Self abuse in my 22yo with CP — Scope | Disability forum
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Self abuse in my 22yo with CP

mlong2004 Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited July 2021 in Cerebral palsy
I have a 22 yo son with CP from newborn grade iv IVH in NICU.  He has cortical blindness, g-tube fed, seizures and is nonverbal and cannot sit/crawl/walk.  Starting around 5 yo he started hitting/punching himself in the face.  This has gone on forever, and he is now 22.  Over the past year, it has gotten way worse and very hard to manage.  He has to have his arm strapped to his wc to ride his bus to his day program, strapped to his bed at night so he does not start hitting himself in the night, and we have to re-direct his behavior A LOT during the day. He always hits himself after he has wet, so we know that is from being uncomfortable.  Sometimes if he has reflux or gets soap in his eyes, he will do it, so it appears to be out of frustration as well.  Or he will just do it to do it.  Dr just put him on 50mg Zoloft to see if that would help.  It has been almost two weeks and I've seen no change.  

Does anyone else have experience with this or anything that has worked for your family.  We are desperate.  Thank you.


  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,614 Scope online community team
    Hi @mlong2004
    Thanks for posting and it's good to meet you. 

    As you probably are aware, your son hitting himself could be a reaction to frustration, boredom, the inability to communicate and external stimuli like discomfort or pain. This behaviour can become habitual.

    It might be worth keeping a diary to identify the links between daily events and the hitting. This would give your G.P. a complete picture. I would definitely go back to them and explain that Zoloft has had little or no effect. Has your son been assessed for autism?
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

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