When I was younger, one of my favorite toys was a big plastic jar full of marbles. I did four things with them:

1. Actually play the game of marbles, marking a circle on the ground and flicking marbles at each other to knock as many as possible out of the circle. I initially tried this because I read about it in a book, and I think my parents encouraged me.

2. Pour out all the marbles on the floor and sort them by size and color.

3. Assemble elaborate backstories for the marbles I considered special, assigning personalities and other characteristics to them, entirely inside my head.

4. Set out some of the marbles in bright sunlight on a piece of white paper, so that their colored “shadows” were clearly visible on the paper.

I keep thinking of visual stims as something other people may have but I don’t, and that’s not true!


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