When You Get Non-Stop Questions from Your AS or HFA Child

Question

My 5 year old son with autism (high functioning)  has just started asking non-stop questions. I know that questions are a normal part of development, especially at this age, but his are EXTREME (one after another, questions upon questions, questions about the answers.... it is exhausting). By the end of the day, my head is just pounding from attempting to answer his questions, and if I don't answer them, it escalates into a meltdown. I don't know what to do and I feel like we are both losing our minds, and losing control of the situation. Any advice?

Answer

This is a common occurrence among children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's (AS). Here's an idea that has worked for other parents. Give it a try:

Set up a “question-and-answer time” (e.g., after dinner). This is a time where you’re going to sit down with your son for 5 to 15 minutes – and that’s his time to ask questions. You may even instruct him to keep a journal so he can keep track of questions and write them down. So, something goes into his “questions journal,” and then during question-and-answer time, you take the time to explain things to him.

The great thing about the use of question-and-answer time is, if he starts asking questions at 3:00 PM, you can say, “Write that in your questions journal please, and we’ll talk about it at question-and-answer time.” In this way, you get a way to defer the question and do what is called a “redirect.” You are effectively redirecting him to another task (writing) instead of the task of asking questions.

NOTE: He doesn’t actually have to write down the entire question …just a word of two that will jog his memory. For example, if he starts asking questions about birds, redirect him to write the word “birds” in his questions journal. Also, get him a very cool-looking journal—one that he will be proud of. He can decorate it with stickers – or whatever.

==> Preventing Tantrums and Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

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