In Injury propensity among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Clinical Psychologist and blogger Nestor L. Lopez-Duran Ph.D., host of Translating Autism, reviews a study which , in Nestor's words, "provides some compelling evidence indicating a higher risk of injury in children with autism as compared to typically developing children. "
The study - McDermott, S., Zhou, L., Mann, J. (2008). Injury Treatment among Children with Autism or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38(4), 626-633. DOI 10.1007/s10803-007-0426-9 provides information which confirms what many parents already know - children with autism are more likely to be injured than typically developing children. Generally children with autism disorder are 21% more likely to be injured than their typical peers. Two specific injuries that jump out by their magnitude - children with ASD's are 760% more likely to suffer a poisoning injury and 762% more likely to suffer from a self inflicted injury than their neurotypical peers.
I am no fan of the thinking of those who assert that autism disorder is not in fact a disorder; that it is just a natural variation that should be embraced, but any condition which results in such serious levels of self injury is obviously a disorder. Period.
Interestingly, despite the extreme rhetoric of the "autism is beautiful" crowd which tries to smear parents seeking to cure their autistic children by insinuating that such "curebie" parents are responsible for atrocities like the murder of Katie McCarron the study provides no assistance to their argument - children with ASDs are not more likely to be injured by peers or adults.
As a parent controlling and minimizing self injurious behaviors is one of the several reasons why I use and seek ABA intervention for my profoundly autistic son. His reality includes self aggression. The Michelle Dawsons and Amanda Baggs can ignore that reality. As his father I can not and this study is a perfect indicator of why I can not.
Many thanks, again, to Nestor L. Lopez-Duran for highlighting and explaining this study.