Repetitive or restricted behaviors
Repetitive or restricted behaviors in autistic individuals are actions that are performed consistently and following a pattern, often with a limited focus on certain subjects or activities. These behaviors are a common characteristic of autism, although the intensity and nature of the behaviors can vary among individuals. Below are some examples of repetitive or restricted behaviors:
Stereotyped movements: Some autistic people may perform repetitive movements with their hands, arms, or legs. For example, they might flap their hands, rock back and forth, or spin in circles.
Echolalia: Echolalia is the repetition of words, phrases, or sounds previously heard. For example, an autistic person might repeat a line from their favorite movie or mimic the sound of an animal, even in contexts where it is not related.
Rituals and routines: Autistic people may follow specific routines and rituals in their daily lives, such as eating the same foods in the same order every day, dressing following a specific sequence, or insisting on always taking the same route to school or work.
Restricted interests: Autistic people may have intense and specific interests in certain subjects or activities, such as collecting objects related to a particular topic, studying a knowledge area exhaustively, or repeating an activity over and over, like assembling and disassembling a puzzle.
Order and alignment: Some autistic people may feel the need to order and align objects in a particular way, such as organizing their toys by color or size or aligning objects in perfectly symmetrical rows or columns.
These behaviors can provide autistic people with a sense of stability, control, and security. However, in some cases, they may interfere with daily life and social interactions. Adequate support and adaptations can help autistic people manage these behaviors and participate more flexibly in various situations.