Pediatric Physical Therapy

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Pediatric Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/PEP.0b013e318218f35f
Case Report

Retrospective Case Report: Evaluation of Pain in a Child With Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Mieres, Ana C. MSPT, PhD; Smallwood, Varina RN, BSN; Nicholson, Sheila K. PT, MBA, JD

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Abstract

Purpose: To describe how a nurse and a physical therapist in an interprofessional (IP) school-based clinic collaborated to meet the needs of a child with pervasive developmental disorder—not otherwise specified, with atypical classroom behaviors and declining student performance.

Summary: The IP team sought answers for atypical classroom behaviors with declining student performance. Student sensory perceptions masked and delayed the ability to recognize infection.

Observations: Cumulative observations by the team generated serial referrals until a diagnosis of dental abscess was identified.

Conclusions: An IP team in this school setting generated a positive outcome for a student demonstrating absence of clear indicators of pain or infection, with additional positive outcomes for the clinic.

Recommendations for clinical practice: Further studies are needed to recognize illness earlier in the absence of pain or pain perception in children with a form of autism spectrum disorder and to develop reliable and valid metrics for pain identification.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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