Thousands of parents feel anxiety upon hearing restricted & repetitive questions from their autistic children. They don’t get how to give their children satisfactory answers and stop them from asking same sets of questions again & again.
Why Autistic Children Ask Same Sets of Questions?
There can be numerous reasons. But, today I will represent three major reasons that compel an autistic child to become obsessed with certain sets of questions. In addition, I will reveal the solutions so that you can control the repetitive questioning behavior of your child easily.
We all know that children with autism demand predictability. Predictability can be in any form. For example, when autistic children demand predictability, they flap their hands, twist their fingers, bang their heads, or use complex body movements; these things not only bring predictability but also help them to relax and feel happy.
Now, I ask you a question, what do most of the parents do when their children ask same sets of questions again and again?
Well, they give the same sets of answers again & again too.
And, as a result, their children associate their predictable answers with relaxation and happiness. So, whenever an autistic child feels anxious, he showers his parents with the same sets of questions in order to water down his anxious feelings.
Your same sets of answers become his sources of enjoyment and relaxation. In a way, your answers become medicines. And, whenever he needs the medicines, he asks the questions – same sets of questions – over and over again.
Now, what can you do? And, how can you stop your autistic child if you feel your answers are actually the main cause of this problem?
The simplest thing you can do is to change your answers a little every time. Or, you can add additional information in your answers too… Play this move gradually, but carefully, because if you change your answers instantly & completely, you can upset your child’s feelings… If the additional information compels your child to ask additional questions for clarity, then it’s a very good sign. In a couple of shakes, he will realize that your answers aren’t the exact source of relaxation and enjoyment.
Soon, he will stop asking you the same questions and concentrate on something else.
Sometimes parents don’t understand the true source of their child’s anxiety. Consequently, they give wrong answers and make their child even more anxious.
If your child is asking consistent questions consistently, then it also means that you are probably not giving him the right answers; you’re focusing on those answers which are utterly useless for him.
Now, what is the right answer for an autistic child?
Well, the right answer is the answer in which you talk about “Consequences”.
Yes! Answers which reveal the consequences are the desired answers for autistic children. Once you give them the desired answers, they stop asking the same questions over and over again.
Actually, children with ASD find it difficult to talk about their feelings. They don’t get how to talk about certain issues that can cripple their predictable routines through the consequences. Therefore, they want you to talk about the consequences. They want you to tell them that everything will stay the same, and there won’t be any appalling change in the impending circumstances.
Let me give you an example. When an autistic child talks about someone’s death, he is actually not worry about the actual person; he is in fact worry about the replacement, routines, and future. He is anxious about the after effects of death on his lifestyle and family.
So, if you want to stop your child from asking the same questions several times, talk about the consequences in your answers. This won’t only satisfy him completely but also connect him with you on a deeper emotional level.
OCD and Autism
With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a person is compelled to produce repetitive behaviors. OCD causes a drastic level of anxiety and leads to uneasiness, distress, and worry.
The rate of existence of OCD in children is almost 2 percent. It affects the thoughts, and actions, of a child and makes him intensely obsessive… If your child is asking same questions non-stop, over and over, then it doesn’t mean that it’s only because of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); it can happen because of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) too.
Now, what exactly you need to do if OCD is the main factor behind his obsessive questioning?
Well, first, consult a qualified behavioral therapist, because behavior therapy is the most common and successful treatment these days for OCD. It helps the child to manage the compulsion and anxiety through different strategies. Apart from this, there are many other ways that can help you to deal with your child’s OCD.
For example, when he starts asking you questions, you can give him a task immediately according to his interest. You can ask for his help in giving the dog a bath, or you can tell him to ask you questions through pictures – this will make the moments playful for both of you; you can even teach him how to paint. This will divert his mind and keep him busy with interesting things.
So, if you’re tired of your child’s obsessive questioning, change your answers a little, talk about consequences, or assign him an interesting task. These strategies will certainly help you to deal with his obsessive questioning comfortably.