What is it?
Perseveration means to respond in the same way repetitively, and can include behaviours like echolalia, stimming, stereotypies, obsessions and routines.
But repetition is only half the story when it comes to perseveration. It’s not just about doing the same thing over and over - it’s continuing to do that thing past the point where it’s reasonable to stop (because the conditions have changed or the behaviour no longer serves a purpose) or being unable to stop. And that’s the key idea about perseveration, the ‘being stuck’ part.
Perseveration can involve actions, thoughts, words, phrases and emotions. For example:
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