Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why I can't stop repeating myself. Repeat.

Max likes to hear stuff over and over and over. It's his way of processing information, his neurologist once told us. I think it's also comforting to him. And perhaps, just perhaps, he has a secret plan to drive us wackadoo.

While there are plenty of times when I ask open-ended questions to encourage him to talk and communicate—q's like "Where do you want to go today, Max?" or "What do you want to eat, Max?"—he most enjoys conversations that are as scripted as comedy routines. Who knows, maybe someday we will take our show on the road, though we might need to work on our material.

Me: "Max loves purple!"
Me: "And you love spaghetti!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you want to go to the car wash soon!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you would like to eat spaghetti at the car wash!!!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you would like to go through the car wash TWICE!" (Something which Dave has actually done with him.)
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"

Me: "Max likes going to the beach!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you would like to ride a plane to the beach!!!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"

Me: "Max loves to sleep in his big boy bed!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you like to sleep with your purple pillow!!!"
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "And you like to brush your teeth!"

Me: "Mommy loves Max."
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "Daddy loves Max."
Max: "ESSSSSS!!!"
Me: "Sabrina loves Max."
Max: "ESSSSSS!!"

Do your kids do this? What sort of things do they love to hear again and again?


  1. Lately for Evan he has been repeating the schedule of events that are supposed to happen that day. I think he is missing the schedule of school but I get tired of constantly repeating the series of things we are going to do that day and could possibly not happen because of interruptions.

  2. Gabriel repeats himself CONSTANTLY and drives us all insane. The same things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Drives me insane. It can be something as simple as him asking me "what?" ten times when I say something to him or him repeating something that happened during his day sixteen thousand times. The neuropsych said it's because he's TRYING to be's working.

  3. Ours was: "There was a Ba-Goolia, and her name was....JULIA!"

    But to tease her we substitute any old name.

    "There wa a Ba-Goolia, and her name was....GRANDMA!"

    This can make her shriek with laughter, and I do mean shriek.

    Kid jokes, much fun. love, Val

  4. We used to do that, but now, it seems that the repeating is coming from the other end, and the subject is always the same:

    And then we're gonna go to the lake, OK?

    We're going to the lake. Ummm hmmmm.

    Grampa said we're going to the lake.

    It's time to go to the lake, right?

    But I wanna go to the lake (insistent and tearful if you ignore the request).

    And so, like, um, then, um, you know, um, we're going to the lake, OK? (The sly, bribing voice)

    (Pouting, screaming, whining, kicking-full bore tantrum) I want to go to the lake noooooooooooooooooooow.

    YOU PROMISED we're going to the lake (when I did no such thing).

    This is the response to "Cheerios or corn flakes?" "Hurry up, we're late..." or "Please pick up the toys you left on the porch" or "Turn down that TV." The instigator does the demanding, and the cheering section backs him up with a wheezy refrain == "Yeah, the lake, the lake!"

    This will be my fate for the next few months. We do day trips there and they love it, sometimes they just go with the grandparents if I have to work, and we do a week in a tent and pop up and that's absolute heaven as far as they are concerned.

    Lather, rinse, repeat! Need to stock up on citronella this year, I think....

  5. My daughter is the one that does the repeating...



    Need to give a cuddle.

    (This is her charming manipulation to get you to pick her is VERY effective).

    Hello Mummy.


    Repeat loudly and often for best effect.

  6. Where are we going tomorrow?

    Where are we going tomorrow tomorrow? (i.e the day after tomorrow)

    Where are we going tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow?

    And yes. It goes on.

    And yes, he already knows the answers usually. He just wants to hear me say it. Or maybe he's just hoping one day I'm going to say Paris, or Disneyland, or the pyramids in Egypt (and actually mean it. I am often known to answer 'the moon' even though our space ship is STILL being serviced)...

  7. my 14 year old (mildly autistic) son repeats TV show dialog...then he rewinds it, so he can repeat what has been said...then he does it again. Finally I have to either take the remote away or tell him "really? where do you think we were for the last 5 minutes. I personally have seen that scene 4 times now". I try to be tolerant, but it doesn't always work.

  8. I have a little song that I sing for Emily. It is titled the Emily song (very creative I know). She could listen to that all day long! It never fails to bring a smile! Guess the girl likes to hear her own name. : )

  9. I wish my son would repeat himself over and over again with words - that would be music to our ears. But at this point he is still non-verbal and makes noise all the time - he is getting better at letting us know what he wants by his sounds.
    My other son repeats himself and loves to hear us say things over and over. We like to think that it helps the his older brother.

  10. Little Bird scripts TV shows but only in chunks. Right now I'm getting a lot of "tickets please" and "hello folks, it's me, the conductor" from Dinosaur Train. The "experts" say that scripting is the beginning of meaningful speech, but it's pretty tough to be around a kid who just keeps repeating lines from a show. If it's tough for me to tolerate, you can imagine how hard it is for a kid like this to fit in with her peers.

    I do, however, remember how long we waited to hear her voice and while I am grateful that she can speak, I do with her speech could be purposeful and communicative.

  11. Acadia has about 25 words and makes great use of pointing! She will almost always answer "YES!" to a question... my husband loves that! "Can I tickle Mommy?" "YES!" And they giggle.... For "no", she will turn her head away and say "ngnhhh" but for the question game with Daddy, everything is "YES!" while the questions get sillier and sillier :o)

  12. My nephew does something similar but he starts the conversation and we give the same answers over and over.

    Him: Matt? (my boyfriend's name and usually the first thing I hear when I see the little guy)
    Me: Matt's not here.
    (look of disappointment)
    Me: Where do you think Matt is?
    Him: (with a sigh and a downcast look) A wor (at work)
    Me: Yup, he's at work!

    This is sometimes followed with a similar conversation about who else is at work (his dad, other aunts etc...).

    In the interests of encouraging his verbal communication, I've started changing up how the dialogue goes and he seems okay with it.

    For instance, I'll ask what he's thinking about Matt when he says his name (and he usually replies "at work" and we end up in the old convo) or ask what he thinks Matt would rather be doing (the open ended question doesn't work as well but if I ask if he thinks Matt wants to play with him instead of working, he grins and says no and then smiles and waits for me to disagree).

    We're not sure if he brings things like this up over and over to ask again because he's forgotten, because he's thinking about Matt or just for the sake of talking with us but he does it a lot.

    Those single word sentences can mean so many different things, sometimes I feel bad that we might be missing a whole part of what he's trying to communicate but his speech is improving almost daily so maybe this repetitive thing will vanish when he's more able to convey different elements of what he's thinking.

    I'm also not sure how much he follows what I'm saying but I figure that challenging him and offering him different types of verbal stimulation can't be bad (as long as he's not frustrated by it and enjoys it, that is).

    That being said, sometimes he does just want the same repetitive conversation about Matt and work and I get such a kick out of how his voice drops and he does his little pouty face when we talk about work, I can't help but enjoy it too :)

  13. Oh Ellen, you always crack me up! I think lots of kids do that! Faith likes to repeat words that she is trying to say over and over...the other day...TREE was the word attempt of the day.
    Carl...Does Faith see a tree?
    Faith...Dada,Teeeeee...Dada,Teeeee....Ahna,Teeeee...Ahna, Teeeee..
    for the next twenty minutes!

  14. So cute.

    Jude just constantly wants "Uhhh"


  15. Olivia gets stuck on a different phrase for a day or so. Lately, it's been "Robert!" and I have to say it in my funny voice and really draw out the Rob and make the ert really short. We were passing time during tests at the hospital last week and I had to say her pediatrician's name (Robert) and it just became funny to her. Who knows. But a week later, I'm really tired of "Robert!" Plus people look at me like I'm crazy shouting "Robert!" all over town! ;) Oh and "total weinies" (thank you to my mother) is what she always says when we're in the car. Better than something else I guess!

  16. I am 16 and have an anxiety disorder.I still love hearing my parents tell me how much they love me.
    Also my cousin J. who has Fragile X Syndrome and Autism has started repeating the same phrase over and over again about a gazillion times a day.
    J: say you
    Me: you
    J: say you
    Me: You
    J: say you
    Me: YOU!


Thanks for sharing!

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