Pain in Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities - A New IASP Special Interest Group

This is a guest post from Dr. Frank Symons, Professor, Special Education Program, Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Minnesota; co-editor with Dr. Tim Oberlander (Child and Family Research Institute, UBC) on the first book specific to pain and individuals with developmental disabilities.  You may recall Dr. Oberlander and Dr. Symons' webinar presentation on CAPHC Presents!, "Pain in children with developmental disabilities:  What to do when everything fails?".


Pain in Individuals with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities - A New IASP Special Interest Group

A small group of researchers and healthcare providers would like to make the CAPHC community aware of a new opportunity developing at the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).

We are preparing a proposal to organize a new International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) Special Interest Group (SIG) dedicated to advancing the understanding and treatment of pain among individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Broadly, the aims of organizing this SIG are to support interdisciplinary knowledge exchange between clinicians and scientists, and to establish mechanisms to provide education and resources for the management of pain in this vulnerable population. Members and leaders of the SIG will work to establish newsletters, biannual meetings, an online forum, and a website specific to the study and management of pain in individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities (including intellectual disability, developmental disability, and related genetic syndromes).

You can click here to view our proposal for your reference. If you are an IASP member and would like to show your support for the establishment of this new SIG specific to the study of pain in neurodevelopmental disabilities (PND SIG) please email Chantel Barney at with a statement of your support along with your name, discipline, institution, and Country of residence. We need confirmation of support from 25 IASP members from multiple countries and a range of disciplines.

If you would be interested in actively participating in the initial SIG formation please let Chantel know.  If you would like to show your support and participate in this SIG but are not a current IASP member we hope you will consider joining IASP and then sending us an email of support.  The application to join IASP is available online by following this link

You can view other IASP special interest groups by following this link to the IASP homepage

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!


Frank Symons, John Belew, Bram Valkenburg, Scott Schwantes, & Chantel Barney