Pain.

Is pain an emotion?
It is a feeling.
We feel it.
So it is an emotion.
Is that why my girl cannot process it?
Is that why she has such a high pain threshold?

Pain can be emotional or physical.
A feeling. We feel it.
But it isn’t an emotion.
Is it?

Screaming when the hoover is on, but not when she has sustained an injury.
A physical reaction to a feeling…
…a recognition of the stimuli.

My girl has Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Type and dislocates her joints, seemingly with no pain, daily.
She finds it extremely difficult to convey and understand emotion, or to empathise with anyone in pain.
Is it she just doesn’t know how to express the feeling?
Have we just assumed she has a high pain threshold as we expect her to react like everyone else, have we fed a perception that she doesn’t feel pain?
Does she just have a different response to pain?

Am I seeing challenging behaviours and anxiety when really I should be delving deeper?
Am I assuming the sensory overload is from an external stimuli rather than internal?
Is her control of everything around her, her strict following of her routine, a distraction technique?
Is she focusing on keeping control to lessen her anxiety about the feeling she is experiencing but is unable to express?
Has she simply just got used to feeling pain?

My girls facial expressions and expressive behaviours in response to stimuli differs from that of neurotypical children.
Her face and body language don’t show her emotions.
She sees her family members in pain, friends when they have hurt themselves, but does not make the connection from hurt to tears.
She laughs infact, sometimes she thinks it is funny to see people hurt, funny even when she gets hurt.
Not because she is mean, but because she doesn’t know or understand an appropriate way to react.
She thinks I know how she feels, she tells me I should know.
She doesn’t understand that it is unique to herself and I cannot feel what she does.

It is a long and complicated thought process.
Many children with Autism seem to have high pain thresholds.
It seems to relate to the ability to distinguish, sort, and categorise signals from the body. The internal stimuli.
If you can’t distinguish these signals then you have to rely on other ways to express it.
If you can’t explain the reasons for the behaviour then you cannot express it appropriately.
Feelings….
Emotion….?

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