Top Three Behavior Strategies for Autistic Children



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Autism is called a spectrum because no two autistic children will ever display the same symptoms. Some autistic children will only display mild symptoms, whereas others will have severe symptoms and hence display a wide range of difficult human behavior.

When it comes to autistic behavior, some of the common behavioral characteristics in autistic children and individuals include the following aspects:

  • Difficulty in understanding language
  • Difficulty in using language
  • Difficulty in understanding the different aspects of language, including sarcasm, facial expressions, and body language.
  • Difficulty in ordinarily assessing sensory information.
  • They excessively need to have a routine.
  • Difficulty in understanding others feelings and opinions.
  • The inability to express empathy or feel sympathy.
  • Difficulty collaborating with others on activities that lack a clear ending.
  • Difficulty in giving up an activity or switching from one activity to another.
  • Difficulty in participating in activities in the absence of clear instructions.

Typically, the above-mentioned behavioral characteristics can lead to serious behavioral problems at home and in public, which can be quite frustrating for the child and the adult caring for them.

We know that human behavior is affected by the environment. When it comes to autistic children, their behavior is massively different than that of neuro-typical kids, which is why it is even more important for the parents of autistic children to assess their autistic child for applied behavior analysis to determine their triggers.


This way, the parents of autistic children will be in a better position to troubleshoot their kids’ behavioral issues and prevent major problems from occurring in the first place. Here are some strategies that can help you prevent behavioral problems at home and in the public.

The following strategies can also help you encourage positive behavioral changes in the autistic child.

Read on to learn more!


Let the Child See the Bigger Picture

You will want to encourage your autistic child to behave more positively by informing them about what will happen next. We know that autistic children love routines, which means that they love predictability.

So, as a caregiver, you will want to ensure that they don’t get startled or triggered, so you can give them a heads-up about what will happen after they have completed an activity. For instance, you might tell your autistic child that once they have completed playing with the building blocks, they will be brushing their teeth.

Timelines can also help establish boundaries and tell them what they can expect in the following minutes. For instance, you could tell them that it will be time to shut down the computer and start working on the writing assignment after ten minutes.


You will want to set up a visual timer to help them make the transition without getting triggered and displaying their frustration or anxiety. When the time to switch an activity is approaching, you will want to give them gentle reminders about the time winding down to two or one minute.

If your autistic child finds it challenging to understand numbers and the general concept of time, you can make effective use of visual timers, such as sand time, to help them understand how much time they have left to make the switch.

Visual Materials

Sometimes, autistic children have difficulty understanding language in general, which is why you will want to make effective use of pictures and other visual materials to support your argument. For instance, you could print out pictures and show them rather than tell them what is expected from them.


Suppose you want the child to work on math after they have played their game; you can use a visual board that will show them what they can do “first,” which will be the game. Next to the toy game, you will want to paste a picture of math objects with the heading “then,” which will serve as an indicator that they will have to practice math later.

You can make effective use of First/Then Apps to help your children understand what is expected of them. This way, you will not only curb behavioral issues, but you will also prevent a tantrum and encourage them to smoothly switch from one activity to another.

You can also use visual materials to break down the bigger tasks and set up the pictures chronologically to guide your autistic child about the expected task.


Be Patient yet Consistent

To encourage positive behavior in your autistic child, you will want to be clear with setting your expectations. Once you have set your expectations, you will want to remain patient yet consistent and make sure to follow through.

Suppose you tell your child that you will draw with them if they remain silent while you are talking over the phone; you will want to ensure that you stick to your end of the bargain. You might also give your autistic child a few choices regarding the activities they might want to do when you want them to behave positively.

Again, if your autistic child has trouble telling the time, you can make effective use of visual timers to help them understand the exact duration during which you want them to behave a certain way. Once the timer is up, you will want to keep your end of the promise.


You will want to be consistent and follow through to elicit a positive response from your child. This way, your autistic child will understand better the things that are expected from them, and they will instantly believe what you will say and comply accordingly.

The more improvement you detect, the more you can increase the time limits. Gradually, you will start to see a difference in your child’s behavior as they will learn how to play silently while you are on the phone. This one example can be applied to many other scenarios as well.

It is important to mention here that no matter what happens, you will want to follow through at all costs. The underlying key is to keep implementing expectations consistently and ensure that you are following through on your promise at all costs.

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