Do autistic people repeat themselves?

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MagicMeerkat
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22 Jan 2019, 4:13 pm

I tend to repeat myself a lot. It drives my boyfriend crazy and I'm trying to stop it. But im trying to figure out why. My mother had a head injury as a child and suffered a stroke. She often forgot things, and oftentimes would ask me to remember for her.

I'm wondering if this is something autism related or a learned behavior. I also feel that if I don't get something out right away, I will forget. My mom will talk over me if I bring up a subject she doesn't like and make me forget what I was going to say by the time she's done lecturing me about how wrong I am to bring that topic up, or about how stupid I was to even suggest such a thing. My boyfriend has noticed I talk over him without letting him get out his words. It's very hard for me to remember what to say and how to say it without comming across as "rude". My mom seems to think that I have this ability to control my tone no matter what sort of physical or emotional stress I am under. I also get screamed at by her for repeating myself. I'm just afraid of forgetting what I was going to say. Writing things down won't do any good because my mom won't read it. I had a therapist even admit to me she didn't read the handwritten notes I gave her.


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Magna
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22 Jan 2019, 4:29 pm

What do you mean by repeat yourself?

I don't pick up nuanced or subtle facial expressions. As such, I will repeat myself albeit in different variations until someone tells me verbally that they understand what I'm saying if I'm trying to explain something to them. Is that what you mean?

My best example would be related to work when I've had to train someone on how to use a certain software program or if I've had to teach them something procedural. I'll explain it. If I get a blank stare from them......I'll think of a different way to explain the same thing. If I get a blank stare or even if they start yawning and I assume they're bored but they haven't told me they understand......I'll think of a different way to explain the same thing.

Through the years as a trainer when I've trained someone new, I've said something like:

"When I explain things to you, if you think you understand, stop me and repeat what you think I've told you. If you've got it down, we can move on. Otherwise, if you don't tell me that, I'll keep repeating myself because I'll think you're not understanding me. That's just how my brain works."



Joe90
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22 Jan 2019, 5:01 pm

I repeat things, but it's more of an impulsive thing. My boyfriend has picked up on it. Like for a few nights running when I went to clean my teeth I said, "I'm going to clean my teeth so that I don't get tooth decay", then my boyfriend said, "you always say that same thing before you clean your teeth". Actually, I kept saying it because I was trying to hint to him that he should clean his teeth more, as his toothbrush often remains dry and unmoved for days. I thought I'd do it that way instead of nagging, but I don't think he got the hint.
Also I do tell him that I love him all the time, and that he's cute. I know that's a good thing but I say it more than enough times. I am aware that I repeat myself, but, like I said earlier, it's an impulsive urge. Sometimes I get "restless tongue" (I think I just made that term up), where I feel I have to say something but I've got nothing to say at the time, so I just blurt out something I have said a million times before.


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22 Jan 2019, 5:10 pm

My stepdad (undiagnosed so take with a grain of salt) has what we think is echolalia.

He has a few phrases, luckily for him they come from high culture so he sounds clever the first few times someone hears him, which he always says in a situation. Not from him. From high culture.

Ask an Autistic says that some aspies do this with cartoons and TV and stuff, too. I used to think it was him showing off but he says he doesn't feel right if he doesn't say it.

So for eg if he hears the word prison or Denmark he says 'Denmark is a prison'. If he wants to go out anywhere he says 'come away oh human child to the waters and the wild'. He has loads like that. For him, they all come out of plays and poems.



Do you mean this?

She also says there's another type too called immediate which sounds more like what you mean.



zcientist
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22 Jan 2019, 5:32 pm

Sometimes I've been known to repeat myself and there's times I don't.


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jenisautistic
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23 Jan 2019, 7:19 pm

Magna wrote:
What do you mean by repeat yourself?

I don't pick up nuanced or subtle facial expressions. As such, I will repeat myself albeit in different variations until someone tells me verbally that they understand what I'm saying if I'm trying to explain something to them. "



i do the same thing


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littlebee
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26 Jan 2019, 10:05 am

To the op, I do it, too, and my bf always tells me I said that already. I think a lot of times women repeat because one of their ways of interconnecting and having intimacy with each opther is by expressing emotion through voice tone (and only so many things happen,so a good way of connecting is to repeat them:-) I think women do it more with men then with another woman, as women tend to express their feelings to each other back and forth. Not kidding, seriously--especially if a situation which evokes anxiety is involved. I admit it is kind of mechanical and maybe something to try not to do so much.

What someone said about their uncle repeating stuff is interesting. I think that might be kind of different, though, then what you are talking about.



nick007
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26 Jan 2019, 5:25 pm

I think those of us on the spectrum tend to repeat ourselves because we're used to others not listening to us. We get ridiculed, discriminated against & lots of our needs go unmet. We learn we have to repeat ourselves in order to get anywhere with others. It's like how any highly discriminated minority group goes on & on about how they are being discriminated against because they cant change policies if others are not aware the problems exists.


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Fnord
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26 Jan 2019, 5:27 pm

Never.



Fnord
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26 Jan 2019, 5:27 pm

Never.



Edna3362
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26 Jan 2019, 7:27 pm

Mine involves mostly unwritten social and more verbal stuff.


Sure, while I have good auditory tolerance, that doesn't mean my filters are just as good and not prone to picking up too much interference.

Any verbalizing may end up distorted. It doesn't help with my short term memory, consequently an even worse off verbal memory, and slower or even missing word retrieval.
Or worse, forgotten that you already said that thing to someone just less than a minute ago.

I always cannot trust what I heard and understood are the same thing. Just as I cannot trust what others thought it was and what I thought it was are the same thing.

Not to mention wrong timings when trying to enter group conversations.
Of course this is easily mistaken for impulsivity if ended up having the opposite effect of being ignored.

Outside social interaction, it's just me self-talking and thinking of things, good or bad, real or not, all over again.
Yes, likely echolalia, and I've been doing this since as a child, with random lines I barely understood except it just sounds good or funny. Depends on my mood what line I was repeating all over.
Mostly out of boredom, and the rest of that out of reaction. Especially involving emotional situations.

A fraction of that is just me trying to remember short term things like sentences and lists, with a good chance of failing.



And yes, I don't like it. I usually had enough with it.
This is also one of the reasons why I don't like to talk, one of the reasons why I have to rely on a list, and why I would rather do things myself -- why make anyone else put up with it?


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