Children with autism experience gastrointestinal disorders no more frequently than do children without autism, except for two conditions: “picky eating” and constipation. Problems range from feeding difﬁculties (because of sensory and oral motor problems) and nutritional issues (resulting from highly restricted diets) to abdominal pain and constipation or diarrhea. These children often cannot communicate their discomfort and manifest it through behavioral changes; thus, any change in symptoms warrants careful medical investigation.
Controversy has long raged regarding other roles of the gut, including theories of the “leaky gut,” and roles of potential allergens such as gluten and casein. No scientiﬁc evidence has been established for these links. Most recently, research published by Dr. Andrew Wakeﬁeld suggesting the association of so-called “autistic enterocolitis” with measles, mumps and rubella vaccination has been shown to be fraudulent.
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