BehaviourWhat We May ThinkWhat’s Actually Happening
Non-compliance– Doing it on purpose/willful misconduct
– Seeking attention
– Stubborn
– Difficulty translating verbal directions into action
– Doesn’t understand
Repeats the same mistakes– Doing it on purpose/willful misconduct
– Not trying
– Manipulative
– Unable to link cause and effect
– Unable to see similarities
– Difficulty generalizing
Unable to sit still/Not paying
– Doing it on purpose/willful misconduct
– Lazy, unmotivated
– Doesn’t care
– Seeking attention
– Bothering others, disruptive
– Neurologically-based need to move while learning
– Experiencing sensory overload
– Exhausted or tired of failing
– Learning style is inconsistent with teaching strategies
Not completing tasks– Doing it on purpose/willful misconduct
– Intentionally ignoring instructions
– Lazy, unfocused, avoiding
– Work refusal
– Difficulties transitioning between tasks
– Struggles to organize steps and mental tasks
– Memory impairments
Poor social interactions– Poor parenting
– May have experienced trauma
– Disruptive
– Unable to interpret social cues
– Does not know what to do in social settings
– Difficulty with impulse control
Overly physical– Doing it on purpose /willful misconduct
– Violent
– Disruptive, deviant
– Hyper- or hypo-sensitive to touch
– Does not understand social cues or
personal boundaries
Not responding– Deliberate ignoring
– Being disrespectful
– Poor attitude
– Slow processing speed
– Difficulty with verbal comprehension
– Hearing impairment
Stealing/Lying– Deliberate dishonesty
– Lack of conscience
– Poor parenting
– Unable to understand concept of ownership over time and space
– Immature thinking (finders keepers)
– Memory and sequencing difficulties
– Unable to accurately recall events
– Tries to please by telling you what they think you want to hear
Meltdowns– Inappropriate
– Immature
– Disobedient
– Seeking attention
– Experiencing sensory overload
– Overwhelmed
– Fatigued
– Poor fit between environment and their needs
Adapted from Diane Malbin