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Understanding ASD and repetition of sentences

Community Member

Hi All,
My partner has a degree of ASD and repeats requests or direction over and over again until I get quite frustrated.

Is this an ASD trait? Or potentially another coping mechanism for a childhood wound?

Thank you 🙏🏼

5 Replies 5

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Lightfoot, ASD or autism spectrum disorder may also include a repetitive type compulsive behaviour and please note that I'm not a doctor, so it can be a trait.

Are you able to know any trigger points that may be causing this and then you can set up a prevention plan which may have a couple of different options that suit you.

One plan may work for many situations but may not for all.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello Lightfoot,

Welcome to the forum.

I'm not quite sure I know what this 'ASD' you are referring to is. Is it 'Autism Spectrum Disorder' or something else?

In any event, we're not especially qualified to determine if the repeating of requests is a symptom of anything, or a coping mechanism. If you are referring to Autism Spectrum Disorder, you'd need to consult a specialist - I'm not even sure what specialty to refer you to.

All I know I've gleaned from reading Oliver Sacks from years ago.

I'm sure the constant repetitive requests do wear you down. & I could imagine a link with childhood, after all, so many young children will persistently ask questions or make demands until they get answers - one way or another. Sometimes I think the child hasn't understood they were heard, & so keep repeating what they want or the question until the adult actually stops & gives them very direct attention.

I don't know if this is helpful or not. Please feel free to talk some more.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Lightfoot

I can feel your frustration and my heart really goes out to you. I imagine there are a number of challenges when it comes to living with someone on the spectrum. While some challenges would be manageable, others may be intolerable. The repetition sounds intolerable for you and highly triggering. That's completely understandable.

I've heard it said before that some people on the autism spectrum will experience varying degrees of OCD. It's said that certain repetitive behaviours are based on self calming when it comes to anxiety. Not necessarily saying your husband has OCD but can't help but wonder whether he appears to be calming himself or managing some level of stress when he does repeat himself. Does he repeat himself more than usual when his stress levels are higher? Does he have the ability to sense other people's stress, adding to his own? When others are stressed, does he become more repetitive? Does he have strategies in place for reducing stress under different circumstances? Does he need some new strategies to add to his toolbox? No need to answer, just putting it out there 🙂

You could be right when it comes to there being more than one contributing factor. Could be a self calming strategy and it might also come from upbringing (nature and nurture). Who knows, maybe there was someone in his childhood who used to get him to repeat instructions over and over, to make sure he fully understood the directions they gave him. It could be a habit from childhood.

I hope you get to the bottom of this and find relief for the both of you 🙂

Community Member

Thank you Geoff,

I believe a trigger is when she feels I am not hearing her even though I repeat back what she is saying.

there was a lot of not being heard by her parents when she was a child too so this could be a significant part.
Thank you for your response.

Thank you for your reply,

It is very helpful 🙏🏼