Signs of Pain

Autism Q&A
560 315 Paul Louden

Welcome to the 2018 series of the Louden on Autism Q & A . As many of you know, I receive questions every day, and I want to make sure that the answers to these important questions are being shared with all of you.


Please know that these are my opinions and my answers come from my research and my own personal experiences. Of course, each situation is different. All of us as people are different. And no two people with or without autism should be treated the same exact way.


This week, I received a question about a child with autism who is having difficulties communicating signs of pain to his parents and grandparents.




I’m having a very difficult time understanding when my son is hurting, hungry or showing other signs of pain. Any advice?




Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do before he’s developed a path of communication. Just like any person, if they don’t tell you something, you can’t really know it other than just looking for clues or signs.


Those of us on the spectrum can have communication delays, but sometimes it’s also an issue of communication methods. For various reasons, sometimes people with autism work better with communication methods other than words. They may be unable to say what they need, but may be able to write, or point to pictures, or use other means. It may be worth experimenting with other ways to see if he can show you something or do something when he’s hungry.


I think that it would be beneficial if you work to understand what methods of communication might work best in certain situations, as these can change often. Dependent on how your child is feeling, one day they might want to communicate in a different way than before.


The best advice I can give is that being open-minded about communication methods is very, very important. Not all people on the spectrum will communicate problems of pain or hunger the same way — especially if they’re non-verbal in most cases. But working to make things easier on them, rather than getting frustrated, is a great place to start.


Thanks for reading. Check back soon for another Q&A.

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