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Steps to help with behaviour that challenge in pupils with Autism

Our head explains

One step at a time

Behaviours that challenge us in children with autism and other SEND serve a purpose. The key to effecting change is to understand what that purpose might be. At the Education show in Birmingham last year our head Jacqueline Wheble explained, this was later published in a magazine.

Pupils with autism and other disabilities often display behaviours we find deeply troubling. Their actions may, for example, be preventing them from learning or they may be disrupting the education of their peers. In some cases, the pupil may be inflicting physical harm on themselves or on others.

Clearly, we can’t allow this to go on, but how do we begin to address it?

The first step is to understand the link between autism and challenging behaviours. Children with autism have reasons for behaving in the way that they do, even if these seem unfathomable to us. It is vital that we uncover what the reasons might be. Only then are we in a position to develop a support plan that will help them to communicate and fulfil their needs in a more socially acceptable way. The following framework provides a systematic, step-by-step approach.

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You can view the full article as a pdf by clicking on the pdf icon below and soon to be a page in the information section.

Pictor Academy

Pictor Academy caters for children aged 2 – 11 with special educational needs arising from a range of conditions. A large number of pupils have an autistic spectrum disorder. This means that they have difficulties communicating and interacting with others. They will also have difficulties with play and imagination. Some of our pupils have physical difficulties whilst others may have a language disorder or have a general developmental delay.

Mission Statement

We promote achievement for all and an enjoyment in learning for life


We help each pupil to succeed through a challenging curriculum, innovative teaching and highly trained, experienced staff


We build effective and engaging learning partnerships between school and home

Outreach Support

We are now able to offer the following outreach support to settings:

• observation and advice on meeting the needs of a targeted pupil including strategies, differentiating the curriculum and developing Individual Education Plans

• training packages to support a school in meeting the needs of a targeted pupil

• workshops for staff training and development