How to assess pain experiences of children with autism spectrum disorders?
As previously mentioned, health care providers and parents are more likely to believe and attend to children’s behaviors when they are consistent with expected pain-related behaviors. Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) do not consistently demonstrate socially expected interactions and nonverbal behaviors that facilitate interpersonal communication. However, most individuals with ASD are able to describe and locate their pain but require a variety of approaches. Most are able to report pain intensity but prefer not to focus on pain. Language to communicate pain should be simple and familiar. Parent involvement is essential; both to help interpret the child’s needs and provide trusted support.