#Autism and a higher threshold for pain

Elliott was at the pediatricians office this afternoon because he’s been sick the past few days.

Turns out he has croup. He sorta figured that as he’s been barking like a seal.

However, he also has a really bad ear infection. The doctor couldn’t believe that he wasn’t complaining about it. In fact, we were shocked to learn that as well.

Our doctor said that Elliott mist have an incredibly high tolerance for pain.

That surprised us as well because Elliott tends to complain about every little ache and pain.

I thought I would ask you all if your child on the spectrum does anything similar? Perhaps it’s a sensory processing thing? I was just curious because we feel terrible that we didn’t pick up on this earlier. He just never said anything about his ear hurting.

Elliott is extremely high functioning and should have no trouble relating that his ear hurts.

Very strange however, he’s being treated for it so it should get better soon. We do have to watch that the croup doesn’t turn into something more unpleasant as a result of his asthma though.

I am really grateful that this is all it was.

This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct hate me.

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Lost and Tired

dutchbelt CA payday loans mcrane E The Third Glance Meaghan1985 Mary Franzen Costello  KittenFlower @CA payday loans @MeaghanGood @Suz this really a tough situation to be in.  I don’t have any answers but hopefully someone else will.  I’ve passed this along.  Hope it helps.


SOS!!  I have dear friends who have a child with autism and they do not have internet access.  I post this for them in hopes someone out there can help.
Over the last two weeks our boy has developed apparent pain all
over his body. He spends his days saying, “Owie hand, owie leg, owie toes, owie
back, owie elbow, owie bum, owie knee….and he wants us to repeat the “Owie
bodypart” to make sure we understand. It is very distressing to us to think that
he is in pain. We have doctored but so far have found no cause for

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Our aspy son does not have a normal response to pain at all..and it's made us concerned in many ways, not the least of which being that he will ignore little hurts that could be something not so little.  Example, last winter my hubby and the kids were skiing a lot as usual, and Nathan started complaining about his feet hurting…and it must have been happening for weeks because his feet had sores on the bottom…where I never look since he finally showers mostly by himself! I felt so bad…  We looked into it and he has chill blains…bad circulation in the little capillaries in his feet.  Took us about a month to get the sores to go away.  I'm very interested in this unique response to pain among spectrum folks…seems all connected to the sensory problems!

E The Third Glance

I have an incredibly high pain tolerance in general. I think that it has a lot to do with the fact that my ability to distinguish, sort, and categorize signals from my body is not very good. I can have a massive response, because a sound hurt me, but I have also walked around on broken bones before, wondering all the time why my leg felt funny, but not really knowing that it felt any funnier than what it feels like when I roll my ankle and its fine 2 hours later.
Often for me, I know something isn't right after said body part stops working. Until then, it doesn't register as painful, just a little strange. I've gotten myself into serious medical trouble because of this before, and so now I quite literally do a "body check" every evening, and keep a journal. If something doesn't feel quite right for a week, then I'll make a doctors appointment. The whole "give me the level of pain from 1-10". I register everything below most people's 8-10s as 1-2. I don't know what "moderate' pain feels like. I'm either mildly uncomfortable, or ER-level pain that leaves me withing on the floor or passed out. (Incidentally, I broke my ankle 2 weeks ago. I knew something was wrong, because I heard a crack, and because I couldn't move my foot or put any weight on it. Not because it hurt.) So in response to your original question, Elliot might not be able to discern the difference between "my ear feels a little funny" and "there is something seriously painful and wrong with my ear". I certainly have experienced that thought process my whole life.

E The Third Glance

I should also add that my mother used to compensate for this, by every single time I so much as mentioned that something was a little off, she would go into complete panic mode. I can't tell you how many times I ended up stuck on the couch icing the toe I stubbed gently on a doorframe, or at the doctors office because I mentioned that my hand hurt a little. It lead to me never telling my mother about any injury, ever. Because for the most part, I'm so incredibly accident prone, and I couldn't live my life, because I walk into a door frame or table or something else at least 3-4 times a day, and I really don't need to put an ice pack on it every freaking time…


Sometimes ear infections don't hurt. I've had very painful ones in the past, but the last one I remember having, didn't hurt at all. In fact, I wasn't even aware my ear was infected. I was at college and had a bad case of the flu, so bad that I didn't seek medical treatment for three days because I was too weak to walk to the infirmary. When I finally did go, I was practically on my knees by the time I arrived. (Only after the fact did I discover that they can come to you.) My throat and sinuses were infected which was no surprise to me, but then the nurse said, "Your ear is really badly infected" and I was like "Huh? No way!"

Mary Franzen Costell

Ethan has an incredible pain tolerance. When his tonsils were removed, the doc said there was terrible scarring, and he'd never been diagnosed with tonsillitis or strep (tonsils removed due to apnea) he shrugs off cracks to the head during falls or play…but touch his hair or arm and he says ouch, and he remembers every scrape for months. Of course, he scars really easily, better to obsess about them.


We have the verging pain threshold thing with our son with asd too. He can lightly tap his arm against something and be screaming hysterically or fall asleep during stitches with no anaesthetic. It just means we have to take most injuries seriously, lots of X-rays and body checks during bath time.