Self Injurious Behavior

Self-injurious behavior (SIB)

Self Injurious Behavior

Self-injurious behavior (SIB) involves the occurrence of behavior that could result in physical injury to one’s own body. Self-injurious behaviors are normally nonsuicidal self-injury that is a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration such as:

  • Self-cutting (cuts or severe scratches with a sharp object)
  • Self-scratching
  • Burning (with lit matches, cigarettes, or heated, sharp objects such as knives)
  • Carving words or symbols on the skin
  • Self-hitting, punching, or head banging
  • Piercing the skin with sharp objects
  • Inserting objects under the skin
  • Self-choking
  • Self-biting like of one’s own hand
  • Hair pulling
  • Hand mouthing
  • Picking at the skin or scabs

However, SIB can result in more severe injuries such as blindness, broken bones, or even death.

Signs and symptoms of self-injury may include:

  • Scars, often in patterns
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, bite marks or other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Frequent reports of accidental injury
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity, and unpredictability
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness

Why do children resort to Self- injurious Behavior?

It tends to happen as a result of gaining attention or access to a preferred toy or activity. Self-injury also occurs to escape from or avoid low preferred activities such as activities of daily living (e.g., brushing teeth) or academic demands. It may even be because of poor coping skills or difficulty managing their emotions.

SIB is displayed by 10 to 15 percent of individuals with intellectual disabilities and is more common in children with ASD. The function(s) of the SIB must be identified before a proper behavior plan can be developed. Behavioral interventions have been demonstrated to be effective in treating self-injury.

Let Leafwing help to devise a plan to help address Self- injurious Behavior in your child.

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