energetic Connectedness” by Heike Blakley

Stimpunks is created by and for neurodivergent and disabled people. We provide mutual aid, learning opportunities, human-centered research, and living wages for our community. We presume competence, and we believe in self-determination.

We, Stimpunks

👏🧷⏰ Stimpunks in a Minute (or less)

Stimpunks Foundation challenges the typical approach to helping people who are neurodivergent or disabled. We know what it is like to live with barriers and what it means to not fit in and have to forge our own community. Stimpunks knows that neurodivergent and disabled people have human needs. We offer a humane approach to help our community thrive.

Through Stimpunks Foundation, we:

  1. Offer financial and mutual aid;
  2. Hire our community members as consultants;
  3. Provide a learning space designed for our community; and
  4. Support our community’s open research efforts.

One in four U.S. adults have a disability. However, our community receives only 2% of US grant funding, and only 19% of us are employed. We can’t just let that be the truth. We have to challenge the norm and change the narrative around people who are neurodivergent or disabled.

Stimpunks Foundation seeks to do just that with our four pillars.

⛑📚 Our Pillars 🗂🧰

Mutual Aid

Real help against the onslaught. Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableist society.

Learning Space

The place where we belong does not exist. We will build it. Anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability.

Open Research

Digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. Improving science by restoring the humanities.

Services

Stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Dismantle ableism in your spaces. Enable dignity through access.

Respect due to learning with an arsenal of permanent pillars 
Piercing through the surface of artificial services


Life Commits by Swamburger

Stimpunks is gently debugging society.

The charity protects, helps and comforts individuals, while pointing out library-level flaws in some of the concepts that end up harming those individuals.

This help is profoundly wonderful, morally and functionally coherent to great need, and as true as a pure circle in its cause-and-effect form.

AJ Wool
A kitten sits in a chair in front of  abstract art depicting a faceless human head
AJ Wool

Thank you so much @stimpunks for supporting & believing in me & my artwork.

It’s okay to be you. It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to have a disability. Never give up on yourself.

Jasmine Slater

If y’all care about me, read what @stimpunks is saying.

Liana McCrea

Huge thank you to @stimpunks for this generator so if we lose power, the oxygen concentrator can still run! I can’t thank you enough!!

Karrie Higgins
Black mother and daughter holdings hands and wearing sparkly crowns and ball gowns
Black mother and daughter holdings hands and wearing sparkly crowns and ball gowns

Artist: Jasmine Slater

Our four pillars rest on the four pillars of the ADA.

  • Equal Opportunity
  • Independent Living
  • Full Participation
  • Economic Self-Sufficiency

In 1990, the ADA, which today remains the cornerstone of disability civil rights law in the United States, established four goals for disabled Americans: equal opportunity, independent living, full participation, and economic self-sufficiency.

Economic Justice Is Disability Justice

☂️ Our Umbrella: Are You a Stimpunk?

Disability and neurodivergence are broad umbrellas that include many people, possibly you. The neurodivergent umbrella includes a diversity of inherent and acquired differences. Many neurodivergent people don’t know they are neurodivergent. With our website and outreach, we help people get in touch with their neurodivergent and disabled identities. We respect and encourage self-diagnosis and community diagnosis. #SelfDxIsValid, and our website can help you understand your ways of being.

If you are wondering whether you are Autistic, spend time amongst Autistic people, online and offline.  If you notice you relate to these people much better than to others, if they make you feel safe, and if they understand you, you have arrived.

A communal definition of Autistic ways of being

Requiring diagnosis was counter to trans liberation and acceptance. The exact same is true of Autism.

Self diagnosis is not just “valid” — it is liberatory. When we define our community ourselves and wrest our right to self-definition back from the systems that painted us as abnormal and sick, we are powerful, and free.

Though our direct aid focuses on neurodivergent and disabled people, anyone can be a Stimpunk. All neurotypes welcome. All abilities welcome. All bodyminds welcome. Allies welcome!

To face the challenges of the future, we’ll need the problem-solving abilities of different types of minds working together.

The Best Autism Books, recommended by Steve Silberman

“What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.” —Randimals

Whether neurodivergent, disabled, or an ally, being a Stimpunk means reframing.

We center the edges in service to all bodyminds.

Join us!

Asking for help is a wonderful way to build community & engage in meaningful collaboration. In asking for help you also uplift others who want to show up for you.

JUST A REMINDER THAT ASKING FOR HELP IS A CONTRIBUTION

🫀🧠🖼 We Reframe

Challenge the norm and change the narrative by reframing.

Reframe these states of being that have been labelled deficiencies or pathologies as human differences.

Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences

Content note: Our website includes music, lyrics, writing, and art that address ableism, eugenics, exclusion, mental health, depression, dysphoria, behaviorism, abuse, chronic pain, and death. There are a few swear words in quoted materials.

Also included is an outpouring of neurodivergent and disabled perspective, culture, and joy.

Ready, Punk? Rock onward!

Table of Contents

Intro

Art and Announcements

About Us

Mutual Aid

Featured Artists

Human-Centered Learning

Space

Research

Services

We serve our loved people so we can keep on livin‘ through the onslaught.

Help us and join us by reading on, and reframing.

Rock N’ Roller by Kyle Duce

Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableist society…

DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST PERSON STORIES FROM THE 21ST CENTURY
This is your time, this is your life and
This is your time, this is your life and
You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!)
Gotta keep on (Keep on livin!)
You gotta keep on (Keep on livin!)

Disability justice (and disability itself) has the potential to fundamentally transform everything we think about quality of life, purpose, work, relationships, belonging.

DISABILITY VISIBILITY: FIRST-PERSON STORIES FROM THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Access

Mission

Give

We exist as friction. The work that we do; it’s wildly painful.

We Reframe

We reframe out of the confines of the medical model and pathology paradigm and into the respectfully connected expanse of the biopsychosocial model and the Neurodiversity paradigm. We reframe from deficit ideology to structural ideology.

We, Stimpunks
You think you know me?
No, you don't know me
Don't fence me in, I wanna be big
I wanna be part of everyone and everything
No fence around me
No, you can't limit me
I'm in-between, your set of rules
Don't even come close to applying to me

Bah! Binaries
It's all make believe
I wanna be part of everyone and everything

--Dont' Fence Me In

We reframe to live proudly.

We are marginalized canaries in a social coalmine and Rawlsian barometers of society’s morality. It is deeply subversive to live proudly despite being living embodiments of our culture’s long standing ethical failings.

Our non-compliance is not intended to be rebellious. We simply do not comply with things that harm us. But since a great number of things that harm us are not harmful to most neurotypicals, we are viewed as untamed and in need of straightening up.

THINKING PERSON’S GUIDE TO AUTISM: ON HANS ASPERGER, THE NAZIS, AND AUTISM: A CONVERSATION ACROSS NEUROLOGIES
Don’t know about you but I,
I wanna see this through

Wouldn’t it be nice
To believe
In yourself

--I Wanna See This Through by Aubrey Hays

We reframe to be our real selves.

Abuse and silencing is a constant, pervasive theme in the lives of autistic people, and for many people it is best expressed by that old, familiar phrase from special education: quiet hands!

Loud hands means resisting. Loud Hands means speaking, however we do, anyway—and doing so in a way that can be very obviously Autistic. It means finding ways to talk and think about ourselves on our own terms.

There is room for all of us to play our part. And whatever we do, however we do it, we can do it with ‘loud hands’ and ‘loud voices,’ and loud whatever else we need, in whatever way that works for us individually or collectively. Let us be our real autistic selves, loud and proud, and show the world what we truly are.

Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking (p. 8, 125). Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Disability’s no longer just a diagnosis; it’s a community.

Liz Jackson: Designing for Inclusivity
Am I on the level yet? (Level yet)
How did I do on your little test?
Get my brain to reset (Reset)
‘Cause everything you say is static
Do I make a good pet? (Good pet)
Obey the commands or get the back of the hand
‘Cause the world wasn’t built for a brain like mine
Change my mind, change my mind, change my mind

This construct
Was built and can be dismantled
We stand together
We think apart

We reframe to build community.

…the central tension of punk rock: it was built on individualism and an anti-hero ethos, yet expressed itself as a community. The motivation for punk was individualistic artistic expression, but the glue for the subculture was the experience of finding like-minded misfits.

We accept you, one of us?: punk rock, community, and individualism in an uncertain era, 1974-1985

ANI launched its online list, ANI-L, in 1994. Like a specialized ecological niche, ANI-L had acted as an incubator for Autistic culture, accelerating its evolution. In 1996, a computer programmer in the Netherlands named Martijn Dekker set up a list called Independent Living on the Autism Spectrum, or InLv. People with dyslexia, ADHD, dyscalculia, and a myriad of other conditions (christened “cousins” in the early days of ANI) were also welcome to join the list. InLv was another nutrient-rich tide pool that accelerated the evolution of autistic culture. The collective ethos of InLv, said writer and list member Harvey Blume in the New York Times in 1997, was “neurological pluralism.” He was the first mainstream journalist to pick up on the significance of online communities for people with neurological differences. “The impact of the Internet on autistics,” Blume predicted, “may one day be compared in magnitude to the spread of sign language among the deaf.”

The neurodiversity movement: Autism is a minority group. NeuroTribes excerpt.

Autistic people have built many niche communities from the ground up—both out of necessity and because our interests and modes of being are, well, weird.

Unmasking Autism: Discovering the New Faces of Neurodiversity (p. 218)

We reframe to demonstrate agency.

It is also important to recognise that autistic people inevitably change the structures they inhabit in a unique way because they are autistic and despite any neurotypical attempts to kerb their tendency to do that. If their autistic disposition were not what it is, the neurotypical world would not try to manage and control it. Existing as an autistic person, therefore, is almost a forceful demonstration in agency.

Frontiers | A Critical Realist Approach on Autism: Ontological and Epistemological Implications for Knowledge Production in Autism Research | Psychology

Welcome to our nutrient-rich tide pool of like-minded misfits, with loud hands.

Reframe with us.

Stimpunks combines “stimming” + “punks” to evoke open and proud stimming, resistance to neurotypicalization, and the DIY culture of punk, disabled, and neurodivergent communities. Instead of hiding our stims, we bring them to the front.

Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front.

PUNK SUBCULTURE – WIKIPEDIA

The First Rule of Punk: Be Yourself

Our Second Rule of Punk: Reframe

The First Rule of Punk: Always Remember to Be Yourself

When we reframe, we perceive others such that they too can be themselves.

Autistic ways of being are human neurological variants that can not be understood without the social model of disability.

A communal definition of Autistic ways of being

When we reframe, we stop silencing ourselves and others.

I have loud hands. I must, since I use my hands to communicate. I type what I want to say. But that’s not the only reason why I have loud hands. It is because I finally learned that I cannot be silenced, I will not be silenced.

Loud Hands: I Speak Up With My Fingers
Selling yourself short tames the vision 
How you're depicted can change the sentence

Innocent by Swamburger

If we have learned one thing from the civil rights movement in the U.S., it’s that when others speak for you, you lose.

Ed Roberts

When we reframe, we enable ecologies of care.

Those who are the most sensitive and traumatised and have not lost the ability to extend trust constitute an enormously rich and diverse repository of insights and hold many of the keys needed for co-creating ecologies of care.

Autistic people – The cultural immune system of human societies – YouTube

Reframing purposefully centers the edges.

I center the marginalized and the different. I center edge cases, because edge cases are stress cases and design is tested at the edges. I center neurodivergent experience in service to all bodyminds.

Creed – Stimpunks Foundation

Because design is tested at the edges, and we are the original life hackers.

People with disabilities are the original life hackers because our motivation is so high. If we don’t hack we often go without.

Liz Jackson: Designing for Inclusivity – 99U

We design from the edges to co-create ecologies of care.

The most important message I got from punk, was the DIY ethos. The DIY ethic. It’s inherently part of surviving.

Don Letts, SHOWstudio: Stussy – Talking Punk with Don Letts and John Ingham

Reframing is self-care and social change.

Punk rock is a living thing.

It’s about turning problems into assets.

Don Letts, Rebel Dread

The long-term well-being and empowerment of Autistics and members of other neurocognitive minority groups hinges upon our ability to create a paradigm shift – a shift from the pathology paradigm to the neurodiversity paradigm.

THROW AWAY THE MASTER’S TOOLS: LIBERATING OURSELVES FROM THE PATHOLOGY PARADIGM

Learn more about us and how we reframe for care and build niche communities after some art and announcements.

👏🧷🎨 Announcement: Stimpunks + PunkFlowers

Stimpunks has allied with PunkFlowers, a neurodiverse artist coalition led by neurodivergent and disabled people. We join them in collaboration and mutual support. Between Stimpunks Foundation, Stimpunks Philanthropic LLC, and PunkFlowers, we can do some cool stuff that impacts community.

We are happy flappy about this.

Happy Flappy Emoji
Happy Flappy Emoji by Stimpunk Becky Hicks

Let’s stim dance in celebration.

I'm dancing on my own (dancing on my own)
I make the moves up as I go (moves up as I go)
And that's what they don't know, mmm-mmm
That's what they don't know, mmm-mmm

But I keep cruising
Can't stop, won't stop grooving
It's like I got this music
In my mind
Saying, "It's gonna be alright."

Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off

--Shake It Off

Let’s get unapologetically, autistically wild.

The Bobby Lees performing live on stage with the lead singer captured mid head swing. Image Credit: Kyle Duce

This is Pure stim music

3 seconds in, I lost my shit and straight into head banging

A Neurodivergent Crip

Let’s bolster against stress and pass survival knowledge down.

…flamenco is in itself a ballistic activity with its own built-in reward system that can then bolster the brain against traumatic stress.

…not only can traumatic knowledge be passed down, so can bodily survival knowledge-knowledge about how to survive the debilitating effects and symptoms of PTSD.

If your “threat to life” responses are being re-associated on a regular basis with flamenco responses, slowly, like polishing stone, flamenco has the potential to be an asset for people who are working through PTSD.

Because We Have To: Flamenco as Survival Strategy against Detrimental Effects of Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder

sensory pleasure (which could be viewed as almost the opposite feeling to anxiety) can be one of the richest, most delightful experiences known to the autistic population – and should be encouraged at any appropriate opportunity.

Avoiding Anxiety in Autistic Children: A Guide for Autistic Wellbeing 
@torktorktork

tragically, i could not make the captions work #stimdance #somaticmovement

♬ original sound – tork

There are so many unexpected movements that live inside my body. So many different shapes and motions that never get to come out during day to day life. There’s something so liberating about being able to explore all of these things I didn’t even know lived inside me.

torktorktork

Let’s bliss.

Stimming is beautiful.

Playlist: Stimming with Aurora

“We call ourselves Warriors and Weirdos.”

I’m a very emotional person. I have to use everything I’ve got to sing those songs.

Aurora Aksnes

🎨 PunkFlowers Artist: Heike Blakley

Heike Blakley is a self-taught, emerging artist working with a wide array of mediums such as acrylic, oil, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, pastel, mixed media, pen & ink.

Also specializing in resin art, jewelry making, woodwork, clay sculptures, fabric art and poetry.

Using her creativity as a form of learning and for meditative purposes, she is determined to, “absorb as much “collective knowledge,” as she is able to grasp in one lifetime and effectively communicate understanding through art.”

Home | Heike Blakley, Heike Vogt (@hblkly) • Instagram

🙌 We’re Fundraising: 20K for Community

Join Our Donor Wall

Anonymous User

Anonymous

May 23, 2022

Donation Form Amount Donated
$10.61
RK

Rudy Klecka

May 11, 2022

Donation Form Amount Donated
$10.61
JN

Jeff Newman

April 16, 2022

Donation Form Amount Donated
$257.78
KD

Kyle Duce

March 30, 2022

❤️

Donation Form Amount Donated
$360.76
HB

Heike Blakley

March 26, 2022

Donation Form Amount Donated
$1,000.00

🎨 PunkFlowers Artist: Adriel Jeremiah

The Adorned Man
Bright_modern_office_interior (1)
Cute_kitten_sitting_on_white_chair tinted
Floralis Ocean Blue
Scali Et Sicus Iris
Pulgra Purgramenta Vini
brokenCityL_white_White_testy_reveal_thisOneNoReflectionsNoAOlarge1
brokenCityL_white_White_testy_reveal_thisOneNoReflectionsNoAOlarge5
Adriel Jeremiah Art
Adriel Jeremiah Art
Pseudo_Proxima
White_cabinet_with_lamp_and_dried_cotton
IMG_0850 copy
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The artist hopes to convey this: that the universe is given forth folded and unfolded. Although explicit understanding helps, it is too cumbersome, and should only provide refinement to something already greater that exists.

That greater thing is what was given to the artist first by the practice of origami. An enlivening of the intuitive mind, experience with a universe of many dimensions, and the promise of creation revealed when one folds a flat square into the likeness of a higher dimensional thing. That inspiration reaches a young mind in a powerful way.

The artist wants the viewer to see proof of what their intuitive mind already knows is true, the universe is a multidimensional phenomenon and the ability to understand its nature already exists within us each.

The artist hopes the viewer will be inspired to seek the understanding of freedoms available to the individual inspired by the exposure to artistic expressions, and of a nature of dimensionality unimaginably greater than the object presented here.

Adriel Jeremiah Wool
Pseudo Proxima by Adriel Jeremiah Art

🫀 We’re Presenting: Conference to Restore Humanity

DIY at the Edges: Surviving the Bipartisanship of Behaviorism by Rolling Our Own

To be hosted by Ryan Boren, Inna Boren, Chelsea Adams, & Kristina Daniele of Stimpunks. Stimpunks combine “stimming” with “punks” to advocate for neurodiversity and push back against systems that restrict our humanity and harm our unique identities. 

Behaviorism is dead. Despite that, Behaviorism won. And neurodivergent and disabled students lost. Behaviorism is everywhere. The All Means All of public education is made meaningless by the bipartisanship of behaviorism. The neurodiversity and disability rights movements well-understand the ubiquity of behaviorism, and its tremendous costs. This course fights against behaviorist practices in the classroom.

Conference to Restore Humanity

July 25 – 28, 2022

Conference to Restore Humanity! is an international invitation for K-12 and college educators to engage in a human-centered system redesign: centering the needs of students and educators toward a praxis of social justice.

Conference to Restore Humanity

🎨 PunkFlowers Artist: Kyle Duce

Raised between the San Juan Mountains of Colorado and a small farming community in Wisconsin, Kyle gained an appreciation of the land, wildlife and the beauty of nature.  Kyle grew up as a 3rd generation artist, his grandfather was an oil painter and his mother ran a stained glass business out of their home in Wisconsin.  There was no shortage of art projects, outdoor activities, hunting, fishing, camping and gardening.  Post college, Kyle traveled and moved back to Colorado, Seattle and now Austin.  He has been living in downtown cities since college.  The clash of these two timelines reflects the duality expression in most of his work. This duality can also be seen through his passion for the skate, snow, music, tattoo and architecture world.

Custom Artwork | Cryptic Creative | Austin
Kyle Duce (@cryptic_creative) • Instagram photos
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👏🧷 About Stimpunks

Stimpunks Foundation sponsors and employs neurodivergent and disabled creators and amplifies their work to our clients and throughout society. We exist for the direct support and mutual aid of neurodivergent and disabled people.

We complement mutual aid to creators with learning spaces for creators. Stimpunks Foundation serves neurodivergent and disabled people unserved by public and private schools. Via equity, access, empathy, and inclusivity, we build community learning space respectful of all types of bodyminds.

We pursue passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability. We create paths to equity and access for our learners. We create Cavendish bubbles of peer respite and collaborative niche construction where we can find relief from an intense world designed against us.

Our research initiative focuses on the sweet spot of digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. We want to improve the scientific experience for the disabled and the neurodivergent by restoring the humanities. We want to bring voice into empirical constructs and translate voice into academic comprehension.

We also help businesses and organizations increase their knowledge and practice of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by analyzing company practices and coaching leaders to dismantle ableism in their spaces. According to the Harvard Business Review, “There are more than one billion people worldwide – around 15% of the population – living with a disability. As workers, they can ease talent shortages and add to the organizational diversity that drives better decision-making and innovation.” Neurodiversity-friendly forms of collaboration hold the potential to transform pathologically competitive and toxic teams and cultures into highly collaborative teams and larger cultural units that work together easier and with more success.

Our additional services include digital and physical accessibility audits, sensitivity reads, and other offerings that focus on increasing DEI in the workplace. Client services are how we live our mission to employ neurodivergent and disabled people as well as how we raise capital for grantmaking.

et Sicut Iris by Adriel Jeremiah Art
Ocean Blue by Adriel Jeremiah Art

We have to challenge the norm and change the narrative around people who are neurodivergent or disabled.

Here’s how.

⛑📚 Our Pillars 🗂🧰

Mutual Aid

Real help against the onslaught. Staying alive is a lot of work for a disabled person in an ableist society.

Learning Space

The place where we belong does not exist. We will build it. Anti-ableist space for passion-based, human-centered learning compatible with neurodiversity and the social model of disability.

Open Research

Digital sociology, neurodiversity studies, disability studies, and syncretism, in the open. Improving science by restoring the humanities.

Services

Stay relevant in a constantly changing world. Dismantle ableism in your spaces. Enable dignity through access.

⏭ First Pillar: Mutual Aid

The story continues with, “⛑ Mutual Aid: Real Help Against the Onslaught”

Navigating Stimpunks

Need financial aid to pay for bills or medical equipment? Visit our guide to requesting aid.

 

Need funds for your art, advocacy, or research? Visit our guide to requesting funds.

 

Want to volunteer? Visit our guide to volunteering.

 

Need a table of contents and a guide to our information rich website? Visit our map.