When your child repeatedly asks the same question

When your child asks the same question over and over again it can be annoying, frustrating, and at times feel a bit ridiculous. You probably think to yourself, “We do the same things every single week. How does he not know what we are doing today? Why does he keep asking me about his schedule?”

However, there is a reason for this. He is most likely feeling stressed, confused, and overwhelmed. When he asks you the same question, and you give him the same response, he finds it calming. However, if you used visual tools, he would probably not feel the need to keep asking the same question.

Imagine what life would be like if you went around with a blindfold; for some kids with autism, this is what it can feel like. Visual tools can really help your child make sense of his world, which leads to a happier and calmer child.

Here are some ways you can help your child feel more secure, so that he doesn’t feel the need to repeatedly ask a question:

If you are going to a new place and he keeps asking about it, he will most likely benefit from seeing photos of this location. Going to unfamiliar places can be stressful, especially if your child has no concept of what to expect. Photographs, talking about the place, and preparing him will take some of the guesswork out of it. Just Google the location, click on “Images”, and together scroll through different photographs of the place (be sure to monitor this, as you never know what will pop up in Google Images).

If your child asks about his schedule when you pick him up from school, he needs you to show him a visual, in the car, of where he is going. Prepare ahead of time and create a daily schedule for him, so he can see what activities are coming up in his day. This is especially important if he has different therapies and after-school activities. Review this schedule in the morning, and when you pick him up from school. You can also try taking photographs of the places you are going, putting the pictures in a small photo flipbook, and keeping them in the car. You can flip to the photo of your destination, and let your child hold it. You can include photos of the gas station, grocery store, therapist’s office, etc.

The concept of time can be super-confusing for kids, especially children on the spectrum. In addition to a daily schedule, your child will also benefit from a weekly calendar. Using a weekly schedule with the days written on the top, and columns representing each day, can help him understand his upcoming routine. This will minimize his confusion so that he doesn’t keep asking you what is happening. A weekly schedule can also help him understand past events, and improve his concept of time. Here is a screenshot (see the picture above) of a weekly schedule, created by Boardmaker Online, that I just used with one of my in-home clients. By reviewing this visual plan at least three times a day, your child will know what to expect.

When he knows what’s going on in his world, your child will probably feel calmer and less stressed.

Please share below. Does your child repeatedly ask the same question?

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  • Leah Wambete
    Posted at 16:31h, 25 May Reply

    Yes. My daughter keeps asking to go downtown as soon as she gets out of bed and shows no interest in prior activities even with assurance that she’ll go to town thereafter. She even throws tantrums! I really get frustrated about this.

  • Maria Giacchino
    Posted at 17:12h, 06 June Reply

    Hi my name is Maria Giacchino, I have a child with ASD, his name is Luca, he is almost 8 years old… I would like to know if you have a resource for blood work, we r in Chicago … any help will be appreciated….

  • Barbara Maness
    Posted at 00:09h, 30 July Reply

    My son is 10. He has adhd and is on medicine for that. I think he may have a mild case of autism. He will ask certain questions all day, everyday. I try not to get frustrated but it’s hard. Please help

  • Cindy
    Posted at 10:43h, 03 June Reply

    My 3 year old daughter keeps asking why is there an elephant in the microwave. At least 150 times a day no exaggeration. We have tried every kind of answer to get her to stop but nothing works. I am worried 😟

    • Jennifer Lingle
      Posted at 17:34h, 05 June Reply

      I would be curious what you mean by “we have tried every kind of answer.” What strategies have you tried? I am wondering if she is saying this because it elicits a response, sort of like a conversation. She might enjoy the back and forth, and is trying to have a conversation with you. You could try responding by having a conversation about elephants with her. Maybe get some books or photos of elephants so you can talk more about it. Then redirect her and encourage a conversation about other animals. I hope that helps.

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