Why Does My Child with Autism Move Things Around the House?

Autism is characterized by repetitive, meaningless activities. Repetitive lining up of toys, spinning objects, or opening and closing drawers or doors are examples of such activities. Repetitive habits might also include repeatedly talking or inquiring about the same item. Repetitive practices are frequently used to help people relax. When they get in the way of everyday activities or make it difficult to get through school or job, they can become a problem.

When children are bored or restless, they frequently tap their pencils against their desks, whistle, or engage in some other repetitive behavior to indicate their dissatisfaction. Non-typical repetitive actions, on the other hand, could indicate an underlying learning disability, behavioral problem, or social handicap. As a result, it’s critical to understand how to spot the indicators of unusual repetitive behaviors, which might limit interaction opportunities and prevent your child from learning. Here are some things to think about.

Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors

Moving things around the house, lining up toys or other objects and getting upset when the order is changed, repeating words or phrases over and over (i.e. echolalia), and playing with toys in the same way every time are examples of restricted or repetitive hobbies and behaviors connected to ASD.

When to be Concerned

When repetitive behaviors become a distraction, compete with learning opportunities, interfere with the person’s daily activities, are disturbing to others, or are harmful, they become a problem. For instance, if a child spends more time flapping his hands than paying attention in class, this is an issue. If the behavior is particularly physical or violent, it might be dangerous to the individual or others. A person who spins excessively to the point of vomiting on a regular basis is an illustration of this. An intervention is required if any of these conditions occur.


Many people support ABA because of its success in teaching behaviors and skills to people with autism. Others say it is excessively demanding of children and drives them to conform to society’s notions of “normal” behavior.  Your child will receive both ABA therapy and Occupational Therapy in an ABA therapy clinic, whether it is a half day or full day of therapy. ABA is not a one-size-fits-all approach, despite being a disciplined and well-researched system. Treatment is individualized to the kid, family, and mutually agreed-upon objectives.

The goal of ABA is to find functional correlations between a child’s behavior and his or her surroundings. The goal is to enhance positive behaviors that improve your child’s quality of life while reducing negative behaviors that hinder his or her capacity to communicate and learn. Find out what triggers problematic behaviors. We refer to them as “antecedents.” They’re events that occur right before the behavior we’re attempting to influence. A request, such as “clean up your room,” might be an antecedent, as can a sensation or reaction, a specific object, bright lighting, or a boisterous throng. ABA therapy seeks out these antecedents and suggests alternatives that can change your child’s reaction.

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