There are several methods that can help minimize perseverative actions in children with autism. One of the most commonly used methods is redirection, in which the caregiver helps the child transition away from the perseveration. There are three main techniques of redirection, including abrupt and smooth variations.
The caregiver can also set limits on the perseverative activity. For example, a caregiver might say, "You can do that one more time, and then it's time to stop" or "If you need to do that, you can do it in your bedroom. When you're ready to stop, you can come back and play." For more extreme or offensive examples of perseveration, the caregiver might need to stop it dramatically by drawing a picture of the perseveration and then ripping it up, saying sternly, "It's gone now; it's time to stop right away!" And of course, if the perseveration does not seem to be interfering with social interactions or schoolwork, the caregiver could simply ignore it.
In situations where the above treatment techniques do not appear to work, medication may be necessary. SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) can help treat perseverations, and they may even be used in addition to the other interventions outlined in this article. SSRIs that may help include Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft.