Author: Lisa “Luna” DeCurtis, M.A., CCC-SLP
Autistic people often exhibit quirky behavior that is not appropriate in a social setting, ruins clothing or toys, and hurts them. Things like biting on a their collars or sleeves, picking at their skin, flapping their arms, making a high pitched scream, jumping up and down…sometimes these behaviors are in response to sensory stimuli, sometimes they are provoked by anxiety, sometimes they are a way to communicate, and sometimes they are just a bad habit. Whatever the case may be, often the more we try to stop them, the more they persist or morph into something worse. When dealing with quirky behaviors, rather than try to stop, try to REPLACE the behavior with something less destructive and more socially acceptable.