Problems dealing with repetitive questions

When you’re a parent to an #Autistic child you may find yourself dealing with repetitive questions from your child. For those who aren’t familiar with the joys of repetitive question asking,  let me explain.

Repetitive question asking is when a person asks the very same question,  over and over again.

In my son Gavin case,  sometimes it will be the exact same question over and over again or other times he’ll ask the same question over and over but in different ways.

Aside from literally driving me crazy,  there is another problem that I have found when trying to curb the repetitive questioning. When Gavin constantly repeating himself,  after awhile I came no longer ignore it.  I have to correct the behavior before I lose my mind.

I remind him that he’s already asked me that.  It doesn’t ever seem to work but the only other thing I can do is hold him accountable. Accountability for something like this has been to deny his request automatically if he asks multiple times.  For example,  of Gavin wants a cookie,  he’ll as for it.  If I say no,  for whatever reason,  he ask again in 5 minutes.  It may be worded differently but it’s the same question. I’ll tell him no,  once again and follow up with something like,  “if you ask me again,  the answer will still be the same but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to have another chance for that cookie.

Honestly,  it’s so incredibly exhausting to not only hear the same thing over and over but it’s equally exhausting and frustrating to repeat myself.

The problem that has developed is that after awhile,  Gavin will generalize everything and become afraid to ask for anything. While that stops the repetitive questioning,  I never want my kids to be afraid to ask for anything.

At least when it comes to my boys on the #Autism spectrum,  they are prone to generalizing a great many things.

It becomes difficult to address certain behaviors because they don’t understand that the behavior may be appropriate at another time and that things can fall into grey areas.  My kids tend to see the world in black and white.  In other words,  they see things in absolutes.

For example,  Gavin doesn’t understand that him asking a question is always okay.  He assumes that because we try to address the repetitive questioning that it means he’s not aloud to ask questions in general. Does that make sense?

How to you fine folks deal with repetitive speech,  questions,  noises or behaviors? What has worked for you?

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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This is common in most kids who ask for things and don't get them. If he is just asking general information questions, he may just want reassurance about it. If it's a request, then I have two suggestions.

1 – Provide him with an alternative the first time he asks. For the second time, and subsequent others, have him repeat what you said. So if he asks for one thing and the answer is no, then give him other choices and see if he responds. If he comes back later with the same request/question, have him repeat your first response. If he is able to, tell him to make a selection. If he cannot then repeat it only once. After that all similar questions should have the response "you've already asked me that" or "i've given you my answer" without giving additional information.

2 – The other option I have seen work is to keep something handy like straws nearby. If he repeats a question to you then you hand him a certain number of straws (1 to 3 depending upon your tolerance level). You have him repeat your original response and tell him that the number of straws he has is the amount of times that he can ask about that item before bedtime; each time he asks after receiving the straws he has to give one to whomever he is asking. When his straws are gone, then the next time he asks there is a consequence. If he has any straws remaining by bedtime then he gets a reward. Whatever item you use, you have to make sure he doesn't have easy access to them.


Repetitive qu's regarding food are a daily thing here. It's quite common for hubby and I to answer no you may not havean apple, pear, banana, biscuit, toast, milk, you get the idea lol in response to a single request as we know the others will follow. We didn't mine the humming so much as it provided a gauge as to how my son was feeling e.g. Happy and sad hums depending on the pitch and rhythm