Often, people with Aspergers do the same thing repetitively. Like watch a certain show or movie. One of my favorite movies is Star Wars. Yes, original Star Wars, later renamed Part 4 – A New Hope. It’s just Star Wars to me.
Pre-VHS or DVD, I would catch it when I could on broadcast TV. I enjoyed watching it and could quote whole phrases from it. When I married my husband, he was amazed (or aghast) how often I watched the movie. He would ask me ‘Why are you watching this AGAIN?!’ I really didn’t know, I just liked it.
When I am sad, I have two go to movies: Casablanca and Star Trek – The Wrath of Khan. I like Casablanca for the actors and storyline and the quotes, some of the dialog between Rick and Captain Renault is wonderful. And ST – TWOK, well, I have always like Star Trek, and to me, that movie epitomizes the best aspects of the TV show, especially friendship and giving of oneself for others.
But WHY do many Aspergers watch the same shows/movies repeatedly? It’s Sunday morning and the boy has a cold but was up to offer some answers. For him, there were two main answers:
- Watching the show/movie repeatedly brings back the good feelings that were experienced the first time it was watched
- Watching the show/movie repeatedly allows the viewer to notice details they missed the first time (almost an Easter Egg feature)
Myself, I have noticed that watching certain shows/movies repeatedly can have a bonding feature to it. Think of the NT’s who enjoy ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ movie. They dress up like the characters in the movie, bring water guns, toasted bread, toilet paper to the theatre, and interact with the screen and each other as the movie plays. Everyone thinks that’s fun (and some people may think it a little odd). How is that different than those of us who can quote from ‘The Princess Bride’ or ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ or a host of other movies? Probably the depth of the repetition or the type of movie that is watched again and again and again?
At my house, we limit the time for electronic devices, including TV/DVD Player, which helps to cut down repetition. Also, having a set of chores to be done before electronics use helps as well.
At my current job, it is a good way to fit in to be able to quote from movies such as the Star Wars Trilogy, Star Trek, Monty Python, and Marvel Universe movies.
So, what should you do if you live with a movie repeater? Have patience, offer to watch one of their favorites IF they watch one of your favorites, and buy lots of popcorn and snowcaps.