Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 251–259 | Cite as

Repetitive Behaviour in Children with High Functioning Autism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Fiona Zandt
  • Margot Prior
  • Michael Kyrios
Original Paper


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.


Autism Obsessive compulsive disorder Repetitive behaviours 



We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of Dr Janine Manjiviona, Margaret Richardson, Kathleen Allen, and Jasmin Scanlan from the Royal Children’s Hospital. We also thank Dr Howard Cooper and Barbara Jones for their assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Swinburne UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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