My son will be 5 years old in January, and is a high-functioning Autistic. Although his verbal skills (and communication in general) have greatly improved with several years of therapy, when he is sick or hurting he still isn't able to give us a CLUE as to what, where, or why. For as long as I can recall, he's suffered from periodic episodes of what appears to be nocturnal pain---although he can't indicate if his desperate crying IS due to pain, or where that pain is focused!. And everytime I end up back here on the web, desperate to find the answers (or clues) he can't give us. The episodes may have certain unique variables, but the central "theme" is always the same: restlessness (like restless leg syndrome involving the entire body) and signs of acute pain. Inevitably he wakes up less than an hour after going to bed, crying out and generally inconsolable. He tosses and turns, flips and flops all over the bed (while wailing, or at least crying out) for the next 20 mins or so, after which he suddenly "passes out" asleep again. Usually b/w 30-45 min later (never more than 1-1/2 hours), he wakes up crying out, and the scenario repeats itself. This cycle continues until close to sunrise, at which point he finally falls into a deep sleep for 4-6 hours. Upon waking, my son shows none of the pain or restlessness from the night before, but tends to be exhausted and a bit crabby. This whole ordeal usually repeats itself for 2-4 nights total, and only rarely does he develop other symptoms, such as fever or diarrhea. When he was 2-3 years old, a handful of the episodes did, in fact, result in major ear infections. But with ear tubes and age, the infections stopped and these episodes haven't (although they HAVE become less frequent since around age 3-1/2)! I'd say we deal with this 2-3 times a year. Even when my son was very young, watching his behavior made me suspect possible migraine activity. (I suffer severe, chronic migraines, both headache and other types, and was 9yrs old when the first migraine with aura hit me.) Sometimes he appeared to have difficulty seeing (blinking repeatedly and squinting), and sometimes he seemed to possibly be indicating pain in the head. During this current episode, however, he's giving very strong indication of abdominal pain---and he even welcomes abdominal massage/excercises for brief periods of time. When in the midst of these "attacks" he vehemently refuses all food and drink (which may, or may not, indicate nausea). He's also clearly disoriented by the ordeal, refusing to let me out of his reach (very unusual for him ). If he were symptomatic during the daytime, I'd be quick to assume he has severe constipation or something. But with the nocturnal-only (and cyclical) nature of these episodes, I'm wondering if it might sound like abdominal migraines, etc, could be to blame. (He also HAS had a bowel movement every day during this, although they've been on the hard side.) If you have any insight into this at all I'd really appreciate it! (With such vague symptoms, and without being able to ask him about the experience, his doctors haven't been able to do much more than agree that it's strange!)
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