Many people with autism spectrum disorders – such as autism or Asperger syndrome – are reported to suffer from obsessive compulsions.
Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is described as a condition characterised by recurring, obsessive thoughts (obsessions) or compulsive actions (compulsions).
Obsessive thoughts are ideas, pictures of thoughts or impulses, which repeatedly enter the mind, whereas compulsive actions and rituals are behaviours that are repeated over and over again.
Some researchers (McDougle, 1995; Zandt, 2007) believe that OCD manifests itself differently in people with autistic spectrum disorders compared to other people.
It should be noted that OCD is not the same as the restricted and repetitive behaviours seen in many people with autistic spectrum disorders and that care should be taken to avoid confusion.
Baron-Cohen (1989) suggests that the terms obsession and compulsion should be used with considerable caution to describe repetitive and restricted behaviours and that the more descriptive term ‘repetitive activities’ should be used.
Last Updated : 13/07/2011 Back to Top