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5 Reasons Why Your Child Receiving Special Education May Be Misbehaving

JoAnn Collins

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Does your child with autism have increased behavioral difficulty at school? Do you sometimes wonder, why your child misbehaves at certain times of day at school, or while doing certain activities? To determine what your child is receiving from the behavior a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) must be conducted. But this article, will give you a few things that could be causing your child's behavior.

Reason 1: Your child could be having difficulty with their behavior, due to a health concerns. When my daughter Angelina was younger she would have behavioral outbursts that seemed to be tied to not feeling well. I would take her home, she would go to bed, and wake up and do just fine.

Also if your child has seizures, the behavior could be seizure related. Keep track of the behavior and check with your child's doctor, if you think there could be a health reason for the behavior.

Reason 2: Many children with autism or other disabilities have sensory integration dysfunction; which can negatively affect their behavior. Some children misbehave, because they are wanting, sensory stimulation. Or some children are trying to avoid sensory stimulation.

You can learn more about sensory integration dysfunction, by reading a book about the disorder. Or search the internet for treatments and things that can be done in the classroom to help your child.

Reason 3: Your child could be trying to escape hard academics, or a situation that they cannot handle.

Investigate and make sure that your child is being taught academics at their level so that they do not get frustrated.

Reason 4: Some children misbehave because they are trying to get attention, from other students or special education personnel.

Reason 5: If your child is not receiving an appropriate education in the right type of placement, they may experience a lot of behavioral difficulty.

When my daughter Angelina was younger, she would throw herself on the ground to avoid hard academics. Also if a child is unable to learn academics, it might be time to consider functional skills training. In my advocacy I have seen many children positively respond to functional skills, without behavior. Angelina also responded very well to increased functional skills training rather than a focus on academics.

By learning if any special circumstances are causing your child's behavior difficulties, you will be able to try some different things to see if they help! Good Luck!

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has helped families navigate the special eduation system, as an advocate, for over 15 years. She is a presenter and author of the book “Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game. " The book has a lot of resources and information to help parents fight for an appropriate education for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled “The Special Education Spotlight" send an E mail to: For more information on the book, testimonials about the book, and a link to more articles go to:


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