Does Autism Hurt?

It’s almost as if my son doesn’t feel pain.  He doesn’t cry much if he falls down or the dog bites him or he skins his elbow.

Last year we were at a function for his school and there were bounce houses and all that fun stuff.  William L-O-V-E-S bounce houses and so he was off and jumping when he saw those.  A few hours later one of his therapists asked if he had hurt his foot.

“Why?” We asked…

Well apparently he was limping around.  So we got closer to him and he HAD A SAFETY PIN STUCK IN THE BOTTOM OF HIS FOOT!

Uhh yeah, that’s right…a safety pin!  He was just going along, not crying, still bouncing…YIKES!

William also loves the monkey bars.  He is amazing at them…it’s so cool to see how he’s progressed…first I had to hold him, then he would only do a few bars, now he goes back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

Last night I noticed he was looking at his hand…I went to him, asked if he were in pain and he said “Yes” and I looked at his hand.  It had two huge  blisters and was pretty raw…he didn’t cry, didn’t tell us and more importantly–he was continuing on the monkey bars.

So it got me thinking…does having autism hurt?  I know there are sensory issues with children so that pain doesn’t register with them like a “typical” child…but it’s pretty amazing.

It got me thinking about what other Super Human feats of strength those on the spectrum might have that us mere mortals don’t.  I know he can jump on the mini-trampoline longer than any other 6-year-old in the history of the world!

We have friends whose children will cry at the drop of a hat…William will fall down, say “uh-oh…it’s a boo-boo” and then keep on going.

Does anyone else have this experience?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website ( and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email:…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

One response to “Does Autism Hurt?

  1. Yes, my ten year old son also has a high pain threshold. I believe his pain tolerance has “normalized” over the past few years, but when he was younger he rarely complained about injuries. He was also fearless until six or seven. He did not respond to aggressive tickle play until he was around 5 yrs. old. Now, he loves the whole tickle play routine, and he talks about the fact that he was not ticklish as a baby. His awareness of physical pain and the appropriate emotional fear of injury is progress of course. At least in our case, therapy, intervention, and time have strengthened my son’s physical and cognitive sensitivity.

    Perhaps the bigger question, is how much emotional “pain” do ASD kids experience? What happens when their feelings are hurt? How would you know? It seems to me that the keys that unlock their emotions are hidden so deep inside you almost forget they have the capacity. However, when I least expect it, my son will give me a sign that ‘yes’, he does indeed experience strong emotional feelings…even pain. It is a powerful reminder for me not to underestimate him in any way. He is a complete human being, who loves, listens, and learns even if I do not understand how. It is my job, as his dad, to find the windows that connect our worlds in a meaningful way.

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