Stereotypy: What Is It? How Can It Be Treated?

Last updated by Lauren Hart

Have you ever noticed a child repeating a phrase or word that’s been said? Of course, we all think of swear words, but in this case we’re really talking about harmless phrases or sounds. This is typical of stereotypy. But what is this strange name? Is stereotypy serious? How do you get rid of it? Don’t panic, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this behavioural disorder.

Stereotypy: What Is It? How Can It Be Treated?

What is stereotypy?

Stereotypy is a set of behaviours repeated excessively without purpose. It can be gestures or words, often associated with OCD or even Tourette’s syndrome. It can indeed be one of the symptoms of this type of illness, but most of us have had stereotypies 😳. In fact, this is a normal stage in a child’s development and most of the time the stereotypies disappear.

Nevertheless, sometimes repeated gestures or words remain, which corresponds to primary stereotypy. When symptoms appear at a different age, this is called secondary stereotypy. It can be caused by a whole range of factors.

👋 You may be interested in this article: What is separation anxiety?

The causes

It’s important to bear in mind all the causes of stereotypy, as this helps us to understand whether it’s primary or secondary 🧐. This behavioral disorder may be a symptom of another psychological disorder or illness, such as:

  • Autistic disorder,
  • Rett syndrome,
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder,
  • Asperger’s syndrome.

But that’s not all. It’s also related to forms of psychosis or schizophrenia. It may also reflect a frontal lobe deficiency or lesion. Finally, drugs, particularly cocaine, cause more severe stereotypic behavior.

The different stereotypies

We’ve talked about gestures and speech, but there are several stereotypies:

👉 Motor stereotypy: this includes all repeated movements such as body rocking or finger movements.

👉 Vocal stereotypy: this corresponds to the identical reproduction of sounds, vocalizations, words or phrases heard by someone close to them or by a source of sound (such as TV).

👉 Sensory stereotypy: this is manifested by the search for particular stimuli (textures, noise, light, etc.) on which the patient will focus for a long time.

👉 Object stereotypy: this involves the overuse of an object outside its initial function. The person will become attached to a particular object that they’ll carry around with them everywhere and touch constantly.

The symptoms

Knowing the different forms of stereotypy allows us to better understand and spot the symptoms. It’s important to remember that certain gestures or behaviors are normal for children and part of their development 👇:

  • Thumb sucking,
  • Tongue and nail-biting,
  • Hair twirling,
  • Head banging,
  • Rocking back and forth,
  • Rhythmic head nodding,
  • Trembling hands,
  • Curling feet,
  • Waving hands,
  • Twisting fingers,
  • Arm flapping,
  • etc.
Worth noting

A common sensory stereotypy in babies and young children is masturbation. It’s a form of self-stimulation to help understand how the body works and is part of a child’s development.

👋 You may be interested in this article: Why we need to stop comparing kids

Treatments for stereotypy

In the majority of cases of primary stereotypy, there are no psychological or physical repercussions. Most of the time they disappear on their own, as this concerns young children 👶. Unless it corresponds to a symptom of another disorder, such as autism. In that case, you first need to detect autism in the child, then seek out multidisciplinary support to prevent stereotypies from impairing social interaction.

We also try to reduce stereotypies when they’re secondary and appear at a later age. Here again, they can disrupt the personal and social life of the person suffering. A psychiatrist should therefore be consulted to look for other associated illnesses. Depending on the individual, a course of medication may be suggested, as well as cognitive behavioral therapy to control and reduce the stereotypies.

Editor’s note – Be alert to disturbances

You now know what stereotypy is. If you notice that your child’s stereotypy is a long-term problem, coupled with other behaviors, it’s important to seek help. The same applies if it appears later and is unusual. If you’re an adult and this concerns you, don’t hesitate to contact an addiction service to assess the consequences of your consumption. In all cases, it’s important to talk about it if it’s disrupting the life of the child or the person concerned.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!

#BornToBeMe

Be sure to check out these articles too;

Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

Read our latest articles here:

Should You Really Confess Your Feelings?

Who hasn’t had a crush in their life? You know, it’s when you fall for someone and have feelings for them even though you don’t really know them. I’m one of those people who have had lots of crushes, and sometimes I’ve even admitted my feelings. In fact, a recent example was just before I started my relationship with my current partner. I offloaded what I was feeling all of a sudden… I’ll tell you why I did it and how to go about it.

How To Get Revenge On A Narcissist?

Narcissistic abuse is one of the most horrific challenges anyone can ever go through in life, but that’s not to say that their reign of terror will last forever. Evidently, breaking the cycle of abuse isn’t exactly straightforward, however, once the discard phase has been activated and victims realize that they can walk away with their heads held high, the revenge phase can commence 😈. Unsurprisingly, getting even with a raging egocentric narcissist needs to be carefully planned, but ironically, their self-centered personalities expose to many axes of revenge, which will evidently really get to them…

Are Narcissists Lonely?

Loneliness is one of society’s biggest enemies, and none of us are exempt from it, not even the most devilish of narcissists out there. In fact, throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, 36% of Americans claimed that they have never felt lonelier, which sets a scary benchmark for the wider population 😔. Now, lots of us would no doubt immediately assume that narcissists are too independent and strong-willed to feel alone, however, the truth is they are often the biggest victims of loneliness, yet simply have trouble expressing their inner malaise.

"Nobody Likes Me"

Never invited to parties, never listened to or solicited... It feels like you're just an ordinary person, who is pushed aside and has no value. If this is the case, we often end up coming to the sad conclusion that "nobody likes us! But, why do we think this? Now, this thought does not reflect reality, it hides deeper issues that need to be worked on to detach ourselves from this heavy feeling. Everyone deserves to be loved, including us!

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. 😱 You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Why Do I Feel Bad When People Don’t Message Me Back?

Friday night rolls around and after a hard week you were expecting to have a drink with a girlfriend, but she seems to have left you hanging on read... To make matters worse (and the humiliation?) you even saw the little typing sign appear, yet you never received a reply. Well, if that’s the case, obviously you or your "how about a drink tonight?" didn’t deserve an answer. Let’s take a look at why some people don't reply to messages, and why when someone doesn't reply to your text, this makes us feel so bad.

Do Narcissists Enjoy Kissing?

Kissing is a deeply intimate act, and although in popular culture it is often classed as only being worthy of first base, it does in fact go way beyond that toxic evaluation. We have no doubt all had at least one lingering kiss that we’ll never forget; one which left all of our senses tingling and hungry for more. 💏 Well, that memorable smooch left us reminiscing because it was sincere and meant something. In short, it encapsulated love and romance, which are two things that narcissists are quite simply incapable of feeling.

How Do You Know A Narcissist Is Cheating?

Narcissism is wholly incompatible with healthy relationships, which goes some way in explaining why people with this personality disorder always believe the grass is greener elsewhere. Indeed, fidelity isn’t something they excel in and adds to their exhaustive list of weaknesses alongside their love of manipulation and dishonesty. 💔 However, they are so cunning and crafty that catching them out and confirming your intuitions is no easy feat. To make things easier for you, here are the 10 signs you need to look out for if you believe your narcissistic man is cheating on you.

I Never Thought I’d Say This, But I Hate Working From Home…

Work has always been a synonym of repression for me because it takes up so much of our precious time. Let’s be honest, a 9-5 job with a horrendous daily commute often means that work is sadly our sole occupation. So, when the Covid-19 pandemic struck over a year ago, and we were all ordered to stay home, I found it hard to hide my joy in front of my distraught coworkers; although thankfully my acting talents saved me. You can probably already tell, but going into the office every day was nothing less than torture for me. Yet, all these months later, I’ve realized that I despise working from home and would do anything to sit in my uncomfortable office chair once again!

Do Narcissists Play The Victim?

If you have ever had the displeasure of encountering someone with a narcissistic personality disorder, then you’ll no doubt already know how manipulative they are. Indeed, these folks despise taking responsibility for their actions and will do whatever it takes to avoid taking the rap for them, including play the victim. That’s right, these master puppeteers won’t hold back on pulling the strings and changing the narrative so that it suits them. Plus, they know exactly how to turn the waterworks when they want to get people on side.



Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

Wengood's playlist

wengood

  1. Only LoveBen Howard
    4:08
  2. Invalid date
  3. Fix YouColdplay
    4:55
  4. Beautiful DayU2
    4:08
  5. Thinking out LoudEd Sheeran
    4:41
  6. White FlagDido
    4:00
  7. Lay Me DownSam Smith
    4:13
  8. Nine Million BicyclesKatie Melua
    3:17
  9. Put Your Records OnCorinne Bailey Rae
    3:35
  10. Summertime SadnessLana Del Rey
    4:24
  11. Imagine - Remastered 2010John Lennon
    3:07
  12. Shake It OutFlorence + The Machine
    4:37
  13. Space Oddity - Love You Til Tuesday versionDavid Bowie
    3:46
  14. What A Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
    2:17
  15. With Or Without YouU2
    4:56
  16. HelloAdele
    4:55
  17. Don't Stop Me NowQueen
    3:29
  18. Skinny LoveBirdy
    3:21
  19. WingsBirdy
    4:12
  20. Californian SoilLondon Grammar
    3:41

How to detect a narcissist

How to detect a narcissist

How to soothe an anxiety attack

How to soothe an anxiety attack