How to Handle Mood Swings

A ‘mood swing’ is a term used to describe a rapid change in someone’s mood. Mood swings are thought to be caused by the fluctuation in hormones and body changes during puberty, although there is very little evidence to prove it.


Moodiness in the vast majority of teenagers might be difficult to live with at the time, but it passes with increasing age and confidence. However, if low moods persist seek advice from a Doctor.

Video – Adolescent development and teenagers with special needs

It may help to arm the teenager with autism with some strategies to handle mood swings – these include:

  • The teenager should be taught to recognise when they are in a bad or low mood
  • Teach the teenager to say something like the following to friends and family when they are feeling down:
    • “I am in a bad mood, this is temporary and while it lasts I’d prefer not to join in.”
  • Teach the teenager coping strategies to improve mood:
  • Promote teenage activities, which may allow the student to integrate better with his or her peers, social acceptance is important such as:
    • Going shopping
    • Straightening hair
    • Going to the cinema with peers
    • Meeting up for coffee
    • Participating in social activities at school or in the community
    • Joining a sports club
    • Finding a shared interest group

Video on teenage independence