Why do Some Autistic Children do Self-Injury and Self-Harm to Themselves?

I am sure you are curious and ask yourself, why would anyone want to hurt or harm themselves? That is a question that is difficult to answer especially when it comes to children with autism.

First of all, it is not only children who give themselves self inflicted wounds or harm to themselves, there are many adults with autism who do the same. Self-injury or self-harm seems to calm the emotional, frustration that the individuals have. Self-injury behavior is experienced by both genders. There is no higher rate of it being done to more males verses females, or a certain age bracket.

The main reason there is self-injury and self-harm, is it causes the person to revert the attention that will redirect the focus away from their thoughts and feelings, that are even worse or seem to be more heavy to deal with or understand.

Many children with autism feel rejected, bullied, do not fit in society, do not fit with their families and siblings. Therefore, by doing self-harm or injury to themselves, this causes an escape for them not to deal with the real cause of their feelings. Children with autism, usually have a challenging time to communicate verbally and lack many skills that require communication,. But they have feelings, they have visual skills and are unique in other areas, that are stronger than individuals without the disorder.

It is valuable as parent(s) or caregiver(s) that your children view you as good, kind and loving even when it is extremely challenging. Children with autism do not have the maturity or understanding to acknowledge what is "bad" outside of what you tell them.

It is an excellent idea to try to communicate the best you can with your child for them to know you love them unconditionally. If your child thinks the problem is within themselves, then it might produce self-injury or self-harm. This could make them do the harm even more and it will be difficult for them to stop it.

Remember, individuals with autism do not understand the pain that is going on or how to explain it within themselves, of what the pain they are having is. This is due to their lack of communication skills and sometimes not understanding.

You as parent(s), caregiver(s), must be in tune to understand that to avoid self-injury and self-harm to your child, be there for them, love them, let them know they are important to you and your family.

The last point, I want to say, is, for an individual with autism to injure his self or her self, by self-injury or self-harm, they are also numbing their feelings. By doing this, they do not feel the physical pain in addition to the emotional pain.

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This article was published on 02 Apr 2010 and has been viewed 1742 times
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