Today’s “Got Questions?” answer comes from Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer Geri Dawson, PhD
Thanks so much for your question. There are many reasons why a person with autism would engage in many attention seeking behaviors. Perhaps you would like to socially interact and make friends with others, but aren’t quite sure the best way to do this. If you are being ignored by others, this might lead you to repeat your attempts to interact again and again.
If you are engaging in a behavior that is ritualized (exactly the same each time) and repetitive, it might reflect a general tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors, which is a symptom of autism. With appropriate guidance, you can learn more appropriate ways of seeking attention and this will help you develop more satisfying relationships with others. Seeking the help of a psychologist or behavior analyst may be particularly beneficial.
For more information and resources, you can follow these links to our pages on Applied Behavioral Analysis, Adults with Autism and Adult Services.
Got more questions? Send them to GotQuestions@autismspeaks.org, and join Dr. Dawson for her next “Office Hours” webchat with co-host, Joe Horrigan, MD, Autism Speaks assistant vice president and head of medical research (first Thursday of every month at 3 pm Eastern).