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Many children on the spectrum get agitated and even aggressive when they are told to do something or given a “no.” 

Some parents struggle with non-compliance from their children.

Below are some suggestions to help non-compliance with children with ASD.

Advance Notice

Giving your child a notice that he will need to stop what he is doing in five minutes can also help prevent problem behavior.

Keep it simple

Keep the direction as simple as possible. Do not give your child more directions than he can handle. This is going to create an agitating situation and promote noncompliance with your child. If you know that the task is too hard for your child, don’t ask him to do it!

“Catch” your child listening

When you see your child sitting at the table, say it’s dinnertime. Then praise him for listening so quickly. Make a big deal about it. Say “Wow! Guys, did you see how quick it took for Jack to come to the dinner table!! He is the first one here!!”

Positive Choices

Provide your child with positive choices. Ask him “do you want to play at the park or watch a movie.”

This will get him used to listening to you and choosing an option.

Empower your child

Ask your child “Do you want to take a bath or go into your bed.” This strategy helps your child feel empowered and involved in decision making. Provide your child with as many areas of control over the day as possible. Let him choose his clothes, snack, toys, etc.


Consider using humor when making a request.

Give Instructions Calmly

Use a calm voice with the expectation that your child will listen.

Reinforcement, Reinforcement, Reinforcement

Don’t forget to provide your child with meaningful reinforcement when compliance occurs!!

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