Repetitive Behaviors

Elizabeth - posted on 09/24/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )




Over a year ago I posted concerns I had about my 8 1/2 month old son at the time because he was not babbling, refusing solids, not consitently making good eye contact or giving reciprical smiles, and constantly staring at his hands and doing other repetitive things. At about 15 months we took him to a developmental pedi to be evaluated where she basicaly said he is showing some signs of autism but he has a lot of strengths (at that point he was responding to his name, smiling reciprically, etc. We also took him to have a 2-day extensive evaluation at Yale child study center where they said the same thing. Both places gave my son a diagnosis so that insurance could pay for intensive therapy.

Over a year later, my son is now almost 23 months old (He will be 2 on November 3rd). He has been in ABA 10 hours a weeks, speech, 4 hours a week, and OT once a week. He has made such progress that every single professional that works with him does not believe he is on the spectrum. He has over 50 words, is very engaging and loving, shows interest in other children, and his repetitive behaviors have decreased dramatically.

My concern is that my son still has some alarming behaviors. Although he plays appropriately 80 % of the time, he becomes "stuck" on singing the same song over and over again and it's sometimes really difficult to pull him out of it. This does not happen daily because my husband and I no longer sing those songs to him but if he hears certain songs (wheels on the bus, if youre happy and you know it, and a few other nursery songs) he will sing them and do the hand motions that go along with them over and over again for 5-10 minutes. Sometimes he will start doing it out of no where while we're at the grocery store or something. We're not sure how long he would do it because we always redirect him. He is obviously perseverating when singing because he just tunes out. He also becomes stuck on wanting to draw certain shapes over and over again. My husband and I intervene by drawing different pictures other than those certain shapes and it seems to work. I guess my question is, because my son has overcome so many obstacles, is it possible for him to learn to stop these repetitive behaviors? I'm afraid of what these unusual behaviors might evolve into as he gets older.


Rebecca - posted on 09/24/2011




I would take him to be evaluated again. Autism usually starts to show between 18mo-2yo. Even if he doesn't have all the signs of Autism he COULD have PDD-NOS or even Aspergers. It's best to rule things out. Also talk to a behavioral therapist about how to deal with his repetitive behaviors. Hope that helps a little bit!

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