My brother Mike* would frequently hit himself on the head and chest and sometimes be would bite his hand very hard. It could be that he was frustrated but one time, a doctor suggested that Mike had a form of Tourette’s Syndrome. She thought that Mike’s behavior was merely a complex motor tick, the implication being, behavioral therapy would not help him. However, it seemed to me that Mike abused himself more when he didn’t get what he wanted.
* Mike is my older brother who is autistic, low functioning and nonverbal