I had a wonderful question cross my desk this week from a mom who has three children with Autism. She was looking for a way to teach them to communicate with her when they are not feeling well or are in pain. Like this mom, I too struggled with this very same issue when my own daughter was younger. In fact, we still do have problems with this type of communication when she is not feeling well or is in pain.
Individuals with Autism may not even realize they are sick or in pain, so we have to teach them a concrete and visual way to express this, even if they are verbal. Do2Learn does a great job of giving an overview of Reciprocal Communication and giving examples of how to use visuals in working with individuals who have Autism on identifying illness/pain.
Perhaps one of the best FREE tools that D2L has to offer is the free Feelings Scale. Below is a small version that you can click on and it will take you to the full size that is printable. Laminate it and keep it in a handy place. I would print several so that when your child is injured or sick you can assist him/her in identifying where that pain or sick feeling falls on the scale. I have noticed over the years that Emergency Departments throughout the United States utilize similar scales for pain indicators too. It sure beats the old 1-10 scale that was never helpful to an individual with Autism.
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