Autism fact sheet

Consider people's emotions

Remember that some autistic people find it harder to identify, and put into words, what emotions they are feeling straight away, so it’s important to be patient and give people time to express how they are feeling.

Do not put words into people’s mouths or make assumptions. Not all autistic people use words to communicate, especially if they are feeling very stressed or overwhelmed, but they might show some of their emotions with their bodies. For example, some autistic people ‘stim’ – this is a way of regulating emotions or sensations, and might be a repeated body movement or noise. You should never stop an autistic person from stimming unless it is putting them (or someone else) in danger.

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Page last reviewed: 20 December 2023