The relationship between stereotyped movements and self-injurious behavior in children with developmental or sensory disabilities
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Stereotyped movements (SM), including stereotyped self-injurious behaviour (SIB), are common among children with developmental and sensory disorders, but it is not known if SIB is a more severe form of SM or whether SIB and SM differ in kind. We developed the Stereotyped and Self-Injurious Movement Interview (SSIMI) to assess injurious and non-injurious SM. The SSIMI was administered to children with autism (n=56), intellectual disability (n=29), vision impairment (n=50), hearing impairment (n=51), and typical children (n=30). Results indicate that the reliability of measurement increases when SIB and other SM items are included in a single scale, that SIB is rarely evident in the absence of other SM (but not vice versa), that between group differences in the prevalence of SIB are paralleled by differences in the prevalence of other SM, and that correlations between SIB and other SM are moderately strong in autism, vision impaired, and intellectual disability groups but not in typical and hearing impaired groups. We conclude that the SSIMI is a useful measure of SIB and other SM. Among children with autism, vision impairment, or intellectual disability, SIB appear to represent a more severe form of SM. Both SIB and other SM may result from impairments in intellectual and sensory processing.
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