Scholarly Undergraduate Research Journal at Clark


Self-Injurious Behaviors (SIB) in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) form a constellation of particularly pervasive and harmful symptoms signifying high morbidity for children and adolescents. Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has been proposed as a last resort for particularly severe and treatment-resistant forms of SIB, yet has received little acceptance in mainstream clinical psychology. This paper summarizes findings of four studies investigating the effic- acy of ECT in treating SIB in ASD inflicted youth. This paper also evaluates the research on potential side-effects and ethical implications of ECT use. I conclude that while extensive further research is required to understand the implications of usage, that ECT may bear the potential to benefit an erstwhile untreated population.



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