• Autism Help UK

Is This Autism Behaviour or Naughtiness?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

Some behaviours of your autistic child may appear naughty, but they are actually just their way of trying to function effectively. This then begs the question, is this just apart of my child's behaviour or are they just being naughty? Here some ways to help you decipher your child's behaviour.

child playing with toy behaviour vs naughtiness autism blog

The Concern

Some behaviours shown in autistic children might be seen as misbehaviour in other children. For example, they may shout or act out when they are feeling overwhelmed. If a child was to do this, they would usually be told off. However, for an autistic child, this behaviour is usually their way of expressing that their senses are being overloaded. This shouldn't result in a telling off from parents, but rather a show of compassion and patience to help your child through the situation.

However, this doesn't mean they don't have times when they will act naughtily. Just as with any child, there will be moments when they misbehave. Parents need to recognise these moments so they can help their child to understand what is right and what is wrong.

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- Behaviour: The way someone act.

- Naughtiness: Choosing to misbehave or act badly.


Tips To Help

Determining if your child's actions are just apart of their behaviour or out of naughtiness can be tough. Here are a few way to help you decide.

Observe their behaviour

As most people will agree, when growing up, parents tends to know you better than you know yourself. This applies here. As your child grows, you will come to understand which acts are apart of your child's behaviour and which are not. This will take time and patience but will lead to you understanding your child better than anyone. You will begin to understand how they usually act and when they are acting out.

Tip: You may find it helpful to keep a journal with your child's behaviour in it. You can write down how your child behaves in certain situations.

Understand Sensory Overload

A lot of times, 'misbehaviour' is actually the result of sensory overload. When your child's senses get over whelmed (whether by smells, bright lights, or loud noises) they may act out as they are in stress. When this happens, you need to help

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