Scholarship on disabilities and the policies shaping university research

Self-Injurious Behavior, Mental Retardation and Autism
December 6-7, 1999

The 1999 Merrill conference in Rockville, Maryland brought together 25 of the leading scholars on self-injurious behavior. Researchers discussed the genetic, neurobiological and behavioral causes and treatments for self-injurious behavior, a problem that affects 5-17% of persons with mental retardation and autism. Many new findings and tools have been developed in the past 40 years, but there have been few opportunities to integrate approaches. The ultimate goal of the 1999 Merrill conference was to produce multi-disciplinary models that will result in more effective treatment.

The conference was co-sponsored by the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development of the NIH.

Participants contributed their expertise to a book, edited by Stephen Schroeder, Mary Lou Oster-Granite and Travis Thompson. It was published by the American Psychological Association. It contains information about the behavioral and biological antecedents of SIB, the role of Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome and opioid peptides, as well as other critical information drawn from a variety of fields.

For an overview of self-injurious behavior, read the In the Know science feature written for the general public.

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