The association between self-injurious behaviors and autism spectrum disorders

Psychol Res Behav Manag. 2014 Apr 12;7:125-36. doi: 10.2147/PRBM.S44635. eCollection 2014.


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: applied behavior analysis; autism spectrum disorders; self-injury.

Publication types

  • Review