February 1, 2024


Perseveration is an uncontrolled response--such as a word, phrase, or gesture--perpetuated to an exceptional degree despite termination of a stimulus.


Perseveration is an uncontrolled response–such as a word, phrase, or gesture–perpetuated to an exceptional degree despite termination of a stimulus. Perseverative acts include object perseveration, action perseveration (includes ritualistic behavior), verbal perseveration (includes topic and content), grammatical rigidity and deviant repetitive language. For example, repeating a word or phrase, lining objects up for hours, or becoming fixated on a certain topic might be considered preservative behavior.


Perseveration is a method for regulating the nervous system. Children use such behaviors as coping mechanisms in response to their environments. When they feel overwhelmed, they use perseverative methods to remain in control of that which surrounds them. They feel safe and comforted by the repetition of the action of which they are in control.

Perseveration is one of the key diagnostic criteria of autism. However, perseveration is not specific to autism. Children with other disorders also exhibit perseveration, including those diagnosed with Down Syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Fragile X Syndrome.


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy and occupational therapy are useful in treating perseveration.


At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our occupational and behavior therapists will help your child fulfill his needs through a variety of behavioral, social and sensory strategies. They will help facilitate positive coping skills to environmental challenges and help reduce or eliminate your child’s perseveration habits. By exploring his environment in a safe setting, your child will learn new ways to deal with unfamiliar circumstances at home, school, and in any social situation in which he may find himself.

Download our Guide for Families

We know that choosing a local ABA facility can be a hard decision. We’ve created an informational guide to help you understand more about the questions you should be asking while meeting with different providers.

Although we talk about our services here, our highest goal is for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about picking a provider that is the best fit for your needs. You are making a decision that will impact the entire trajectory of your child’s life!
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The cover of the NSPT Guide for Families, which helps families to figure out the questions to ask when picking an ABA provider.


Why we do what we do.
Success looks different for every child... But we bet we have a story that matches your child's needs. Like James, who started with us as non-verbal and lacking the ability to initiate and maintain social interactions. Today, he can speak complete sentences, clearly state his needs, and navigate social interactions with his friends!

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  • 1
    Submit an inquiry form
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  • 2
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  • 3
    Paperwork & insurance
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  • 4
    Treatment personalization
    We'll schedule an assessment date for your child with one of our clinicians. This assessment will serve as the basis for your child’s personalized treatment plan. After, we'll meet to discuss recommendations and your child’s treatment plan and start date.
  • 5
    Start making progress!
    We will greet and welcome your child to our warm and supportive environment where our staff will provide 1-on-1 care to meet our treatment goals.