The deep WHY behind your child’s behaviour

by Adina Levy

There is a reason behind any behaviour, any action, that someone does. I call this the ‘deep why’. People also talk about the reason being an ‘unmet need’.

This can be different from the immediate trigger or the obvious cause.

We may not always know the ‘deep why’ but as your child’s parent, you have an excellent advantage – you know your child best, and you can have a very good guess about the deep why behind your child’s behaviour.

Sometimes your child can communicate the deep why behind their behaviour, perhaps after the emotions have calmed.

It can be really hard for anyone to recognise our own deep why. It can be hard to communicate it.


Here are some possible ‘deep why’s behind behaviour:

  •  needing connection
  •  sensory dysregulation
  •  difficulty sensing internal feelings (interoception)
  •  uncertainty about what’s happening or what’s expected
  •  task is too hard
  •  difficulty expressing their needs, wants or emotions


Once you know (or guess) the ‘deep why’ behind your child’s behaviours, you are able to support them.

Help them where the deep why is, not where the behaviour or immediate trigger is.

You’ll find that your child’s communication, regulation, and your connection with them is supported when you go deep!


Questions for you to think about:

🌟 What was the last tricky behaviour that your child did?

🌟 What do you think was the ‘deep why’ behind it?

🌟 Does this change how you want to help your child, now and in the future, to reduce this tricky behaviour happening?


Want to chat more about your child’s behaviour and how to understand the ‘deep why’, so that you can build their skills and support their unmet needs?

Check out my upcoming Connect & Grow LIVE 6-week parent course. This is for parents of autistic children or parents of children who might be autistic, and you’re on a diagnosis journey.


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