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Divisions > Student, Family, and School Support > Student Services and Alternative Programs > Self-Injury

This web page is designed to be a mechanism for the delivery of credible and reliable information on self-injury to parents, advocates, and professionals.

There are different forms of self-injury and self-mutilation. Stereotypic self-mutilation, such as head banging, occurs in some children and adolescents with developmental disabilities. This web page is designed to address a different form of self-injury-moderate, episodic, and repetitive self-injury.

Students may disclose self-injury to an educator. Sometimes, knowledgeable adults (e.g., parent, coach, physical education teacher, resource officer, nurse, etc.) may recognize signs of self-injury. Self-injury is a complex behavior and effective response requires specialized knowledge.

Educators and parents often consult Student Services personnel (e.g., pupil personnel workers, school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and social workers) when concerns arise that a student is engaging in self-injury. Student Services personnel need to be knowledgeable about self-injurious behavior and effective interventions.

Youth who engage in self-injurious behavior deliberately injure their body as a way of coping with overwhelming feelings and thoughts. Although most students who exhibit self-injurious behavior do not intend suicide, it is prudent to assess a student for risk of suicide when a student is referred because of self-injury.

Contact Information
Division of Student, Family, and School Support
Student Services and Alternative Programs Branch
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
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