Stereotypy refers to repetitive motor movements or vocalizations that are noncontextual and maladaptive. These behaviors are among the most common abnormal behaviors in individuals with intellectual and developmental disorders, though they are not unique to that population. Stereotypic behaviors also occur in individuals with typical development and in many animal species. In animals, stereotyped movements are typically thought to be a sign of environmental deprivation; in individuals with typical development, other concerns should be ruled out, such as low environmental stimulation, tic disorders, or medical problems. Repetitive movements exhibited in individuals with Parkinson’s disease are not considered stereotypic as their etiology, structure, and developmental course are different.

Repetitive behaviors and restricted patterns of interest are a part of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder and ...

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