Public Safety

Public Safety

You are reading this because you are concerned about the safety of someone with Smith-Magenis Syndrome.

Violent outbursts and SMS

  • Individuals with SMS have severe violent outbursts that can include self injurious behavior.
    • This often includes head banging and hand biting as well as loud screaming.
  • This can include aggression towards others- usually those who the individual trusts the most.
  • It takes time for someone with SMS to calm down- sometimes an hour or more.
  • They need to gather themselves and once they are calm, they usually go about life as if the episode never happened.
  • A parent/caregiver will generally know how to help the individual, typically better than a public safety professional, given the parent/caregiver’s specific experience with SMS.
  • With individuals who are larger and older, they can often not be contained.  They need to calm down themselves.

SMS is a rare genetic syndrome affecting approximately 800 people worldwide.

SMS is present from birth.

For more information

The following links are downloadable template for parents/ caregivers to carry with them, to help explain SMS in the middle of a difficult situation.


SMS- Safety -PDF-