Repetitive behaviour in children with high functioning autism and obsessive compulsive disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2007 Feb;37(2):251-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-006-0158-2.


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and children with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) were compared on a range of repetitive behaviours. Parents reported similar levels of sameness behaviour and repetitive movements in the clinical groups, although children with OCD engaged in more repetitive behaviour focussed around routines and rituals. Children with OCD reported more compulsions and obsessions than children with ASD; both groups reported more compulsions and obsessions than a typically developing comparison group. Types of compulsions and obsessions tended to be less sophisticated in children with ASD than those with OCD. Sameness behaviour was more prevalent in younger children with OCD, but for children with ASD, age was not significantly related to sameness behaviour, repetitive movements, compulsions, or obsessions.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder / diagnosis
  • Stereotypic Movement Disorder / epidemiology*