ERIC Number: EJ1058096
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-May
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 65
Acute Pain Experience in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Review
Moore, David J.
Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, v19 n4 p387-399 May 2015
In addition to the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder, a number of clinically important comorbid complaints, including sensory abnormalities, are also discussed. One difference often noted in these accounts is hyposensitivity to pain; however, evidence for this is limited. The purpose of the current review therefore was to examine sensitivity to pain of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. This review is interested in reports which consider differences in subjective experience of pain (i.e. different pain thresholds) and differences in behavioural response to pain (i.e. signs of pain-related distress). Studies were included if they were conducted with human subjects, included a clearly diagnosed autism spectrum disorder population and reported data pertaining to pain experience relative to the neurotypical population. Studies were classified as being self/parent report, clinical observations, observations of response to medical procedures or experimental examination of pain. Both self/parent report and clinical observations appeared to report hyposensitivity to pain, whereas observations of medical procedures and experimental manipulation suggested normal or hypersensitive responses to pain. This review suggests that contrary to classical reports, individuals with autism spectrum disorder do not appear to have systematically altered pain responses or thresholds. More systematic experimental examination of this area is needed to understand responses to pain of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Descriptors: Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Pain, Comorbidity, Literature Reviews, Behavior, Responses, Parent Attitudes, Self Disclosure (Individuals), Observation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Research
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