Cri Du Chat

Self-injurious behaviour in autism spectrum disorder

Presenter: Prof. Chris Oliver

Date of presentation: 2nd November

Conference or event: Fonden Samrådet International Autism Conference

Venue: Kulturecenter Limfjord, Skive, Denmark


Overview of the talk

The presentation focused on self-injurious behaviour in children and adults who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in combination with a moderate to severe level of intellectual disability. The prevalence and risk of self-injury in ASD are discussed with reference to data collected by the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders. From these and other data, risk markers that appear to predict the presence, severity and chronicity of self-injury are described. The presentation focused on the issue of whether self-injurious behaviour is a special case of challenging behaviour. Additionally, the phenomena of preferred imposed restraint and self-restraint were described in detail with implications for intervention and theoretical models of the causes of self-injury outlined.



Accessible summaries on self-injury and pain

Self- injury papers on prevalence, persistence, risk markers and service delivery

Lectures available online


Paper on self-restraint in people with ASD showing self-injury:

Predictors of Self-Injurious Behavior and Self-Restraint in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Towards a Hypothesis of Impaired Behavioral Control. [View on Researchgate] [Alternative View]


Paper describing a model of the causes of self-injury:

Self-injurious behaviour in children with developmental delay [View on Researchgate] [Alternative View]


Paper on self-injury and depression (relevant to pain):

The purported association between depression, aggression and self-injury in people with intellectual disability: A critical review of the literature [View on Researchgate] [Alternative View]


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