Arranging and ordering in autism spectrum disorder: Characteristics, severity, and environmental correlates

Nicole M. Rodriguez, Rachel H. Thompson, Corey S. Stocco, Kevin Schlichenmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background There is a need for a more accurate characterisation of higher level restricted and repetitive behaviour (RRB) in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including why it might be considered problematic and events associated with its occurrence. Method We selected one form of higher level RRB-Arranging and ordering-that was rated as severe for a large percentage of the population sampled. We interviewed 20 students' teachers and conducted naturalistic observations for 15 of those students. Results The characteristics of arranging and ordering varied across, and sometimes within, individuals. Problems associated with compulsive-like behaviour also varied, with several unanticipated reported problems. With the exception of attention, social consequences were relatively infrequent. Conclusions These data highlight the need for research on the assessment and treatment of arranging and ordering and clinical attention to compulsive-like behaviour in ASD. Interviews and naturalistic observations are useful for structuring additional observations and analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-255
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Arranging and ordering
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Compulsive behaviour
  • Higher level restricted and repetitive behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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