Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a broad term describing a behavior that causes (or potentially produces) physical harm to oneself. This behavior is described in individuals intellectual and developmental disabilities, including those with autism. SIB is a severe clinical condition that produces serious medical consequences and limits life opportunities for the persons and those who care for them. Research confirms that applied behavior analysis based approaches designed to identify controlling variables of SIB, can lead to effective interventions. Current knowledge indicates that across individuals, SIB varies along a continuum of relative environmental-biological influence. Additional research is needed to identify how medication can be used in concert with behavioral treatment, and to better understand the biological variables that are associated with the occurrence and maintenance of SIB.
Louis P Hagopian