I have heard the same two minutes of the 9th episode of Curious George Season One fifty times today! Over and over and over and over again. Obviously, my girl loves those particular two minutes of her favorite show Curious George. To most it would be absolute torture! I’m not going to lie and say it isn’t driving me crazy, it is. How many dogs are there in George’s house that he kidnapped from the dog show? For goodness sakes, I just want to know what happens next! For my girl, those two minutes are all that matters.
It’s not earth shattering news that autistic kids often engage in many kinds of repetitive behaviors and prefer to repeat familiar activities. I’m sure this plays an important role in why she likes chain watching the same two minutes of the same episode over and over. I believe there is a lot more to it than that. Repetitive behaviors are common in people with autism, because it can give them a sense of control and predictability. This may also be a clue that she feels unsettled. It could be something seemingly small, but children with autism can find even tiny changes upsetting.
Last week when I tried stopping her from playing the same two minutes over and over again, I was faced with a three-foot tall monster who can throw a tantrum like no other. I know now not to mess with her George! I asked my daughter’s therapist about the repetitive behavior and she said “If it’s something useful to her then you don’t want to stop it as it could make her more anxious. She would not be exhibiting this behavior unless it’s meeting a need.” Watching Curious George over and over again may be her way to calm down or reduce stress or she may have a real fascination with George counting dogs. Whatever the reason may be, I have learned to accept my daughter’s obsession with George. When she asks to watch George, she will! And, I will continue to watch the same two minutes fifty times a day because it makes her happy. Because, when she is happy, I am happy!
Now I’m off to watch the entire 9th episode so I can satisfy my need to know what happens with the dogs! 🙂