Constant repeating..autism?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Constant repeating..autism?
4
Wed, 11-26-2008 - 11:01pm

Hi,


My son is 4 years old and since he was about 3, he started repeating things constantly. I haven't had him evaluated, but his pre-k teachers and others don't think he has autism, but it is kinda weird to me his behavior. Does anyone else's children repeat things constantly? For example, he is really into carwash. He will keep talking about it and asking about it and everytime we go by it, he will repeat the same things over and over. He will say "There's the carwash. I wonder if its open". And he will say that whether we are near the car wash or at home or in a different state, he will say the same things. Or he will say, I love riding Papa's John Deere tractor, and that was over 2 years ago. He will just bring it up at any time, throughout the day saying " I love riding Papa's John Deere tractor. He will say it in the morning and then in the afternoon, and then at night. I know I read that some children repeat because it is comforting, but is this normal? He also does this jump when he is talking which is puzzling. It is rapid, fast jumps. Am I reading too much into this? Maybe he is just quirky and this is how he expresses his feelings? He does look people in the eye, says he loves us and very conversational.




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 11-27-2008 - 2:47pm

It sounds more like he is excited about what he has to say. Repeating things and fixating on things can be a sign but also can just be normal behavior for smaller kids. They have a lot of energy and really have trouble staying still. They fidget, they move cars and dolls around, they jump, they sit down, stand up, sit down again, etc.

Something has reminded him of the car wash or riding on his Papa's tractor so he is going to bring it up. For a couple of years my son (now 9) use to bring up the fact that his aunt didn't buckle her seat belt one time they were in the car. It didn't matter if she was in the car or not he'd mention how Aunt R didn't put her seat belt on every single time we got in the car to go some place. My poor sil.

I would think that his preschool teachers would notice something if it was autism. They are around him in the situations where it often manifests (unfamiliar and stressful situations which describes school and learning) or is seen.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
Thu, 11-27-2008 - 10:52pm

I have two children with a high functioning form of autism (they have Asperger's Syndrome -- they are gifted academically, but they have some social/emotional/etc challenges), and I have two children who are "neurotypical (NT)" who are also gifted.

Although my children on the autism spectrum tend to do what you describe, so does my 5yo NT dd. I don't know whether it's a gifted thing (such good memories and communication abilities), a developmental thing, or a random kid thing, but it does not seem to be limited to autism.

I will say, however, that if you see multiple behaviors in your ds that are troublesome that it'd be worth getting him evaluated (through the school system, through a neuropsychologist, or a developmental pediatrician). If your ds does have a diagnosable problem, the earlier he gets supports, the better it will be for him. You can keep a written record of quirks you see in your child. If they seem to be limited or diminish, I wouldn't worry about it. If the quirks seem to grow in number or significance, then show the list of quirks to your pediatrician.

For the record, it is not true that all autistic people cannot look you in the eye, be conversational, or say I love you. My children can do all of the above. It just depends on where each child is on the autism spectrum and what their individual challenges are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 11-28-2008 - 12:53pm
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. It is invaluable hearing this from someone who lives it rather than what I've read in a book or article on the subject. Or even what I've observed a friend going through.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Fri, 11-28-2008 - 11:10pm
Thank you all for your advice!