The Autism Toolbox: Behaviours - Understanding and Managing Them

This "Toolbox" brings together advice, local support, services, activities and resources relating to autism. The name toolbox has been chosen to reflect that anyone, with or without an autism diagnosis, parents and professionals can make use of this information which covers various topics.  This section is about understanding and managing behaviours.

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In this section (Jump to)

A parent's guide to autism

Information on common behaviours

Challenging Behaviour

Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Autism misconceptions

Pupil Referral Units

Also of interest

 A parent's guide to autism

A guide to coping with autism at home and in education. Topics include behaviours, sleeping and eating. 

Read: A parent's guide to autism


Information on common behaviours

The National Autistic Society website has an area covering common behaviours such as anxiety, obsession and repetition, and tips on minimising difficulties.

Read: Behaviours (NAS)


Understanding Behaviour courses by The Puzzle Centre

The Puzzle Centre run an ‘Understanding Behaviour’ course for parents and professionals on managing behaviours. These courses run at least once per year and in some cases can be offered to schools and settings. For more information email or visit


Challenging Behaviour

The National Autistic Society has put together an article covering challenging behaviours some autistic people can display. The article also has general ideas on strategies to try, and information on getting support.

Read: Challenging Behaviour (NAS)


Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA)

Pathological Demand Avoidance or PDA is a behaviour profile that is sometimes seen in people on the autism spectrum. PDA is not recognised universally as a behaviour profile and is thought to be relatively uncommon. Despite this, there is still plenty of information available. Demand avoidance behaviour is said to stem from an anxiety-based need to be in control. Those with PDA can often be resistant to everyday activities, or usual things that are expected of someone.

Where can I find out more about PDA?

Below are two useful websites to find out more about Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA).

National Autistic Society - What is pathological demand avoidance (PDA)?


Autism misconceptions

Whether it's at school, work or in social settings, people with autism are often misunderstood. They often suffer discrimination, intolerance and isolation, resulting in many feeling excluded from everyday society. This article covers the most common misconceptions about Autism.

Read: Autism Misconceptions


Pupil Referral Units

There are seven "Pupil Referral Units" or "PRU" in Buckinghamshire. These are establishment maintained by a local authority (Buckinghamshire County Council) which is specifically organised to provide education for children who are excluded, sick, or otherwise unable to attend a mainstream or special maintained school.

View PRUs in Buckinghamshire

Related Educational Support 

Ambitious College

London’s first specialist day college for children and young people with complex autism.

Animal Antiks (Aylesbury)

Facility for young people with learning difficulties, special needs, and emotional or behavioural issues.  Throughout the week, they provide an environment which is designed to promote the young people we work with the opportunity to achieve, grow in self-confidence and esteem, achieve greater independence, alongside improving life, social and functional skills.


Also of Interest

Girls and ASD