👥 About

Stimpunks is a friends, family, and community affair. We’re Autistic, ADHD, OCD, PTSD, Tourette’s, bipolar, dyslexic, dyspraxic, dyscalculic, and more. We’ve collectively experienced rare diseases, organ transplants, various cancers, many surgeries and therapies, and lots of ableism and SpEd. We’ve experienced #MedicalAbleism, #MedicalMisogyny, #MedicalRacism#MedicalTrauma, and #MedicalGaslighting. We understand chronic pain, chronic illness, and the #NEISvoid “No End In Sight Void”. We know what it’s like to be disabled and different in our systems. 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. Disabled and neurodivergent people are always edge cases, and edge cases are stress cases. We can help you design for the edges, because we live at the edges. We are the canaries. We are “the fish that must fight the current to swim upstream.

All we did was refuse to believe that we were the problem.

Rolling Warrior: The Incredible, Sometimes Awkward, True Story of a Rebel Girl on Wheels Who Helped Spark a Revolution 
Have you ever taken flack from the bullies on attack
Cause you're different

They laugh and call you names
But that ain't no badge of shame
Just cause you're different

People gonna stare, you unsettle them and scare ’em
Cause we're different
Walking down the street
When you pass they
Take a peek
There's something different

Live your life outside the box
Blow off all the empty talk
They focus on the things you're not
Just walk your walk

And roll your roll

Vector drawing of power wheelchair with rainbow umbrella

Ryan Boren (he/they)

Ryan is a former WordPress lead developer who retired from tech in 2021 after 15 years at Automattic, the distributed company he helped start. He finished his time at Automattic working on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team and helping create and run the Neurodiversity Employee Resource Group. Building a community, a company, a platform, and an ERG was an intense ride full of mistakes and learning that Ryan distills into Stimpunks.

Chronic Neurodivergent Depressed Queer Punk: Punk Rock, the Social Model of Disability, and the Dream of the Accepting Community

Ryan is a Chronic Neurodivergent Depressed Queer Punk who found community amidst online genderpunks, neuropunks, and cripplepunks conversant in the social model of disability. That community and connection gave rise to the name of our endeavor, Stimpunks. “Everything that was normally supposed to be hidden was brought to the front.

Inna Boren (she/her)

Inna went from big tech project manager to family case worker. Her skills managing software and hardware teams are now used to manage teams of doctors, care workers, and educators. She’s our motive force as we “fight the current to swim upstream.”

Ronan Boren (he/him)

Ronan loves music, particularly The Beatles. He writes the lyrics for Josephmooon, a distributed musical collaboration.

Chase Boren (he/him)

Black and white cat yawning with ears flattened back and teeth exposed.

Chase is a fantasy, history, and social studies buff who is probably reading right now.

Chelsea Adams (she/her)

Chelsea served as a combat medic in the United States Army for 6 years. After leaving the army in 2014 she went back to school with the goal of getting her nursing degree. During this time she worked on the oncology floor of St. Davids South Austin. She decided to go in a different direction career wise and currently is pursuing non profit work. Her goal is to continue her passion of helping people.

Becky Hicks (she/her)

Becky Hicks is an Art Director at HM Advertising. She has almost 30 years experience in advertising, designing for print, web and styling and directing photo shoots. In her free time she runs the Algiers Point Free lil Pantry and entertains her pet pig, Coco Chanel.

Coco’s Setlist

Kristina Brooke Daniele (she/her)

Kristina Brooke Daniele is a neurodivergent homeschooling mom and educator. She has worked as an educator for over 15 years. Kristina is passionate about increasing the literacy skills of those students who are seen as failures by the education system. She believes all can learn given the opportunity to do so in an supportive and safe environment. She has dedicated her career to helping those who have been ignored find a safe space to flourish.

Kristina loves to write, build homes and design apartments in The Sims 4, peacefully commune with ancient lands in Age of Empires, dabble in various arts and crafts, and spend time with her family.

Jasmine Slater (she/her)

I’m a 35 year old mother of 2 boys. I was a server for 16 years before the pandemic. I have always been very passionate about helping others & I know that is my purpose here in this life. I’m a creative that has bipolar disorder & Neuropathy. I enjoy writing, painting & making others smile. While attending ISU years ago I had a blog on international events that detailed human rights atrocities.

Cayden Ward (he/him)

Cayden is an 11 year old student. He is very kindhearted and passionate about the well-being of others. He loves to make other people feel equal & not alone. He goes above & beyond by making care packages for others with Caring With Cayden. His desire to put forth philanthropist efforts in the community will hopefully inspire others to do the same.

Adriel Jeremiah Wool (he/him)

The Art of Adriel Jeremiah Wool

Adriel Jeremiah is an computer programmer with a deep background in origami and folding.

This artwork is an extension of a world view involving folding; often involving higher dimensional spaces.

Many of these designs contain the mathematical magic of the transcendental numbers of nature, and all of them are the extension of the provisions of space itself; to be both physically folded, and conceptually folded, circularily (sic) and across many levels of expression.

Daniel Zayas (he/him)

Daniel Zayas is an FAU alumni with a degree in Economics, who’s interests include permaculture and mycology. He has worked with the American Cancer Society and Live Like Bella non-profit organizations, along with experience in residential and agricultural construction. His experience demonstrates his qualities of being a hard worker with a big heart.

Brandi Cerna (she/her)

Brandi Cerna served as a public-school educator for 9 years and is currently enrolled in a full-time nursing program. She will graduate in April 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Brandi desires to provide quality care and help people feel valued.

Us

The First Rule of Punk: Be Yourself

The First Rule of Punk
They sell you one piece at a time ’til your body it start turning blue

We are a NeurodiVenture and a Teal organization running on the advice process, psychological safety, self-determination theory, the prosocial framework, mutual trust, collaborative niche construction, and open source. We do it in a trauma and neurodiversity informed way using polyvagal theory and the neuroscience of community.

NeurodiVenture : an inclusive non-hierarchical organisation operated by neurodivergent people that provides a safe and nurturing environment for divergent thinking, creativity, exploration, and collaborative niche construction.

NeurodiVerse human scale cultures created by neurodiversity within the human species

NeurodiVentures | Autistic Collaboration

Psychological safety is increasingly recognised as central to mental health & wellbeing. The polyvagal theory offers a ‘Science of Safety’ which can help inform clinical practice to promote wellbeing, resilience & post-traumatic growth, whilst mitigating trauma. To date, there is no standardised measure of psychological safety comprising psychological, physiological & social components. The current study aims to develop this.

Developing a standardised measure of psychological safety.
From the first mention of psychological safety by Schein and Bennis in the 1960s, through Deming, Toyota and Taiicho Ohno, Chernobyl and safety culture, Paul O’Neill, Kahn, Amy Edmondson, Google Project Aristotle and the State of DevOps reports. This 25 minute talk walks through the evolution of psychological safety and examines how we got to where we are now, and where we might be going in the future.

The Polyvagal Theory discovered by Dr. Stephen Porges is a working model of the autonomic nervous system which connects safety and social connection with health, well being, and recovery.

The Vagus Nerve & Chronic Illness — Trauma Geek

Whenever there is fear, you will get wrong figures.

We must preserve the power of intrinsic motivation, dignity, cooperation, curiosity, joy in learning, that people are born with.

W. Edwards Deming

We aspire to do the “truly essential work”.

What Lorde and other black feminists such as bell hooks, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison realized was that the more dehumanized groups a person belongs to, the more their experience forces them to understand about the way society is structured: what and who it takes for granted, the truths about itself it chooses to ignore, who is doing the truly essential work.

Letters To My Weird Sisters: On Autism and Feminism

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
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

What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.

Randimals

Our friends at Randimals have a saying,

What makes us different, makes all the difference in the world.

Randimals

We agree.

Many years ago, a friend dubbed Ryan “Bearmouse”, intuiting a part of his neurodivergent spiky profile.

Bearmouse

There is consensus regarding some neurodevelopmental conditions being classed as neurominorities, with a ‘spiky profile’ of executive functions difficulties juxtaposed against neurocognitive strengths as a defining characteristic.

Neurominorities, Spiky Profiles, and the Biopsychosocial Model at Work

Inna decided on Bunnybadger and Chelsea decided on Pandillo. Their Randimals also hint at their neurodivergent profiles.

Bunnybadger
Pandillo

Image credit: Stimpunk Becky Hicks

Our Randimals capture our exposure anxiety, social anxiety, rejection sensitive dysphoria, emotional sunburn, very grand emotions, sense of justice, and other neurodivergent traits.

Read about Randimals, spiky profiles, learning terroir, neurological pluralism and Weird Pride on our “Different” page.

You're my half brother and my fully-fledged friend!
We're buddies forever from beginning to the end
Nobody's a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!

Don't have to look beside me to know that you are there!
If two things act as one are they still a pair?
Nobody's a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!

I'm the sugar you're the lemons we're a weird lemonade
But you're the brothers that I'd never trade
Nobody's a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!

You're my right hand guy and the shoulder that I cry on
My brain when I'm confused, an arm to lean a while on
Nobody's a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!
You can walk, run, swim, roll, hop, skip, or fly
If we're going different ways, you're my kind of guy
Difference doesn't matter, if nobody's the same
There is no two clouds alike in the great big sky

So don't be scared to come out your shell too
There's always someone out there to love the real you
Nobody's a nobody
And everybody is weird like you and me

You can walk, run, swim, roll, hop, skip, or fly
If you're going different ways you're my kind of guy
Difference doesn't matter, If nobody's the same
A space for every star in the great big sky

Nobody’s a nobody and everybody is weird like you and me!

The Amazing World of Gumball – Nobody’s A Nobody

A Feisty Group of Disabled People

This isn’t just a story that disabled children will love; it’s a story about what is possible when we fight for ourselves and each other. It is a story about how tenacity, strength, the power of community, and the willingness to fight for what matters can start a revolution.

ROLLING WARRIOR: THE INCREDIBLE, SOMETIMES AWKWARD, TRUE STORY OF A REBEL GIRL ON WHEELS WHO HELPED SPARK A REVOLUTION 
Rebel Girl, The Linda Lindas
That girl thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood
She's got the hottest trike in town
That girl, she holds her head up so high
I think I wanna be her best friend, yeah

Rebel girl, rebel girl

Women in Punk

There have always been, like, women in it, and queer people, and people of color.

That community is also something really cool about punk.

Eloise Wong of The Linda Lindas

We’ve all got to end oppression against all people.

Kathleen Hanna

We were really angry, and we decided to write a song about it.

The Linda Lindas Talk About “Racist, Sexist Boy”

I wanna see a feisty group of disabled people around the world…if you don’t respect yourself and if you don’t demand what you believe in for yourself, you’re not gonna get it.

Judith Heumann

Find Your People

Generally punks can agree to the loose notion that “punk is an attitude/ individuality is the key.” It was a yearning to be different, to distance oneself from the mainstream mass of society. But punk was also a desire for community, a hunger for fellowship with like-minded souls…

Dissertation or Thesis | We accept you, one of us?: punk rock, community, and individualism in an uncertain era, 1974-1985
Find Your People, Mugs and Pockets

Opening doors has become my calling.


Welcome to this house.


Find your people.

All Hail Open Doors, Swamburger and Scarlet Monk of Mugs and Pockets

Until one day… you find a whole world of people who understand.

The internet has allowed autistic people- who might be shut in their homes, unable to speak aloud, or unable to travel independently- to mingle with each other, share experiences, and talk about our lives to people who feel the same way.

We were no longer alone.

7 Cool Aspects of Autistic Culture » NeuroClastic

This is a call to open arms
Lay down your guard, lay down your guard

A call to arms is what you need
I’m calling on you to sing along with me

Call to Arms, The Attack

How can we cultivate spaces where everyone has that soaring sense of inclusion, where we can have difficult and meaningful conversations?

Because everyone deserves the shelter and embrace of crip space, to find their people and set down roots in a place they can call home.

“The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People” by s.e. smith in “Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century

And I’m doing
Better, every day
Because of those who stay aware
That we’re as great as we make
And not all differences need to be so
Explained

The Curse, Solillaquists of Sound

Access intimacy is also the intimacy I feel with many other disabled and sick people who have an automatic understanding of access needs out of our shared similar lived experience of the many different ways ableism manifests in our lives. Together, we share a kind of access intimacy that is ground-level, with no need for explanations. Instantly, we can hold the weight, emotion, logistics, isolation, trauma, fear, anxiety and pain of access. I don’t have to justify and we are able to start from a place of steel vulnerability.

Access Intimacy: The Missing Link | Leaving Evidence

I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation
Never been afraid of any deviation
And I don’t really care if you think I’m strange
I ain’t gonna change

Bad Reputation, Joan Jett

…punk rockers belonged to an international cohort in the 1970s seeking new sources of belonging as trust in traditional sources of community waned. With its increased emphasis on self-actualization and self-definition, the 1970s – and punk rock – therefore marked a critical juncture in the history of the self in America. Punk rock began as simple efforts by individual, unconnected people to make music that fulfilled them, something they hoped might revitalize the music industry. Over time, these discrete and disparate people and labors grew into a subculture whose music, publications, art, and lifestyle became a powerful critique of not only the music business but also the family, institutional authority, suburbia, dominant gender mores, and mainstream consumerism. Aesthetically diverse, a punk sensibility valued individuality above all else and allowed participants to be alternately angry, cynical, ironic, or hedonistically joyful. Despite punk rockers’ best efforts, these attributes they wore on their sleeves – individualism, apathy, hedonism, and irony – could not mask their very strong desires for existential meaning, a yearning to belong to something worthwhile. Punks came together in an inherently unstable community celebrating individualism.

Joan Jett, guitarist for the Runaways, a proto-punk Los Angeles band, voiced the feeling of innumerable punk rockers by stating, “A defining moment for any teen misfit is finding others like yourself, even if the only thing you share is the feeling of not belonging anywhere else.” Alice Bag, also of Los Angeles, described punk as being “like the Island of Misfit Toys” because it contained “all these people that had been ostracized and … had been considered geeks and nerds in school.” But “you put us all together, and we felt accepted, and we felt like we were in an environment where we could thrive and be creative without being criticized.” In these two quotes lies 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.

Dissertation or Thesis | We accept you, one of us?: punk rock, community, and individualism in an uncertain era, 1974-1985
We’ll start our own label

We Rebuild What You Destroy

BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-hierarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.

BECAUSE doing/reading/seeing/hearing cool things that validate and challenge us can help us gain the strength and sense of community that we need in order to figure out how bullshit like racism, able-bodieism, ageism, speciesism, classism, thinism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism figures in our own lives.

RIOT GRRRL MANIFESTO
We rebuild what you destroy
We Rebuild What You Destroy: The Linda Lindas
We Rebuild What You Destroy: The Linda Lindas
We can take turns taking the reins
Lean on each other when we need some extra strength
We’ll never cave or we’ll never waver
And we’ll always become braver and braver

We’ll dance like nobody’s there
Wе’ll dance without any cares
We’ll talk 'bout problеms we share
We’ll talk 'bout things that ain’t fair
We’ll sing 'bout things we don’t know
We’ll sing to people and show
What it means to be young and growing up

--Growing Up by The Linda Lindas
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