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Repetitive Behaviors

Perseveration means getting stuck on one idea or one behavior and repeating it again and again. Often injury to the frontal lobe of the brain is the cause.

What might you see?

  • Writing the same letters or words, or repeating the same word or phrase over and over
  • Repeating physical movements or tasks
  • Getting "stuck" on one topic or theme (for example, "When can I drive?"; "When can I go home?"; "I need a cigarette.")

How can you help?

  • Use redirection (for example, try to change the topic or focus of interest to something else).
  • Try engaging the person in a physical task if they are verbally "stuck" on a topic.
  • Try engaging the person in a conversation or thinking task if they are physically "stuck" on a task.