Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests/behaviours, and sensory sensitivities.
It is called a spectrum disorder as each child may be affected in a different way. The severity of the disorder can range from mild to severe, and includes Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not otherwise Specified.
Repetitive behaviours are a core component of the diagnosis of autism, and they form an important part of early identification.
Typical Development of Repetitive Behaviours
Infants – often demonstrate repetitive behaviours including kicking, waving, banging, twirling, bouncing and rocking. These behaviours however, reduce after 12 months.
24 – 36 months – compulsive like behaviours including preference for sameness begin to emerge.
4 years – decrease in all repetitive behaviours. By the time a child reaches school age there are usually relatively few repetitive behaviours to be seen.
Repetitive Behaviours in a child diagnosed with an ASD
The amount and frequency of repetitive behaviours seen in a child diagnosed with an ASD is significantly higher than that seen in children without an ASD diagnosis. There are also differences in the types of repetitive behaviour demonstrated in autism and typical development.
Young children with autism are more likely to engage in
Recent studies have shown that a combination of therapies that aim to increase receptive language and improve social skills, can reduce the occurrence of repetitive behaviours.
Honey, E., McConachie, H., Randle, Val., Shearer, H., & Le Couteur, A. S. (2008). One-year Change in Repetitive Behaviours in Young Children with Communication Disorders Including Autism. Journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1439–1450.
Honey, E., Leekham, S., & McConachie, H.. (2007). Repetitive Behaviours and Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1107–1115.
Corina Vogler, Provisional Psychologist at the Quirky Kid Clinic attended a workshop on Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at The Melbourne University, Victoria.
This workshop was presented by Professor Margot Prior, University of Melbourne and Ms. Josephine Barbaro, La Trobe University. The workshop explored the nature, type, and triggers of repetitive behaviours common to children with an ASD. This was followed by a discussion on how these behaviours can be managed, for the better development of the child and to reduce the impact on families.
Corina has since then presented the workshop to the Quirky Kid team as part of our knowledge management and knowledge sharing program.
If you feel that your child may be displaying repetitive behaviours or if you would like any further information about Autism Spectrum Disorder, please contact us, or visit our resources pages.
Jacqui Olsson attended a workshop on Sensory Processing and its links with behaviour on Wednesday, 25th November 2009. This workshop examined the link between children’s behaviour, their ability to process sensory information and to understand their world and communicate, and provided loads of helpful strategies to assist children in play activities, staying calm and independently managing their own behaviour.
If you feel your child may have some sensory processing difficulties, you may consider the Sensory Profile to identify their sensory strengths and weaknesses. Please contact us if you would like more information on managing your child’s behaviour.
The issue surrounding parents, children, and the use of corporal punishment is one that is currently of extreme importance. Here, find the information on the consequences of smacking children, and positive alternative methods of discipline.
Is Smacking Children ever OK?
Smacking children is never ok for a number of reasons. Firstly, smacking children is a form of abuse that is punishable by law. Children have the right to feel safe and protected, and therefore should not be subjected to violent treatment. In addition, children tend to mimic the actions and behavior of adults. Children who are subjected to violence often lash out in violent ways themselves.
Consequences associated with smacking children:
can result in trauma and extensive harm to the child;
can lead to the destruction of trusted relationships;
Where parents can go to get help:
By seeking support and attempting to learn new methods to better discipline children, parents are taking a critically important step. They can seek various forms of support including:
practical and personal suppor, information based support
enroll in classes- i.e. anger management, parent training classes
Alternative methods of discipline:
Parents can discipline their children in a number of ways without ever resorting to hitting or smacking. When parents are upset they should:
take time to cool down before disciplining a child
explain the reasons behind their actions to the child
focus on encouraging verbal communication and interaction
explain how to prevent future occurrences to the child
be sure to remain both empathetic and patient when disciplining the child
The Quirky Kid clinic offers consultation, parenting training and our popular workshop, Raised on Praise.
Raising Children Network , and Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist
Kimberley discussed the Impact of Video Games have on children and adolescents with Tim Potter from Channel 10 News. You can find out more information about Video games and children by visiting our resources page .
The full interview is available here and on Channel 10 website.
If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media.
Visit our website for more information about our quirky kid clinic. For enjoying unbelievable offers and discounts on our therapeutic resources, visit our shop page.