Self Injuring Behaviors in Autism


Good morning everyone! I hope your day is going well.


Today I want to talk about something that is very difficult for Autism parents to witness. It is common for children with Autism to hurt themselves. Sometimes they lash out at us or other people. Chloe doesn’t hit us or others, but she will hurt herself.

Chloe started hurting herself pretty young. I can remember at 15 months old her throwing herself backwards and hitting her head on the floor. She also would bang the front of her head on the floor. Her therapist  would have me catch her and place my hand or a pillow under her head.  Now Chloe will hit herself on the head, face and even her stomach. She hits VERY HARD!! I have told her not to hit herself, but she doesn’t even act like it hurts. It just baffles me. I forgot to mention that she also, once she started walking, would jump up and land on her knees.  I thought “She is going to break her knee caps”! Her pediatrician told me I needed to stop her. It wasn’t that easy. 

Today she still throws herself down on the floor, even tile floors. She doesn’t even flinch. I am always telling her not to do it, but she just looks at me like “What’s the problem Mom”. LOL. I constantly research how to help with self injurious behaviors, but nothing has helped yet. Its just her way to express frustration and anger. I have tried to teach her to hit pillows or even give herself a squeeze. We do many deep breaths. She is also a screamer, so the screaming and the hitting herself is very tough to watch and listen too. Hopefully, as she gets back into therapy, she will learn a different way to cope with anger.

Do any of you have children who hurt themselves? What do you do when it happens?

Have a wonderful day

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