Home > Got Questions?, Science, Uncategorized > I am a 26 years old with autism and many attention-seeking behaviors. What causes them? I am verbal.

I am a 26 years old with autism and many attention-seeking behaviors. What causes them? I am verbal.

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)

  1. January 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Maybe you haven’t found a way to obtain positive attention. We all crave that, and it is very hard to achieve, whether we are autistic or not. Sometimes people are far more likely to put someone down in order to build up themselves, than the other way around.

    It is a symptom of being human…and we all have good days and bad days. Who told you it was attention seeking behavior, anyhow? Do you know it yourself?

    Don’t give up. It’s a never ending battle for all of us..

  2. Michelle Ebel
    January 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Hi there!!

    I have an 6 yr old son w/autism – Pls tell me everything and anything – tell me all – it will help me understand more. I am really heartbroken and frustrated.


  3. January 16, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Saya tertarik untuk mengetahui lebih jauh mengenai Autisme, karena salah satu cucu saya mengalami gejala tersebut, dan sampai dengan umur 4 tahun dia belum bisa bicara.

  4. jali
    January 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    My friend’s child may have autism, the first thing that came up to mi mind when I heard eas a thought that they used to live by a gas station. Would that have anything to do with it?

  5. Claudia Hopper
    January 18, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Hi there,
    I have an almost 15 yr old that does not have the label of Autism, but has many subtle characteristics of being on the spectrum. He has received services through the schools as OHI. We call him the mutt, because he has a little bit of everything in him. He is an outgoing, gregarious, loving boy…. yet…one area we really struggle w/ ‘his reality’ vs. reality. He will not take responsibility for his actions or words. Always blames some one or something else. WE (my husband and I) struggle w/ if and or how much are we to try and ‘correct’/explain that what he is saying/thinking is not true/reality and what we just let go of. I hope this makes sense. Help! :-\

  1. January 16, 2012 at 10:55 am

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