A Perseveration Break?

A Perseveration Break?

Please.  Please.  Momma.  I be a ocopus?”  he pleads… while we’re in the bathroom… taking care of bathroomly duties.  There is no sacred silent place when it comes to perseverations.

J! J.  You have to stop asking that.”  I said quietly, yet firmly (seriously, I believe I have the patience of a saint when it comes to hearing his constant perseverations regardless of what sarcastic crack I may make to another when he’s not around).  

Perth Octopus

He makes a face with wide eyes.

“J do you know that you just said that?” (yes, sometimes I choose to asks questions when I know the likelihood of an answer is as rare as me refusing coffee.)

He nods yes.  

Shocked, I continue…“You remember asking me that just now?” 

Yes!” he says happily.  Bathroom business now done.

Then why do you keep asking?” I couldn’t believe he acknowledged he knew he asked.  I’ve always thoughts he must not be able to remember.

IDon’tKnow” just like that, with no spaces, and he happily finds his quickest limp of a gait and speeds away.

I decided to count that as a break in perseverations since I haven’t heard the question in… well, in about 1 hour anyway.   I know it will come again though.  The series of questions that seem to have no end.  Yet, even if I find them frustrating, I know I will breathe, repeat my standard series of answers if only to gain a single 30 second span of time when the questions rest.

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(Photo by: Frugal Kiwi)

About the Author:

Gina St. Aubin

Gina St. Aubin is a former Victim’s Advocate who now advocates for those with intellectual and physical challenges. Her eldest son is diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Electrical Status Epilepticus during Sleep / Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) and Developmental Delays. In June, 2012, her son also underwent a successful hemispherectomy. Gina is the editor, author and owner of Special Happens, serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the SPD Foundation, and resides in Colorado where she is a mother of 3, wife, blogger, writer and special needs advocate.


  1. Emily @ColoradoMom October 23, 2012 at 10:52 am - Reply

    I count that as a win! Brady all the time has to say my name, I have to reply, then he says either “all done fan” or “bye Mommy’s car” or similar and it goes on for hours. To break him of it I try to answer him and then ask him a question so he stops stimming on his own.

    • Editor October 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm - Reply

      LOL. Ah yes… the hours and hours and hours this happens. I can’t figure out if it’s stimming, anxiety or forgetfulness. I think what you did was good. I’ve been finding if I find any other random thing to talk about, it at least breaks the cycle. Wine helps too.

  2. Lori Lavender Luz October 23, 2012 at 11:28 am - Reply

    I had never heard the term “perseveration” but once I looked it up, it looks a bit familiar.

    I’m glad you’ve had a baby step forward and I hope the steps get bigger for J!

    • Editor October 23, 2012 at 1:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lori. Not sure if it’s a baby step so much as an accidental break. But I’ll keep trying. For everyone’s sanity!

  3. Mary-Frances Main October 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Our Aspie son’s teachers introduced us to the term perseveration and it’s a good one – Movies are the deal of the day – not to mention verbal structures (like the one you’re talking about) “And Mom” – starts every sentence – “I’m thinking about” (this is ALWAYS movies…oh wait, sometimes movies about LEGO’s) is another good way to start.
    It gets frustrating, but at 10 years I’m beginning to learn to live with it- ha ha!

  4. jenny - sugar loco October 24, 2012 at 6:00 am - Reply

    To be honest, I’ve never heard the word (and want to hear it said out loud so I’m not reading it wrong). Going to go look it up!

  5. daria October 25, 2012 at 9:32 am - Reply

    You definitely have the patience of a saint. 🙂 and yeah for J! I know how worried you were he may not be able to speak after surgery, maybe at times that silence would be welcome, but overall I know you are so glad to hear his thoughts, even if it is 20 times. 😉

  6. Erica Harper October 31, 2012 at 10:37 am - Reply

    I just found your website. My daughter is 3, currently undiagnosed except for with SPD, although we assume she has ASD. She asks the same questions over and over again too. We have taken to asking them back to her in a different way to see if she understands. Once we ask them back a few times to help her get to the correct answer, usually, not always, it will stop that question for awhile. Not to say that she does not come up with a new similar question in the next few minutes, but at least it is not the same question again! And with her speech being delayed, right now her questions are about 2 words long, so sometimes we have to to decifer what she is asking, but since she asks it over and over again, at least after we get it the first time, we know what she is saying the next few times!

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