Broken Wrist Syndrome Autism: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Broken Wrist Syndrome Autism

Broken Wrist Syndrome is a lesser-known condition often linked to autism but can also occur as an independent disorder. It involves unique, repetitive hand-wrist posturing that can cause discomfort, injury, and potential impairment in the quality of life.

This syndrome is complex and has many potential causes and a lot of symptoms that can affect differently in each person.

In this post, we’ll cover the key aspects of Broken Wrist Syndrome associated with autism. We’ll cover of symptoms it presents, what causes it, the treatment options available, and some tips for prevention.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder caused by differences in the brain. It affects the way a person interacts with the world around them.

People with ASD often face challenges in social interaction, impaired communication capabilities, and restricted behaviors and interests. Some people with ASD can live independently, while others might need significant support all the time.

Understanding autism is the first step in identifying and managing conditions like Broken Wrist Syndrome that may be associated with it.

What is broken wrist syndrome Autism?

Broken Wrist Syndrome in autism, also known as “stereotypic movement disorder with self-injurious behavior”. This syndrome involves repetitive movements that can result in self-harm. This condition also makes it difficult for your child to do everyday tasks like eating, writing, sleeping, and changing clothes.

In the phase of autism, the adult or child may do movements that involve repeatedly twisting or bending their wrist in a particular manner.

These behaviors, known as ‘stereotypies’, often arise in early childhood, and may be an autistic individual’s response to stress, anxiety, or overstimulation. However, the exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown.

Related: Small dent in forehead of a child after hitting head 

Symptoms of broken wrist syndrome

The symptoms of Broken Wrist Syndrome autism can vary widely in severity and frequency. They often revolve around unusual wrist and hand movements and can include:

  • Experience severe pain when you grip, squeeze, or move your hand or wrist.
  • Wrist Twisting
  • Hand Flapping
  • Swelling
  • Self-Injury
  • Tenderness
  • Banging or Hitting the Wrist
  • Rubbing the Wrist Against Objects
  • Wrapping Wrist in Clothing or Nails

What causes broken wrist syndrome?

The exact causes of Broken Wrist Syndrome in autism are still unknown. However, experts believe that certain potential causes and risk factors could trigger these symptoms:

  • Neurological Abnormalities: An underlying neurological disorder could trigger repetitive movements associated with Broken Wrist Syndrome. This could include conditions like epilepsy, a traumatic brain injury, or even ASD itself.
  • Sports injuries. Broken Wrist Syndrome is often seen in people who participate in sports that involve repetitive wrist movements, like gymnastics or tennis.
  • Falls. Falling on an outstretched hand can cause stress and strain to the wrist, leading to Broken Wrist Syndrome.
  • Sensory Processing Difficulties: Many people with autism have difficulty processing sensory information. This might result in unique, repetitive movements as a way to cope with overwhelming sensory input.
  • Anxiety and Stress: High anxiety levels or any stressful situation can cause the symptoms.
  • Genetics: Some genetic conditions, such as Fragile X syndrome, are linked to a higher chance of stereotypic behaviors

Helping your Autistic child overcome broken wrist syndrome

broken wrist syndrome in autistic child

If your child suffers from broken wrist syndrome autism, here are some tips to help them overcome this challenging behavior:

1. Therapeutic approaches

There are several therapeutic approaches that have been found effective in managing broken wrist syndrome autism. These include:

  • Behavioral therapy: This means teaching the child different behaviors to replace the excessive wrist flexing.
  • Medication: Some medications, like antipsychotics, may be used to help manage symptoms.
  • Physical therapy: This can help improve motor skills and provide an outlet for repetitive behaviors.

2. Parental strategies

Parents play an important role in managing a child’s broken wrist syndrome, especially in autism. They can implement specific strategies at home to support their child in this condition.

  • Providing a structured environment: Autistic children often perform best in structured environments. Regular routines can help reduce anxiety and repetitive behaviors.
  • Encouraging physical activities: Engaging in some fun activities like swimming, biking, or playing with a ball can help your child release excess energy and practice fine motor skills
  • Encouraging positive behaviors: Encouraging the child with positive reinforcement can help them repeat desired behaviors instead of excessive wrist flexing.

3. Seeking professional help

If your child’s broken wrist syndrome autism is severe and affecting their daily life, it is essential to seek your child’s pediatrician or qualified therapist. They can suggest some specific exercises, therapies, or tools to assist your child in enhancing their fine motor skills.

4. Resources and support

Remember, you are not alone. There are many resources available that support parents and families who are dealing with autism and related conditions. Reach out to local autism support groups, your healthcare provider, or online communities for resources and guidance.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Diagnosing and treating Broken Wrist Syndrome in Autism involves a combination of medical evaluation, behavioral assessments, and therapeutic interventions:


  • Behavioral Assessment. A trained psychologist or psychiatrist usually conducts this assessment. They observe and analyze the patient’s behaviors, paying specific attention to the frequency, intensity, and triggers of the wrist movements.
  • Psychological Testing. A variety of standardized tests, like the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), may be used to assess social interaction, communication, and repetitive behavior patterns.
  • Ct scan. In some cases, a CT scan might be utilized to uncover any physical deformities or injuries that X-rays miss. It also provides detailed images of the soft tissues and blood vessel injuries on the scan. The CT scan is usually an outpatient procedure and may take up to 30 minutes or more.
  • MRI. An MRI is another diagnostic tool that can provide a detailed view of the body’s internal structures. It uses radio waves and a strong magnet to create detailed images of soft tissues and bones. In the context of broken wrist syndrome autism, an MRI can be particularly valuable for examining the brain’s structures and circuits that could be contributing to the condition. 

Treatment options

If the fractured ends of the bone are not properly aligned, there may be gaps between the bone pieces or overlapping fragments. Your doctor will perform a procedure called reduction to manipulate the pieces back into position. Depending on the level of pain and swelling, you may require a local or general anesthetic before this procedure.

Here are some treatment options that your doctor might recommend:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis: ABA has been used by therapists to help children with autism since the 1960s. It involves reinforcing positive behaviors and reducing harmful or disruptive behaviors, like excessive wrist flexing.
  • Occupational Therapy: This therapy aims to enhance the child’s fine motor skills, improve hand-eye coordination, and develop alternative skills to repetitive wrist movements.
  • Medication: While there is no specific medication for Broken Wrist Syndrome in Autism. To reduce pain the doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medications. However, some medications like NSAIDs can provide pain relief but may potentially hinder the healing process of bones, particularly when used for a long period of time.
  • Supportive Devices: In some cases, using supportive devices like wrist braces or splints may help reduce the frequency of wrist movements by restricting the motion range.
  • Immobilization: In severe cases, immobilization may be necessary to allow the wrist to heal and prevent further injury. This can involve using a cast or splint for a period of time. The doctor may advise you to keep your hand elevated above heart level whenever possible to minimize swelling and pain.

Remember, treatment effectiveness can differ for each person. Therefore, it’s important to have regular follow-ups with your doctor to assess the treatment’s progress and make necessary adjustments.


Broken wrist syndrome autism is a hard or challenging phase of autism that can significantly impact an individual’s daily life. With the right support and treatment, a person with this syndrome can learn to manage their behaviors and improve their overall well-being.

If your child is showing signs of broken wrist syndrome autism like wrist twisting, hand flapping, or hitting the wrist, it’s important to seek professional help to creating a personalized treatment plan.

With patience, understanding, and love, you can help your child overcome this syndrome and reach their full potential.


What is Broken Wrist Syndrome ADHD?

Broken wrist syndrome and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are two separate conditions. Broken wrist syndrome refers to a specific repetitive behavior associated with autism, while ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood. In ADHD, a kid struggles with paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (like acting without thinking about the consequences), or being super active.

What are the unusual body movements in babies with autism?

Babies with autism may exhibit a range of unusual body movements, such as repetitive behaviors like hand flapping, flicking their fingers, or rocking their bodies. They might also struggle with coordination and motor skills, they don’t smile back when you smile at them, and they get really upset if they don’t like a certain taste, smell, or sound.

What are the 4 types of wrist fractures?

The four types of wrist fractures are:

  1. Colles’ fracture. A break in the lower end of the radius bone (usually caused by falling on an outstretched hand)
  2. Smith’s fracture. A break occurs in the lower end of the radius bone where the bone is displaced towards the palm
  3. Barton’s fracture. A break in one of the two small bones that make up the wrist joint
  4. Chauffeur’s fracture. A break in the radial styloid, a bump on the thumb side of the wrist caused by a direct blow or impact.

Overall, these types of fractures can cause pain and difficulty with wrist movements, so it’s important to seek with doctor for proper treatment.

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The information provided in this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Don’t ignore professional medical advice or put off seeking it just because of something you read here. Although we aim to offer precise and current information, we do not guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability for any purpose. Using the information in this document is at your own risk. We are not responsible for any losses or damages caused by our content.

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