Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar

Pain in Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • David MooreEmail author
  • Michelle D. Failla
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_102488-1

Definition: Pain

Pain refers to “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” It is important therefore to understand that pain is more than a simple “ouch” and refers to the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects associated with potentially noxious physical sensations. Therefore, the current entry will focus on responses to tactile, thermal, and chemical stimuli which have the potential to result in unpleasant sensations. This entry will not consider distressing responses to emotional or other sensory experiences; for a review of these, see the entry “Sensory Processing”.

To understand both the experience of pain, the expression of pain, and the relationship of these to ASD, it is also important to consider the process by which pain is perceived and then communicated. When considering painful events that start in the periphery (e.g., pain resulting from an injury/tissue damage), it is often possible to see the noxious input,...

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References and Reading

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Copyright information

© Crown 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceVanderbilt University Medical SchoolNashvilleUSA