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The association between self-injurious behaviors and autism spectrum disorders

Authors Minshawi N, Hurwitz S, Fodstad J, Biebl S, Morriss D, McDougle C

Received 21 December 2013

Accepted for publication 19 February 2014

Published 12 April 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 125—136

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PRBM.S44635

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Noha F Minshawi,1 Sarah Hurwitz,2 Jill C Fodstad,1 Sara Biebl,3 Danielle H Morriss,4 Christopher J McDougle5

1Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine, Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA; 2School of Education, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA; 3Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health, Sanford Health, Fargo, ND, USA; 4Medical College of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 5Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Lurie Center for Autism, Massachusetts General Hospital and MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Abstract: A key area of concern in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are self-injurious behaviors (SIBs). These are behaviors that an individual engages in that may cause physical harm, such as head banging, or self-biting. SIBs are more common in children with ASD than those who are typically developing or have other neurodevelopmental disabilities. Therefore, it is important that clinicians who work with children with ASD have a solid understanding of SIB. The purpose of this paper is to review the research on the epidemiology of SIB in children with ASD, factors that predict the presence of SIB in this population, and the empirically supported behavioral treatments available.

Keywords: self-injury, autism spectrum disorders, applied behavior analysis

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