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Going with the flow: reconsidering ‘repetitive behaviour’ through the concept of ‘flow states’

McDonnell, Andy and Milton, Damian (2014) Going with the flow: reconsidering ‘repetitive behaviour’ through the concept of ‘flow states’. In: Jones, Glenys and Hurley, Elizabeth, eds. Good Autism Practice: autism, happiness and wellbeing. BILD, Birmingham, UK, pp. 38-47. ISBN 978-1-905218-35-6. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:62647)

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In the literature on autism, there is less written on repetitive and ritualistic behaviours than on the social and communication aspects of autism. What is written on the subject is often rather negatively construed in the sense that such behaviour is viewed as negative and interventions have been designed to reduce or stop such behaviours. In this chapter, the authors take a different view and suggest that often behaviours such as lining up, checking the order of things or playing computer games have a positive effect on a person’s physical and psychological state and give a sense of achievement. They argue that such activities may help to achieve a flow state, as defined by Csikszentmihalyi (1990), where a person is so immersed in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. Against this, they point out that some repetitive activities may cause distress and that staff and parents need to ask how the person seems when engaged in the activity (eg how do they appear when engaged in the activity? Are they calmer after the activity?). This chapter is likely to lead parents and staff to develop a different perspective on repetitive and ritualistic behaviour, and so also to build different responses to these.

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, Flow, Monotropism, Repetitive Behaviour
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC553.A88 Autism. Asperger's syndrome
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Damian Milton
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2017 07:16 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 11:01 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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